Today Job reflects on his situation and realizes that he needs a mediator with God. Job needs someone to speak for him before God. Jesus is our intercessor. He is our mediator. God is willing to reason with us and his plan is for us to meet him in the person of Jesus.
1 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?
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.
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
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 9:1-4, 14-15, 19-20, 32-35
Bildad was encouraging Job based on his innocence and God’s justice. Job’s answer today gives us some insight into God’s person and the predicament of all humanity. You see, Job knew he could not approach the throne of God, even with his righteousness as his shield.
Job was a righteous dude. He was probably up there with Abraham and Enoch and those whom God praised for their blamelessness. In fact, God was so confident in Job that he used Job as an example before Satan, the accuser and tempter of all.
Even though God viewed Job in this manner and was pleased with him, Job knew that God was still beyond his reach. We see here, in Job’s words, some background teaching for the truth Paul shares in Romans 3:23: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Although Job could present himself as righteous and even innocent in the eyes of the world, before God he could only plead for mercy, because God’s righteousness – his holiness – is higher and greater. Job’s mouth would condemn him before God. It would pronounce him guilty if he tried to speak before the Almighty Holy God. The Lord is not a mere mortal, Job says, that he could answer God or confront him in court.
And therefore, Job realizes he is stuck. Job is stuck without someone to mediate between God and him. Job longs for someone to bring God and him together, who will remove God’s rod from him, so that the wrath of God would no longer invoke fear in him.
Our minds go to Isaiah’s prophecy to see if Job’s desire will be realized: God says through Isaiah,
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
God is willing to reason with us. He will make himself approachable. How will this be? Under what plan or provision can we approach God? We see the gift of God through Jesus spelled out in fine detail in Isaiah 53:
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
12 he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:6, 10, 12
Jesus is our intercessor. He is our mediator. He is that one who was entirely righteous and the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that once he had defeated the grave, he could live to mediate and intercede for each of us even now!
Do you think God is too far off? Do you think that God is unreasonable in not accepting your righteousness in yourself? Consider Job’s desire to have someone mediate for him. Consider God’s plan in sending Jesus to become that intercessor.
God loves you and invites you to settle the matter with him. Would you respond to God for what he has done through Jesus?