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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“Have You Walked in the Recesses of the Deep?”

In the end of the book of Job, God asks Job 63 questions, all of which Job must humble himself and answer, “Not me Lord, only You.”

In Job 38:16 God asks Job, “Have you entered into the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?”  Job obviously has not done this, but God has.  I often feel that the more I learn about God, the more I awaken to the fact that I don’t really have a grasp on Him at all that He is forever beyond my grasp.  Even though the more I seem to grasp His character, the more questions unfold about His being, actions, motives, heart, will, etc.  I often find answers in the Bible that open up more questions to me, so many that I will never have the time nor the life span to spend in hunting them down.  I often feel like Job.

I cannot ever exhaust a text of Scripture to the fullest but O’ how I yearn to be able to do so to know God more!  The more I dig, the further I see how deep the hole goes!  Is this a bad thing?  Heavens no!  It is overwhelmingly great feeling to me.  Because when I see how much deeper the hole goes than I thought, I realize that I have only scraped the surface of the joy I have in Jesus and that there is an infinite amount of pleasure that is yet to be attained in Christ by my little feeble sinful hands!

Charles Spurgeon felt this too and comments:

Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators.  Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass.  Universal knowledge is for God alone.  If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assures that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal.  Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility?  These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend then to find out the depth which coucheth beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores.  Why I am so curious to know the reason of my Lord’s providences, the motive of His actions, the design of His visitations?  Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm?  Yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God.  Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love.  What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice me.  I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waters with propitious winds. My Lord, I leave the infinite to Thee, and pray Thee put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

Will you join me in sailing on the blue waters of the Almighty?  Will you enjoy the healthful breezes of the sea of God’s Word with me?

I pray you will.  We cannot penetrate it to its depths, but we can enjoy it as fiercely as we can!

We Can Now Taste What Job Could Only Long For

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.

Categories Job