Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise you today for your Son, Jesus Christ. Job longed for someone who would go between him and God (Job 9:33), and that person is Jesus. He is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). I praise you that Jesus came to earth and fully experienced the human condition. He sympathizes with my weaknesses, and he encourages me to run my race with endurance (Heb 4:15; 12:1). Praise the Lord!
Today in Your Word
Today you told me how Bildad agreed with Eliphaz. He also believed that Job’s suffering was because of some sin he had committed. Bildad then took the attack on Job to a new and vicious level, going so far as to say that Job’s children got what they deserved (Job 8:4). Bildad was right in saying that you punish sin, but he was wrong to assume that Job must have sinned to be suffering so intensely. Job affirmed your sovereignty, but rather than being comforted by this, Job was frightened of you. He could not make sense of how your goodness and justice were being worked out in his life. Today, Job introduced a key concept in the book—that of a man desiring to “go to court” with God. He wanted to defend himself and be vindicated, and he also wanted answers. But who, he pondered in despair, can defend themselves against God (Job 9:2–3)?
Job was convinced that the innocent sometimes suffer the same fate as the wicked (Job 9:22). This is true, but not because you are cold and indifferent; rather, it is because we live in a fallen world, and people’s decisions inevitably affect those around them.
Father, help me remember that you are indeed a God of mercy and kindness. You never cause hurt and pain for its own sake; instead, you use these passing sorrows to refine my character and make me more like your son, Jesus. Help me believe with all my heart that you are exactly the way your Word describes you to be.
Thank you for your grace in my life and for the challenge of thinking deeply about the problem of pain. Continue to give me the power to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5:18).
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Suggested Hymn: “No, Not One!” by Johnson Oatman.
Meditation Verse: Job 9:32–33.