“Then Job replied: “How can a mortal be righteous before God? If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, 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.””
— Job 9:1a, 2b, 33–34
By the time you read this article, the year 2015 will already be well under way. 2014 may have been a difficult year for you. 2015 will certainly present its challenges. I have always found that in difficult times it is beneficial to read through the poetic literature of the Holy Scriptures, especially the books of Job and Psalms.
By the time we get to Job 9, Job has gone through some dramatic events in his life. He has lost all of his children. All his possessions have been taken away from him. It was one tragedy after another. And then, to make matters worse, when his friends come to comfort him they offer him all kinds of horrible advice.
Don’t we sometimes identify with Job? We think we do all the right things: we go to church; we spend time in devotions and prayer; we busy ourselves with all kinds of volunteer work. Even so, there are times in our lives when things don’t go right for us. To make matters worse, our friends gossip about us, lie about us and to us, and treat us as if we have leprosy.
Granted, we may not face the same perils as Job did, but let’s face it, life is not always easy. We cry out to God, “Look at all I do, and then you bring this into my life? How is that fair? If only I had someone to confront God on my behalf, to bring my trials and my problems before Him.”
That’s the cry of Job in the closing verses of Job 9. But even before Job can air his frustration he has to acknowledge that God “is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court” (Job 9:32).