Job 9:32-35, 16:19-22
Have you ever thought that some of your trouble in life is self-inflicted? The result of something bad you must have done? If you forget to pay a bill, don’t be surprised that the following bill might have a ‘penalty’ for late payment.
On the other hand, there are times where you search for a cause. You don’t understand why a certain event has befallen you. The confusion you feel is due to a lack of connection to some bad behavior or choice. In fact, you may feel that you have been living ‘On the straight and narrow’. Yet, you still have trouble.
In Job chapter one, verse one, the following declaration is made, ‘This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.’ What more is left to say before the drama unfolds? He had great wealth and was often seen worshipping God publically. At the end of verse three of chapter one, it reads, ‘He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.’
Then, God allows Satan to destroy all that he held valuable; children, livestock, wealth and health. He lost everything … he was totally devastated. Even his wife instructed him to ‘curse God and die’. What a miserable situation. What a miserable man. The great success had now become a monumental failure.
And then, his friends arrived.
As he sat there in physical emotional and spiritual agony, he longed for grace in the midst of his sorrow and pain. Instead, these ‘friends’ told Job that there was some sin in his life that he needed to acknowledge. They condemned him of pride and other sin. They blamed him for his own bad fortunes.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
So Job has to answer these accusations (mind you, in the midst of losing nearly all his family and all his wealth and security) by asserting his innocence before God. But, he longed for the support of another:
32 “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,
that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,
someone to bring us together,
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,
so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,
but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
- Job 9
He called out for a mediator. Someone to step into the gap for him. He needed a lawyer, a representative, an advocate. Someone who would stop the beating he felt all day and night under the weight of God’s punishment.
Still, his friends council him that he must repent of his sin.
Job turns into a prophet in chapter 16,
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as one pleads for a friend.
Job doesn’t realize it, but this Gentile is pointing to a Messiah. He is pointing to Jesus,
‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus’
- 1 Tim. 2:5
‘My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.’
- 1 John 2:1
‘Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God–and He is interceding for us.’
- Rom. 8:34
When you have gone through a devastating event(s), and you realize it is through no fault of your own, it is at those times you need to hear that God is not mad at you. Quite the contrary, God loves you with His whole life. The Son of God is Jesus, and He came down to suffer a fate worse than Job’s. He died young, penniless, unmarried, without children and homeless. What a pitiful person!
But He lived that life of suffering for you. He lived it and then died a miserable, humiliating and shameful death. He became the curse for all your sin and mine. There is not one sin He hasn’t paid for.
So, when a ‘friend’ tells you that there must be ‘some sin in your life’ to have caused this pain, you can honestly say, “It’s not just my sin, but that I am sinful! That is good news, because Christ Jesus came to save sinners!”
Job would eventually hear from God and know Him on a much deeper level. After this, God blessed Him with even greater fortunes. This is a picture of Heaven. No matter what disasters, distress or disappointments you face in this life, God will restore and multiply your blessings in Heaven because of Jesus.
Now may the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard your hearts in Christ Jesus, Your Advocate and Lord,