“I am afraid of all my sufferings; I know that You will not hold me innocent. If I am condemned, Why then do I labor in vain? If I wash myself with snow water, And cleanse my hands with soap, Yet You will plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes will abhor me. “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both. Let Him take His rod away from me, And do not let dread of Him terrify me. Then I would speak and not fear Him, But it is not so with me.”
Job 9:28-35 NKJV
Going through trials is hard, especially if one is going it alone, and the only friends around are convinced you did something wrong to bring all your pain on yourself.
Back in Job this morning, and I was reminded of life without an empathetic soul to walk with through struggles. Job’s friends were great as long as they said nothing, but when they did speak, they offered nothing but blame, as they urged Job to repent.
As Job took all of this in, he felt completely alone, as the God he worshipped seemed so far away, and not interested in his plight. He felt as if there was no mediator, no one to step in as liaison, to represent him. Job knew his place before the Lord, that there was no righteousness in him, and no work that could cleanse him of his alleged sin.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
Job knew nothing of the One who would one day die for his sins.
Those of us who have come after the cross, have a mediator in Jesus, who came as one of us, who lived a sinless life, took all our sins to the cross, and delivered us from the wrath to come. The work was completed in Him. though Job did not know of the promise of salvation, by faith in God, He benefitted from it.
Like so many before the cross, Job endured trials but did not lose faith or sin against God. He endured the mocking of his friends, the loss of all things, and the uncertainty of his predicament. He was like those in Hebrews chapter eleven, having not received the promise of the cross.
“Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
Hebrews 11:36-40 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we have been given that better thing, salvation in Christ, our mediator between God and man. When we face trials, uncertainty, and suffer the mocking, we know that we have an advocate in Jesus who is not far away, but with us. Unlike Job, we have the presence of God in us through the Holy Spirit.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
I John 2:1-2 NKJV
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,”
I Timothy 2:5-6 NKJV
In our world, there are trials aplenty as we continue to reel in pandemic. In these days of uncertainty and global trial, it is on us to be the light in a dark place, as we have the hope of Jesus. Let us guide those in darkness to the Lord, first for the forgiveness of sins, and then for blessings of that relationship with Him.
Through Jesus, others can know that they too can have a mediator to assist them, to provide for them. The evil one is pressing hard on humanity as he knows that his time is short. It is crucial to tell of Jesus, who came to pay the price for our sins, to take our punishment, to die a brutal death that we deserved. He suffered for us, so that He now helps through our suffering in trial.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
II Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
All the suffering that we have endured has defined for us ministry in which we can bless others, and lead them to Jesus.
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