Summary: Since Job can’t find someone to mediate his case with God, he decides to appeal to the Judge. He says, tell me why or let me die. He’s tired of the false witnesses (his friends).
Title: Job Appeals to the Judge.
Text: Job 9.32-14.14
Series: Job: The Mystery of Suffering (Job)
Raymond Maurer, New Life Christian Church, Wixom, MI
www.NewLifeWithGod.com. E-mail me if you would like the Power Point Slides (Ray@NewLifeWithGod.com).
Did you hear about the woman who accidentally glued herself to the floor this week in West Virginia? “Joyce Stewart sat in her robe at the head of her kitchen table as she drank her morning coffee while visiting with relatives. While seated, she lifted her heel up and applied a liquid bandage product to the back of her foot. She didn’t realize that the liquid had also dripped to the bottom of her foot before she relaxed her foot on the floor.
When her grandson came in and asked for pancakes she tried to get up and laughed when she discovered her foot was stuck. All of her relatives were laughing until they could not get her loose. She tried to free herself with a knife, until her foot started to bleed. Paramedics worked with Q-tips and baby oil for more than an hour to get Stewart’s foot free. She was thankful that it happened when company was over. She lives alone and couldn’t imagine the thought of being ‘glued to the floor for days.’
Stewart is expecting a full recovery, but it may take her pride a bit longer to heal. She said, ‘I was embarrassed…I was still in my robe.’ Representatives from 3M have extended an offer to pay for any medical expenses. Although the package states that the product runs easily and sets quickly, it doesn’t warn against gluing your body parts to the floor or anything else”
(Edited from Misty Higgins, The Journal, Martinsburg, WV. 7/21/2004, journal-news.net).
In our sue-happy culture, many immediately think that Joyce Stewart has excellent grounds for a lawsuit. Some would say this company should be held accountable for the products it produces. Job has the exact same mindset. Job has been stuck and his family and friends have been of no help in getting him free. So in our text today he again appeals to God. But this time he takes it a step further, he wants to take God to court.
Thus far in the book of Job we’re seen that God is all-powerful. Satan can only cause suffering that God allows. We tacked a few questions:
• Can I prevent suffering? No, even the righteous suffer.
• How should I respond to suffering? Expect it. Be honest about the pain and live by faith and God’s power.
Worship while you mourn. Maintain your integrity and surround yourself with supportive friends.
• How do I overcome bitterness? Understand how it destroys us; Adjust my expectations; Help others in who are in need; Appeal to God for help
• How do I overcome anger? Accept anger as a normal emotion. Beware of an incomplete perspective. Confess my anger to prevent sin. Put your arms around Jesus
Throughout this series we’re seeing that there is always a Mystery to Suffering. We want answers. When God finally answers Job and his friends, God makes it clear that Job will not understand all of the mysteries of suffering…at least on this side of eternity. Today, Job basically says to God, Tell me why or let me die.
The only place to force someone to speak to you is in court…so Job says, I want to see God in court.
JOB’S REQUEST FOR A HEARING BEFORE GOD
Job says, God and I are not equals; I can’t bring a case against him. We’ll never enter a courtroom as peers. How I wish we had an arbitrator to step in and let me get on with life – To break God’s death grip on me, to free me from this terror so I could breathe again. Then I’d speak up and state my case boldly. As things stand, there is no way I can do it (Job 9.32-35, Message).
“The problem with a legal confrontation with God is that the two parties cannot be on the same level.” God is not a man like Job. Job cannot imagine having an ordinary conversation with God. “What Job needs is an arbitrator” (DA Carson Ed. New Bible Commentary, IVP, 1994).
In the East there were people who helped with this when two people were in a dispute. The “daysman” would “act as umpire” he had “the…authority to set the day when competing parties come together to settle their dispute. In the East, the “daysman” put his hands on the heads of the two disputing parties to remind them that he was the one with the authority to settle the question. Job longed for somebody who could do this for him and God (Warren Wiersbe, Be Patient. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991, 1996).