Job Changes His Position
Day: 16 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading: Job 16
Job 16:19-21 (NIV) “Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.”
In elementary school, I had the skinniest legs. It’s a wonder they even kept me standing! I remember one person in particular who took great joy in making fun of my legs. She nicknamed me Spinderella. To her it was funny. To me, it hurt each time she spoke that name. It stuck to me like glue and created a hurt I carried around for years. I never spoke up. I silently suffered her cruelty.
Silence was not Job’s problem. We find Job here, once again, reacting to and disputing the hurtful comments of one of his friends. He vented his frustration on many levels. First, Job informed his friends, his “ miserable comforters,” in no uncertain terms that if the tables were reversed, his words would not have been judgmental and cruel. Instead, he would have spoken words of comfort and encouragement.
Then, Job cried out with his boldest words yet. He compared God to a wild animal attacking its prey. He accused God of treating him as the enemy. Job felt like God had put a target on his back, distributed the bows and arrows and permitted his friends and enemies to use him for target practice.
Shattered and crushed, enemies on every side – including God – Job felt abandoned with nowhere to turn. He had fought fiercely for vindication but found none. Desperate and alone, he put on mourning clothes (sackcloth). He didn’t just put it on; Scripture says Job “sewed sackcloth over his skin” (Job 16:15a). He sewed each piece by his own hand. Job then “buried his brow in the dust” (Job 16:15b), meaning he publicly disgraced and humiliated himself by sitting in the dust and dirt.
As hard as this is to read, Job’s change in position led to a change of perspective. It was from this position of humility and humiliation that Job turned his face toward heaven. He professed his innocence and the purity of his prayers and spoke this beautiful confession of hope:
“Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend” (Job 16:19-21).
Praise God that today you and I know with certainty that we have that heavenly friend, an advocate. His name is Jesus.
“My dear children…if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
Jesus’ sacrifice is a gift … a beautiful gift. Because of God’s great love for us, we come before a throne of grace, not judgment. It is a place of unconditional love, grace and forgiveness.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the cross, and for sending Jesus to be my advocate and my friend. Thank You that I can humbly come before You in full confidence that You not only hear my confessions but also forgive my sin, removing it as far as the east is from the west — to be remembered no more. I am so grateful and thankful. In Jesus' name, amen.
In the Old Testament, we often read about sackcloth and ashes — two things we don’t... Read More
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