Job, in his terror, longs for a mediator, one who will state his case to God. Job cries out, “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay His hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that His terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of Him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” (Job 9:33-35)
Job wisely asks, “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” (Job 14:4) And, he just as wisely answers, “No one!” (Job 14:4) Because Job despairs yet hopes, he begs: “If only You would hide me in the grave and conceal me till Your anger has passed! If only You would set me a time and then remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service, I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer You; You will long for the creature Your hands have made. Surely then You will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed in a bag; You will cover over my sin.” (Job 14:13-17)
What Job hopes, Paul confirms: “God our Savior…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4) Here, Paul shows that Job’s prayer is answered. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Job’s sins are finally “covered over” and “sealed in a bag.” God’s “anger has passed!” Job is indeed “remembered;” his “renewal comes” and “he lives again.”
“O Lord, turn us back to thyself, and we will come back.”
I like to fish. I love the first tug of the line; the sudden pulling away in panicked flight, the sneaky coming back at me, the leaping fight as the fish struggles to be free. I love feeling, smelling, and seeing the beauty of the fish I eventually catch.
Sometimes, I imagine myself as a fish on God’s line — He’s certainly got a hook in me. Yep, I took the bait. And His hook is quite secure. Oddly enough, most of the time, it does not hurt. I’m not even bleeding. Occasionally, I swim in circles. Other times, I swim away. Not as much now as I did when I was younger in the Lord.
God’s a skillful fisherman. For one thing, He knows exactly where I am and what I am thinking. He knows my feeble plans; He understands my little heart. He knows when to give me slack in His line; and when to pull hard to “turn [me] back.” I “[do] come back.”
God knows the fish he has caught — every flaw and the trophy I can be.