Yesterday I told you how much I love the book of Esther. Today I began the book of Job. Can I be honest? It’s one of those books that I’ve always struggled with. I just don’t really understand it. I’m not a big fan of reading about how my good and loving God allows one of His finest men to go through such an awful time.
I mean, God himself, tells Satan that there is no one on earth like Job who is blameless, upright, fears God, and shuns evil. This guy got up every morning and offered a sin offering to God for his children just in case they had sinned or cursed God the day before. Every day. He was that good.
I’m not that good. Not even close.
But God still allowed the enemy to attack Job.
I just really struggle with that. Maybe because I know I can’t really compare to Job.
I understand that God is righteous and holy. I also understand that every one, no matter how good they seem, can’t stand before our righteous God. He is so holy that even our most honorable and good acts are like filthy rags in front of Him.
But he also loves His children with a fierce love. He is graceful and merciful. He is good.
I think that’s where I get a little stuck when I read Job. I have a hard time reconciling those characteristics of God.
I know that the book of Job kind of rubs me the wrong way, so I really prayed for understanding this morning as I read it. When I got to parts of the life of Job that trip me up, I paused to pray again.
This time, as I read through the first half of the book of Job, I noticed something that I’ve never really seen before and suddenly things shifted in my thought process.
I want to share this thought with you in case maybe you struggle to reconcile the holy, righteous, blameless God in the beginning of Job with the God of love, mercy, goodness, and grace that we enjoy reading about.
It’s just a thought. It by no means, makes this awesome and powerful and incomprehensible God understandable, but it does point out a truth that really spoke to me today.
Job 9:32-35 “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.”
Poor Job lived during the Old Testament times. Before Jesus. He feared God and honored God. He accepted God’s blessings as well as God’s curse because He understood that God is God. He is awesome. He is mighty. He knew he had no way to stand before a holy and righteous and just God and ask for anything.
Our sins separate us from Him. Even our most righteous acts fail in comparison. He is righteous. He is just. He is holy. Job was pretty awesome, but he knew he couldn’t even begin to hold his head up in front of God. On our own, we really can’t either.
We have something that Job didn’t have. Job didn’t have an intercessor to come between he and God to arbitrate on His behalf. He sure wanted one. Look at that verse again. He didn’t have the blood of Jesus covering His sin, making him pure and blameless before God. He didn’t have Jesus, friend of sinners, to lay his hand upon him and reconcile him with the Father like we do. He didn’t have anyone to bridge the gap between him and the Father.
No wonder Job begged for his life to just be over. He loved God and knew of His majesty and understood that there was nothing he could say or do to deserve God’s grace and mercy, just like there really isn’t anything we can do or say on our own.
The difference is Jesus.
Once we trust in Him for salvation, we can stand pure and righteous before God. It doesn’t matter how filthy we were before, or how good. Christ’s blood covers us. He creates the bridge between us and God.
God is good and if you know the story of Job, you know God blessed his ending much more than his beginning. He restored Job and all he had and blessed him greatly. But Job went through such a time of despair and hurt and pain. Although he knew God was there and with him in his trial and he never cursed him, he didn’t have the same comfort that we can have. He knew, just like us, he didn’t deserve God’s goodness at all and he accepted his trails because he understood how he compared to God.
We may have trials too. God doesn’t promise us an easy life just because we’ve trusted Christ as our savior. Trials still come. Maybe you’re there. Maybe you’re feeling a little like Job. I’ve been there. I’ve felt like my world is crashing down and I’ve been brought low.
One thing that we have that poor, old Job never had is the hope, comfort, and friend that we have in Jesus. He’s on our side. He stands before the Father and pleads our case. He makes us righteous and pure because his sinless blood is on our account. He stands in the gap for us, while Job had no one to do that. No wonder he was in such a place of despair!
I’m so comforted by this truth. It brings me so much peace to know that when things get hard, I don’t have to be in that place of total and utter despair like Job. I may not always have an easy time. Let’s be real here, life just gets hard sometimes. After all, the book of Job tells us that Satan is in this earth just roaming through it and going back and forth in it. He’s a trouble maker.
But, we have the hope that our Jesus is working on our behalf to arbitrate between us and God. He’s bridging the gap. He has made a way for us to stand in front our righteous and just Father and receive love and goodness, mercy and grace, poured out in abundance.
Because of Jesus, we can have a hope that Job never had.
Love and blessings,