The Gospel in Job 9

Job is a hard book to read.  We squirm when we see what happened to Job, we squirm when we recognize the same thing could happen to us, and we seem to squirm even more when we understand God Himself was behind all the events of Job’s life.  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 1-2 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.  The language of this is precious.  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 at odds, far away, distant, estranged, and separated.  This feeling of separation from God, which feels more like exclusion, is the sinful human condition which causes most people to do all sorts of wicked things to get closer to God.

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 the work of His Son Jesus Christ.  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 can be estranged from Him no longer.  What Job desired, trusted in, had faith in, and looked at from a distance – we can taste for real.

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