Job is a hard book to read. Not only do we squirm when we see what happened to Job, but we squirm even further when we dare to think that the same thing could happen to us. Many people point out the suffering and relief of Job in how it points forward to the suffering and exaltation of Christ, but I want to point out something different – something from Job 9:32-33, which says:
“For He is not a man, as I am, that I might answer Him that we should come to trial together. There is no arbiter between us, who might lay His hand on us both.”
Before you move on from this and back to your duties of the day, stick with me. In context, Job is frustrated. He clearly does not know what we know as the readers. We got to read chapter 1 and see the Devil come before the heavenly council ending up with Job to test, and test hard. But Job does not know why these events have happened and by the time chapter 9 comes into view Job’s friends have begun telling Job that these things have taken place because he has sinned. Job responds by pleading the case for his innocence and is clearly frustrated with his friends.
In chapter 9 as he is talking through his frustration, Job mentions something strangely fantastic. In 9:32-33 Job speaks about his desire for someone to be in between him and God, a mediator of sorts, or an arbiter. This is a precious reality. Job is yearning for someone to grab hold of him and grab hold of God and bring the two closer together. The interesting thing here is that Job feels what every human being feels. What is this? We all feel that left to ourselves, God and us are not close, far away, distant, estranged, and separated. If we were to take God to task and square up to Him, we know we could not stand. This feeling of separation from God, which feels more like, exclusion, is the normal human condition which causes most people to do all sorts of crazy things to get back into God’s arms.
What Job desired, what every human longs for, God has already provided. He has sent His Son into the world to remove the estrangement between Himself and us through His life, death, and resurrection. Galatians 4 says it like this:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Because God has sent His Son into the world, we are no longer estranged from Him. What Job desired, trusted in, had faith in, and looked at from a distance – we can taste for real.