|Why couldn't Job find a mediator when he knew about the Redeemer?|
In one of my daily devotional readings, the main scripture cited was Job 9:32-33. The conclusion was made that Job did indeed have an advocate, an intercessor between him and God, just as we do, in the person of Jesus Christ.
I am confused by that, and my questions is this...why did Job state that there was no one to act as a daysman (advocate) between him and God if there actually was such an advocate? How could Job know about this advocate and if he did, why would Job not call upon Him?
There is plenty of evidence of Jesus in the OT, but is there evidence that Jesus advocated for man even before coming to the earth as a substitutionary sacrifice for man's sin, to pay our debt once and for all? If so, could Job have known about Him? Is this a question of chronology or of the lack of oral or written evidence to which Job had access, or perhaps was it a lack of seeking knowledge on Job's part?
I am confused why the devotional would state that Job had the same advocate as we do, if he either did not know or knew and did not call upon Him. Can you help with this?
This is a very insightful question. It seems that Job was either saying that no mediator existed among men to help or perhaps that the type of mediator he was talking about is different than the mediator that we normally think of in the person of Christ.
Here are some comments from Alber Barnes Notes on the Bible that are an answer to your observation...Job 9:33
Neither is there any daysman - Margin, One that should argue, or, umpire. The word daysman in English means ” “an umpire or arbiter, a mediator.”
The word as used by Job does not mean mediator, but arbiter, umpire, or judge; one before whom the cause might be tried, who could lay the hand of restraint on either party. who could confine the pleadings within proper bounds, who could preserve the parties within the limits of order and propriety, and who had power to determine the question at issue. Job complains that there could be no such tribunal. He feels that God was so great that the cause could be referred to no other, and that he had no prospect of success in the unequal contest. It does not appear, therefore, that he desired a mediator, in the sense in which we understand that word - one who shall come between us and God, and manage our cause before him, and be our advocate at his bar. He rather says that there was no one above God, or no umpire uninterested in the controversy, before whom the cause could be argued, and who would be competent to decide the matter in issue between him and his Maker. He had no hope, therefore, in a cause where one of the parties was to be the judge, and where that party was omnipotent; and he must give up the cause in despair.
It is not with strict propriety that this language is ever applied to the Lord Jesus, the great Mediator between God and man. He is not an umpire to settle a dispute, in the sense in which Job understood it; he is not an arbiter, to whom the cause in dispute between man and his Maker is to be referred; he is not a judge to listen to the arguments of the respective parties, and to decide the controversy. He is a mediator between us and God, to make it proper or possible that God should be reconciled to the guilty, and to propose to man the terms of reconciliation; to plead our cause before God, and to communicate to us the favors which he proposes to bestow on man.
That might lay his hand upon us both - It is not improbable that this may refer to some ancient ceremony in courts where, for some cause, the umpire or arbiter laid his hand on both the parties. Or, it may mean merely that the umpire had the power of control over both the parties; that it was his office to restrain them within proper limits, to check any improper expressions, and to see that the argument was fairly conducted on both sides. The meaning of the whole here is, that if there were such an umpire, Job would be willing to argue the cause. As it was, it was a hopeless thing, and he could do nothing more than to be silent. That there was irreverence in this language must be admitted; but it is language taken from courts of law, and the substance of it is, that Job could not hope to maintain his cause before one so great and powerful as God.
---- follow up comment
I did find this very thought provoking and helpful! I do see that what Job said showed an incomplete understanding of Who God really is...and his language not only revealed that, but I can see where it would be offensive to God. What I took away from this is that there is no one above God who could ever have plead Job's case. He, as we, actually have no case, no matter what Job thought, no matter what we think. God is God and no one decides His judgements for Him. He and He alone makes the ultimate judgement. Even Jesus, fully God, could not make a judgement on the Father. Jesus interceded for us with God, but in He did not mediate as such. God, in His sovereign mercy, pardoned us, albeit at great cost to Himself, but the terms were unilateral. We do not "make a deal" with God in the sense that God concedes to any of our terms. The terms are presented to us by the One who has power over life and death and it is for us to concede, or rather surrender, to His terms. For those of us whose name is written in the Lamb's book of Life, the handwriting is that of God, not ours.
Shad David Sluiter
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