Job was frustrated and asked, “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?” (Job 24:1) Job longed for God to set a date and a time for him to appear in Court so he could put his case and prove his innocence. How broken and despondent Job must have been. He felt God was denying him justice. Perhaps you have had times when you feel hard done by, no one is listening to you, no one understands and you don’t know where to turn.
Job had reached a low point in his life and said, “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 10:1) I wonder if you have ever felt so low, loathing your life, misunderstood by family and friends, and with thinking even God has abandoned you? Have you ever felt such anguish and bitterness of soul?
Job reflected on his past glory, “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.” (Job 29:4–6) What a picture of bliss, a life drenched with cream and streams of olive oil. Maybe you have looked back on life, if only I had … if I had my life to live again I would … For Job this is more than nostalgia, more than a longing for the good old days. Job longs for his friendship with God to be as it was.
Job recognised he needed help and said, If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.(Job 9:32–34) I think this is the hidden heart of the book, the pivotal question, the big issue. Job knew he needed a mediator, an advocate, who could help him. What Job needed was someone who could step in and help him, a friend in God’s Court, someone God would listen to, he needed a mediator to take his side and present his case.
In the New Testament we read, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5) What Job longed for, God would provide through his son Jesus Christ. Jesus who was fully human and fully divine, both God and man, sent from heaven, born on earth, is the mediator everyone needs. In a sense Jesus is the Court appointed mediator, one who we cannot afford to pay, who is able to present our case, and because he has taken our punishment, he is also able to declare us righteous in the very presence of God.
Job helps us learn how to approach God with our complaints. He shows us it is okay to voice our hurt and confusion, our hopes and disappointments to God. He raises the need for a mediator, a helper we all need if we are to approach God. Jesus, through his death and resurrection is that mediator, the one who has taken our punishment on himself and who represents us before God.
What issues/complaints might you take to God?
How might Jesus help you approach God?
Rev John Malcolm