In Job chapter nine, Job expresses the anguish of his suffering by asking two questions and by touching upon the truth of man’s need for an arbiter.
…But how can a man be in the right before God? (v. 2)
Job asks the question, “Is there anyone who is perfectly righteous before God?” The answer, of course, is an emphatic, no! Paul tells it like it is: …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Rom. 3:23). Salvation is a gracious gift from God; …this is not your own doing… (Eph. 2:8).
…If it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him? (v.19)
Who can contend with God? The man who attempts to justify himself before God is not only foolhardy, but guaranteed to fail. Justification is made possible because of the redeeming work of Christ on the cross (Rom. 3:24). By faith and through Christ is the only way to satisfy the judgment we deserve. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1)
There is no arbiter between us who might lay his hand on us both. (v. 33)
We are at enmity with God and apart from God’s Grace we remain His enemies. But there is One who would bring peace, an arbiter, and that is Jesus Christ. Remember that you were…separated from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world…For He Himself is our peace…that He might…reconcile us…to God (Eph 2:12-15).
Job understood the profundity of man’s problem, but the mystery of God’s plan in the Gospel has now been revealed.
And you who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard…(Col. 1:21-23).
The answer to Job’s dilemma, and to our dilemma too, is found in the Gospel.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel