"He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together." Job 9:32-33
The book of Job is the story of a good man who suffered. And people study it to answer the question: why do bad things happen to good people? But there's another theme in the book of Job that answers another question. Not only why do bad things happen to good people, but how can good things happen to bad people?
Look in Job 9:1-2: "Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?" That is a big question, isn't it? How can sinners such as we be just and righteous and holy with God?
The Problem Presented
Man is a sinner. He's a sinner by birth, by nature, by choice, by practice, and by habit. Behavioral psychologists try to explain away sin by saying man is ill not evil, man is sick not sinful, or man is weak not wicked. But that's not what the Bible says. Romans 3:23 states, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." We can try to explain it away by environment or glands, but the Bible clearly calls it sin.
But not only is man sinful; God is holy. If I had to give one word to describe God, contrary to popular opinion, it would not be love; it would be holy. In Job 9:30, Job says, "If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; Yet shalt Thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me." That is, "God, if I do the very best I can in self reformation, if I get the purest water and scrub myself from head to toe; yet you see me wallowing in the gutter. You see me as I really am."
So how can a holy God and sinful man come together? How can man be just with God? Man cannot lift himself to God because man is sinful, and God will not lower Himself to man because God is holy. Now that's a problem!
Job's Longing for a Savior
So Job asks his big question. Job 9:1-3: "Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with Him, he cannot answer Him one of a thousand." He said, "I can't answer one out of every thousand questions God asks me. He's God! I'm a man."
And then in verse thirty-two he longs for an answer; he says, "For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." Now if you have a different translation you may read the word umpire, middleman, arbiter, or mediator instead of daysman. I prefer the word mediator. "And neither is there any mediator between us that he might lay his hand upon us both." Job was saying, "Oh God, You are holy; I am sinful. I need You. God, I can't argue with You. If you bring me into court, I can't answer one of a thousand questions. I'm a sinner. I need somebody to go between. I need somebody to bring me to You. I need somebody who can lay his hands upon us both. I need an arbiter. I need a middleman. I need a daysman. I need a mediator."
A Mediator Found
Do you know Who he was crying for? Do you know Who he was longing for? First Timothy 2:5-6. "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all …" Job, centuries before the birth of the Messiah, knew he was in need of a Savior, a Mediator; and he longed for Jesus.
And since Jesus is both God and man at the same time, He became the Mediator. The God man builds a bridge between God and man, and that bridge is made of the rough hewn timbers of the cross. There is one God and one Mediator between God and men - Himself a Man - the Christ Jesus Who gave Himself a ransom for all. How can man be just with God? His name is Jesus.