To connect with God, we must often look beyond the words and opinions of our earthly friends to rely on the God who loves us: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Job has a concept of and a relationship with the Triune nature of God which is astounding…
Eliphaz: “Are you the first man ever born? Were you brought forth before the hills? Do you listen in on Godʼs council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have? The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father. Are Godʼs consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?
Then Job replied: “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing? 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. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
My hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure. “Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.
Job 15:7-11, 16:1-5, 17-21
Job’s friends are not cutting him much slack in Eliphaz’ comments. Basically, Eliphaz is mocking Job for thinking that he knows what God has to say about his predicament or how God thinks. Humans don’t have that insight. We cannot be that presumptuous, he would say. And then he launched into a pretty bleak view of life itself.
As we will see, Job knows more about God than likely anyone from his generation. Job has a concept of and a relationship with the Triune nature of God which is astounding…
Job answers back with both barrels. He has heard these kinds of statements before. These long-winded speeches aren’t helpful, and Job is glad to share that if they were in his situation, Job would be much more encouraging than they are being… Take that.
Job’s true hope, however, is not in the words of his friends or even in his confidence in his ability to take the higher road than his friends. Job’s hope is in heaven. He says, “Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is on high.” Now this is interesting.
Job is using some language here which tells us that he has an understanding of God which is mature and well-developed. In fact, Job uses some language here which is very consistent with what we have heard from Jesus in his teaching.
We have an advocate. He is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). He comforts and counsels us and he advocates for us in heaven. The ministry of the Spirit is active and personal. The Spirit is Job’s witness in heaven before God, and it is his advocate who gives him hope before God.
Job also knows his intercessor, who is Jesus (Romans 8:34). Jesus lives to plead and intercede on our behalf before the Father. Notice the words Job uses: he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend. The friend of sinners intercedes for us!
Do you know the hope that Job knew? Do you know the God Job knew? Do you have trust that the Spirit is with you and that Jesus is interceding for you?
Oftentimes we must look beyond the words (positive or negative) of our earthly friends to rely on the God who loves us: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…