Job 9:25-26 (NIV) 25 “My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy. 26 They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey.
On verses 25-26: For a lot of people, when they are in pain, time moves very slowly – minutes feel like hours, days feel like months, and months feel like years. So why is it that Job, who is in great pain, says, “My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away” (v25). I believe that is because Job has gone from the prime of his life to nearing his death so quickly. For Job, it’s as if decades have passed in just a few days.
Job 9:27-28 (NIV) 27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,’ 28 I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
On verses 27-28: For Job, trying to cheer himself up and choosing to be joyful is little use when he believes that in the end, God is going to punish him for his sin (v27-28).
What can we learn from this? It helps to know how your story ends. When you believe your story has an unhappy ending, it is difficult to smile and enjoy the moment. But if you have Christ in your life, you know that your story has a great ending (i.e. we will be with God in heaven in a place where there is no more suffering, sickness, or shame). Thus you can have joy even in your darkest moment. As a follower of Jesus, you can smile even in dark days because you’ve been given a spoiler alert on how your story ends, and it is a good ending.
Job 9:29-31 (NIV) 29 Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain? 30 Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with washing soda, 31 you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me.
On verses 29-30: Job wonders what good it is for him to try to live a blameless life, since he believes God will find a way to condemn him as guilty anyway (v29-31).
What can we learn from this? How you think God sees you determines your joy and motivation for living. If like Job you believe that no matter how hard you try God will still condemn you as guilty, you will soon give up trying. But if you believe God’s Word that those who trust in Jesus are declared righteous in God’s sight, you can mess up today and still have hope for tomorrow.
Praise God that God does not plunge us into a slime pit as Job feared (v31) such that we would become dirty no matter how hard we previously tried to be clean. Instead God plunges us into the blood of His Son so that no matter how many times we mess up we are still clean and acceptable in His sight.
Job 9:32-35 (NIV) 32 “He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. 33 If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, 34 someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. 35 Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
On verses 32-35: Job longs for someone to be a mediator between him and God, someone who could stand in the middle and help reconcile God and Job to one another. Praise God that we do have such a mediator. His name is Jesus Christ. Human like Job but also divine in nature, Jesus was the one who laid His hand on both the Father and us and bridged the two once warring parties together (v33). Through his suffering on the cross, Jesus removed “God’s rod” of punishment from us so that His terror would frighten us no more (v34). Because Jesus is our mediator, we can approach God and “speak up without fear of Him” (v35).
Heavenly Father, thank You that because of Jesus I know my story has a great ending. Therefore, no matter how difficult a situation I am in today, I know that the best is yet to come. Thank You that in Jesus Christ we have the mediator that Job was looking for. And thank You that You plunged me and washed me in the blood of Jesus so that no matter how I mess up, You are still with me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!