Have you ever tried debating with God and calling it “praying”? Basically that is what we do when we start questioning Him about why did “thus and such happen to me”….or to someone very close to us. It is very easy for even the best students of the Bible and even long time prayer warriors to temporarily misunderstand the ways and even motives of God while praying about circumstances.
On the surface, in the many long discourses apparently between Job and his friends, it seems like major theological debate society stuff. However, in several instances, he is clearly speaking to the Lord...as we pick that message up right here:
JOB CHAPTER 9 (25-35)
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They flee away, they see no good.
26 They pass by like swift ships,
Like an eagle swooping on its prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,’
28 I am afraid of all my sufferings;
I know that You will not hold me innocent.
29 If I am condemned,
Why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow water,
And cleanse my hands with soap,
31 Yet You will plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes will abhor me.
32 “For He is not a man, as I am,
That I may answer Him,
And that we should go to court together.
33 Nor is there any mediator between us,
Who may lay his hand on us both.
34 Let Him take His rod away from me,
And do not let dread of Him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear Him,
But it is not so with me.
The first part of this prayer (verses 25-28a) is more like a statement of self-pity before the Lord, but then all of a sudden Job address the Lord directly about what He would do! This is potentially a dangerous thing to pray, unless you and I are walking flawlessly in His Grace and Favor and we are not bent on trying shake our fists in the Holy Face of our Great God in Heaven!
Job was a blessed man that God did hold him innocent just as He will hold you and I innocent if we are forgiven and Jesus is our Lord. But when you read Job chapters 38 and on, you will see that God was not too happy with Job's incorrect assertions about Him!
There is a strange turn in the prayer here in Verses 29-32 where Job is posits the fact that though God may consider him an innocent man, how come he is in all this abhorrent pain, suffering and troubles with horrid sores and sights about him. Briefly put, Job says "why me, Lord, what have I ever done, to deserve even one...or this punishment I've known"....!!
However there is a lesson for us in verses 33-35 and it should affect the way we pray to Almighty God. First of all, we are more fortunate than Job! Why? Contrary to what Job said in verse 33, we DO HAVE A MEDIATOR!! Christ was not yet alive on earth as a man nor was He risen from the dead to be our Advocate before the Father. But HE IS OUR MEDIATOR RIGHT NOW! Old Testament saints faced the stark reality that it was the Holy and often Fearsome Living God they faced and often thought it hard to please Him. Never mind He kept showing His patience, love and long-suffering through the prophets over and over and over again!!!
So let us learn from Job and replace some words in verse 33 with gratitude to our great God in Heaven that we do have a Mediator and an Intercessor - Christ the Lord - who will lay His Hands of healing and power upon us if we just ask Him.
Secondly, let us learn that because of this Truth of Christ our Savior and Judge before the Father, we really have not much to fear past what evil men can do to us. The Scripture says "the Lord is on my side, what can man unto me? The Lord taketh my part with those that bless me therefore I shall see my reward against those that hate me". (Psalm 118:6-7). Jesus Christ - GOD - is LITERALLY on our side and as the Word says "oh, death, where is thy sting?!"
So thirdly, as Job realized, at least for this go around of prayer, if he had a mediator, he could speak to God and not fear him. We HAVE a mediator now but do not access Him as we should. Even four plus thousand years ago, a simple man of strong faith, knew his God (and ours) was a personal God and "maybe there is a possibility that I could get close to him"! You and I have the major opportunity to so do right now, in the body, mind and spirit. We ARE close to God! If we are born again, He lives in us via the Holy Spirit and you cannot get any closer to the Father than this very fact!
So let us press on in prayer!