PLEADING FOR AN AUDIENCE
Almighty God, because of you I am not an orphan adrift in the cosmos, I am your loved and cherished child. I bless your holy name.
Read JOB 9
9 Then Job replied:
2 “Indeed, I know that this is true.
But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?
3 Though they wished to dispute with him,
they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
4 His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.
Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
5 He moves mountains without their knowing it
and overturns them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth from its place
and makes its pillars tremble.
7 He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;
he seals off the light of the stars.
8 He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
9 He is the Maker of the Bear[a] and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?
Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God does not restrain his anger;
even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.
14 “How then can I dispute with him?
How can I find words to argue with him?
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;
I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
17 He would crush me with a storm
and multiply my wounds for no reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath
but would overwhelm me with misery.
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
21 “Although I am blameless,
I have no concern for myself;
I despise my own life.
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When a scourge brings sudden death,
he mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,
he blindfolds its judges.
If it is not he, then who is it?
25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
26 They skim past like boats of papyrus,
like eagles swooping down on their prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread all my sufferings,
for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 Since I am already found guilty,
why should I struggle in vain?
30 Even if I washed myself with soap
and my hands with cleansing powder,
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit
so that even my clothes would detest me.
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.
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.
‘… we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but … one who has been tempted in every way … yet he did not sin.’1
Job’s response to Bildad is quite surprising. He argues that his problem is not that he does not trust God’s judgment (v 2). Instead, he believes that he is unable to gain a proper audience before God to present his case. It is ironic that Job feels this way, considering the framework of the story so far. We have already seen in chapters 1 and 2 that the whole context for the book is God using Job as evidence in his own case against Satan.
At the point of his greatest crisis, Job finds God to be far off. In verses 2–13, he uses the glory of creation to show how the greatness of God makes him inaccessible. In a second irony within the chapter, Job’s words mirror God’s final response to him in chapter 38. At the conclusion of the matter, it is Job’s inability to comprehend the cosmic order which means that God cannot explain the reasoning behind his predicament. Job’s frustration is representative of anyone going through a difficult time. We all desire to be heard and understood at those moments of greatest difficulty. However, as with Job, it can feel like God is far off.
At the end of chapter 9, Job wishes for a mediator so that his case can be heard (vs 33–35). If only there was someone to speak on his behalf, then he might win his case. Since the time of Job, a mediator has come, who knows exactly that feeling of isolation. On the cross, Jesus, God’s son, experienced an isolation from the Father that he had never known before. By taking the weight of the sin of the world, he granted us the promise that there is nothing that can separate us from that Mediator between us and our heavenly Father.
Think of those moments when you have felt God to be far off. PRray for those who need to know Christ as their Mediator in difficult times.
Loving Father, you are the author of my joy, the bearer of my pain. I trust you, I love you, I thank you for sustaining me day by day.
1 Heb 4:15
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