Answers from Job's Quandary
Questions like the following:
Why do good people suffer?
Why do problems seem to pile on?
Who can really know the pain that I am experiencing?
Why is it that our friends’ censure hurts the most?
Is there an antidote for all of my guilt?
Why are people disgusted at the sight of pain?
Can I hold on to reverent love of God whatever the extent of my pain?
Is God to blame for suffering?
Will there ever be a recompense for injustice?
Will I rise from the grave?
Am I to anticipate a blessed after-life?
Are all mortals bound to disappoint a Holy God?
Could I ever argue my case before Him?
Is there an Advocate for me in this struggle anywhere?
As I was drawn toward the Gospel invitation in 1982 (and after extensive church involvement, I might add, but involvement in form only), I was touched by many of the things that I read in the account of Job. The Book is perhaps the oldest book in the entire Bible. It is thought that if the Moses-Exodus event had already occurred there would have been some reference to it by Job.
As a young lawyer at the time I paid particular attention to the comments of Elihu, youngest of Job’s critics, and the one comment of Job’s suggesting the possibility of an advocate (daysman) someday before God, offering the chance of pardon for sin and unbelief, and recompense for injustice.
See his comments in the 9th chapter:
29If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
30If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
31Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
32For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.
33Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
34Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
35Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
Hear Elihu’s foreshadowing in the 33rd:
14For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
15In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
16Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
17That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
18He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
19He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
20So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
21His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
23If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
24Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
25His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:
26He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
All of this really got my attention; but it wasn’t just logic; it wasn’t just need. It was the Holy Ghost, “the Hound-dog of Heaven”. I was being drawn to God through Christ for reasons known only to Omniscience. I shall praise and thank Him forever, knowing full well of this “beggar’s lot”.