Looking for a defense, Job 21-25
As bitter as it sounds, all the misery that fell upon Job was allowed by God; in just the first chapter and a half of the book named after him, Job lost his livestock, children, all his possessions and he was stricken with boils, sores and even worms- Job 7:5 sounds like a nightmare. The rest of the seventh chapter describes the effects it all had on his mind and spirit. The only things the Lord left in his life were a wife who goaded Job to “curse God and die” and a small handful of friends who took turns accusing him of various transgressions against God and general unrighteousness.
In these chapters, Job maintains his innocence and claims that if he could somehow take the Lord to court he could at least hear the charges against him (Job 23:5). Job feels that he could reason with his Creator and be delivered from his Judge.
Job’s faith can be seen throughout this book. From the first verse, Job 1:1, the writer documents that Job was blameless and upright and that he feared God and shunned evil. Later, in Job 23:10-12, Job is adamant that when God has tested him (as an assayer tests metal for purity) he would be like gold. Job adds that he knows this because he has kept the Lord’s way, obeyed His commandments and treasured His words more than his own food. Job’s heart is breaking because he knows he has been faithful yet, if God doesn’t reward the upright and punish the wicked, then God is capricious and dismissive of His servants’ righteousness. (Later, we have the Lord’s rebuttal, and it is awesome. It’s definitely a great reason to read ahead!) Job’s desperation illustrates the gap between God and man; between Creator and His creation.
Job cried out for a mediator, one who could stand between God and man and reconcile the man to God. In his faith, Job knew that there had to be such a One. Only Jesus Christ could fill that role- born in the flesh and lived as a man but retaining all the attributes of God, He alone could act as an advocate before our Father(Colossians 1:19, 20).
The 11th chapter of Hebrews calls out many men and women who acted from their faith in the Lord and states “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13). Faith was counted as righteousness according to Genesis 15:6 and it’s recounted by Paul in Romans 4:22.
Whereas Job had a longing for that One he knew must exist but couldn’t lay hold to, we know Jesus Christ, the visible image of the invisible God- He who created all things and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:15, 16). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He created everything needed to inspire our faith and He has given us everything necessary to endure in our faith as promised in Hebrews 12:2.
In 1 John 2:1, the writer reveals that we have “an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The Greek word used as “Advocate” is parakletos, meaning “one who is called to our side” and could also be translated as a comforter, a consoler or a defense attorney. These are the things Job needed most desperately. Job needed a comforter but, instead, he had a wife who told him to turn from God and die. He longed for a consoler but, instead, he had friends who argued that he earned every painful sore. He needed an advocate but there was no one worthy to stand between both man and God.
Job 42:6 tells of Job’s brokenness- he no longer accused God of injustice. In repentance of his earlier claims of righteousness, Job confessed God’s sovereignty and submitted to God’s will for him in faith. Job’s faith became his righteousness.
Job cried out for an advocate. We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And since Jesus exchanged His righteousness for our sin, we have Him as our Comforter, our Consoler and our Advocate. Jesus is our righteousness.
A fellow bondservant to Christ,