In 2022, National Bible Bee participants had the opportunity to study the theme of redemption in Scripture, first in the book of Ruth during the summer study and then in Isaiah chapters 40-48 for the National Bible Bee Competition. But those sections represent only two places where we see the theme of redemption in the Bible, and it is a theme worth visiting over and over again. The word “redeem” is not new to most of us – many of us are so familiar with the word that it is easy to read it without thinking about what it means and why it matters, but the idea of redemption should make us pause in thanksgiving whenever we see it. While “redeem” primarily means “to buy back,” that is not the only sense in which the word is used. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it also means “to free from what distresses or harms” or “to atone for.” Scripturally, “redeem” is used in those contexts as well, so today, let’s look at another instance of redemption in the Scripture and rejoice in our Redeemer.
The story of Job is a familiar one, but familiarity makes it even more vital that we take time to reflect on the story instead of reading it absentmindedly. At the beginning of the book, Job was an incredibly blessed man, with a large family, many servants, and enormous amounts of material wealth. In the course of a single day, all his children were killed in a tragic accident, most of his servants were killed or captured by raiders from other nations, and all his wealth was stolen by bands of robbers, all through situations completely outside of his control. As if that wasn’t enough, he contracted a painful disease, and even his wife and his friends turned against him. Imagine for a moment you’ve lost your family, all your material possessions are stolen, you have a painful disease, and your friends all despise and blame you – what would your response be? Job lists his sufferings and cries out against the injustice of it, but even in the midst of such painful suffering, he turns his focus to the source of his hope for the future:
“Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I will see God, Whom I, on my part, shall behold for myself, And whom my eyes will see, and not another. My heart faints within me!”Job 19:25-27 (NASB)
Job acknowledged that he does not understand the reason for his sufferings, he acknowledged the intense grief and anguish of his situation, and acknowledged that it feels like everything and everyone is against him, and in the face of each of these things, he admitted God’s sovereignty in his situation, humbled himself before the Lord, and put his faith in his Redeemer. His hope was not in earthy blessing or the restoration of all he had lost, but in seeing His Redeemer’s face, for in Him is found the fulfillment of all our hopes. Eventually, the Lord vindicated him, delivered him from his afflictions, and restored his earthly blessings, but long before that Job already found peace in the midst of his difficult circumstances by seeking his Redeemer above all.
Job’s story is thousands of years old and has no effect on us, so why should it make us marvel in gratitude? The example of Job has much to teach us about redemption, and to prepare our hearts for the greatest redemption story of all, the one at the heart of Scripture – how Christ gave Himself to be our Redeemer. Take a moment to read these familiar verses and reflect on what it means that Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, took upon him a human form so that he could give Himself as the ransom for our sins and purchase us to be His children.
“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.”Titus 2:13-14 NASB, emphasis added
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”Galatians 3:13 KJV, emphasis added
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV, emphasis added
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”Ephesians 1:7 KJV, emphasis added
Knowing that our great Redeemer has bought us with His own blood, delivered us from bondage to the law, sin, and death, and atoned for our sins, let us rejoice in His goodness and grace of Christ. We were utterly incapable of redeeming ourselves, and instead of abandoning us to bondage, Christ paid the most costly price imaginable to redeem us and buy us for His own. Because we have received the incomprehensible gift of redemption, we, like Job, can have full confidence in the character of our Redeemer and find our hope and joy in Him alone, no matter how difficult our life circumstances.
Written by NBB Alumna: Janese Hurst
I would like to know the process of getting into the competition.
More about Eligibility Criteria, Is there any portions in Bible to prepare for the competition Etc.
Hi Bhavithra. You can find those answers at https://biblebee.org/faq/