JOB AND THE GREAT DEBATE

I have a friend at church who reminds me to blog.  Thanks Mary.  Glad to know you're following these posts.  I've been remiss in keeping this up.  Among the many challenges of late...  some that have continued now for three years and that I'm praying I'll soon see an end to.  I'm working on a ghost writing project.  This has turned out to be a blessing and is the story of a young man who is no longer with us.  I've prayed that God would give me a clear understanding of him; a supernatural sense of not just what he suffered and who he was when he lived, but the victory of knowing Christ and being before the throne of grace... just as he is today.

I wanted to blog about Job.  Yes, I'm reading the book of Job, which has never been my favorite book.  When we read about a good person who suffers to the degree that Job did I think it's just a given that we'll be uncomfortable with this conundrum of God's love in view of man's suffering.  So...  I'm reading the Chronological Bible and there he was.  Job... right in my path. 
 

This is what I think the purpose of Job is.  The book points to Christ and our need for Christ.  Job was given a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ.  He longed and beautifully expressed what he imagined he needed in the midst of his suffering.  Job is a debate among the best that Yale and Harvard could offer up.  And in the end we are left with the overwhelming conclusion that man needs a Savior.  Job points to the coming Christ.  And even without the personal grace of a Savior who has revealed himself through the New Testament in this current "Church Age" Job knew he had an advocate on high.
 
O earth, do not conceal my blood.  Let it cry out on my behalf.  Even now my witness is in heaven.  My advocate is there on high.  My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God.  Oh, that someone would mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.  For soon I must go down that road from which  I will never return (Job 16: 18-22). 

Interesting that Jesus came to us as a man.  He was fully God and fully man; accessible then as He is now through prayer.  Jesus visits us in great intimacy with real presence when we call His name.  We know that here Job expresses the longing of every heart for significance with the Creator.  A way that would allow this mediation... this ongoing life dialogue with God himself.  And we have this through Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church who were dealing with many internal conflicts...


I passed on to you what was most important and what has also been passed on to me - that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said (1st Corinthians 15: 3, 4). 



In the midst of trial and suffering Job recognized that he needed this mediator.  He needed God's Son, Jesus Christ.  Job wrote: My complaint today is a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud.  If only I knew where to find God, I would go to His throne and talk with Him there.  I would lay out my case and present my arguments.  Then I would listen to His reply and understand what He says to me.  Would He merely argue with me in His greatness?  No, He would give me a fair hearing.  Fair and honest people reason with Him, so I would be acquitted by my Judge (Job: 23: 1-7).



Yahweh, Jehovah God, gave Job a prophetic vision of the coming mediator, who died for our sins that we might live with Him in heaven for all eternity.  God supernaturally comforted Job's spirit with a personal knowledge of Him.  Job also had a vision of what was... long before science began to inform a coming conception of the cosmos. 



The dead tremble in their place beneath the waters.  The underworld is naked in God's presence.  There is no cover for the place of destruction.  God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.  He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds do not burst with the weight.  He shrouds His throne with clouds.  He created the horizon when He separated the waters; He set the boundaries for day and night.  The foundations of heaven tremble at His rebuke.  By His power the sea grew calm.  By His skill He crushed the great sea monster.  His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and His power pierced the gliding serpent.  These are some of the minor things He does, merely a whisper of his power.  Who can understand the thunder of His power? (Job 26: 5-14). 


Within these words are a capsule of time as we know it in the construct of Biblical history.  What we see is the great struggle.  Man cannot make God into something that He isn't.  Man cannot have God on his terms and suffering is the great equalizer between poor and rich, young and old, intellectual and pragmatic.  Job knew this before he began the horrible testing as revealed in this episode of his life. If you've read the story you know that God restored all that Job had lost.  Trial and suffering bring us close to God and in the Psalms we have a picture of prayer and debate; conversation and praise.  God created us to be human, and in the context of us as fragile and weak; God calls to us and meets us at every personal point of crisis when we call out to Him. God also rejoices with us in victory.  "Praise Him all you creatures great and small." 


For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3: 16).  


For by grace we are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2: 8, 9).  

'Behold, I stand at the door and knock ; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3: 20)


When was the last time you read... really read the book of Job?  I've been slow to really embrace this book.  let me know your thoughts.



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