IS SOMEONE THERE FOR ME?
Lord, help me to run the race, to fight the fight, to finish the course, all to your glory.
Read Job 16:1–21
16 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these;
you are miserable comforters, all of you!
3 Will your long-winded speeches never end?
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4 I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
and shake my head at you.
5 But my mouth would encourage you;
comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
6 “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away.
7 Surely, God, you have worn me out;
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
9 God assails me and tears me in his anger
and gnashes his teeth at me;
my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
they strike my cheek in scorn
and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13 his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
and buried my brow in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet my hands have been free of violence
and my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry never be laid to rest!
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 16:20 Or My friends treat me with scorn
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘[Christ] is the head over every power and authority’ (Colossians 2:10), setting us free from everything that held us captive. What does that include?
Job’s level of distress is harrowing and no one seems to understand, certainly not his friends (v 2), not even God (vs 9, 11–12). Not ‘a mighty fortress … a bulwark never failing’;* God is attacking him. Job has nothing left to give. Sackcloth, clothes for mourning, have become his permanent outfit and he is worn out with crying (vs 15,16). The only thing this comes near to in human experience is Jesus’ cry on the cross: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46).
God himself in Christ takes that place of loneliness, enduring the separation that sin imposes. He becomes the abandoned person whose cry seems to go unheard. He stands in our place, rising again to accomplish a victory that shatters all that imprisons and isolates us, bringing us into his family, back home.
Job knew nothing of that cry of Jesus. But he knew what he needed: someone who could act and speak on his behalf (vs 19–21). He was seeking a legal representative to plead his case with God. Little did he know that God himself, in Jesus, would intervene to restore friendship between people and himself.
Isolation and loneliness are real issues for many. Jesus brings us fellowship with God, but also expects isolation to be met by the love of God’s people. Who can you reach out to today?
Mighty God, you lift me up when I am down. You comfort me when I am lonely. I couldn’t go on if it wasn’t for you. All thanks and praise to you.
*’A Mighty Fortress is Our God’, Martin Luther 1529
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