READ: Job 7-9, Psalm 2, Luke 19, Revelation 3


Our best righteousness is perverse before God. Job understood this: “Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). Job’s friends point out his anguish is due to his sin. On the one hand Job agrees, yet in despair points out that no can be blameless before the Lord. There is a touch of pre-Calvary hopelessness, or better said a-Calvary darkness. Though Job concedes that man cannot be righteous before God, something in his spirit reaches for the cross.

Though on this side, post-Calvary, we see more clearly, our spirits likewise reach for the cross. We, too, know that we cannot make ourselves good, and that man–at his height–is still perverse before God. We have but one line to stutter before the judgment throne.

          I have no other argument, I have no other plea.
          It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

Job knew it, even if he could not quite see the solution as we can. Job knew that God was the only hope for man’s salvation. If God wants to find fault with man, He certainly will. Job astutely points out: “If it is a matter of strength, indeed He is strong. And if justice, who will appoint my day in court” (v. 19)? It is not as though we have a case to make. It is not as if we can take on God’s legal system with any hope of winning. We don’t even belong in the same universe together–much less be equal adversaries in a court of law. “He is not a man as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together” (v. 32).

And so we find ourselves like Job: grasping. Job sensed deep in his soul what has been so graciously revealed to us. The most perfect of men is most vile before a holy God, and if God wants to pick a fight with us, it is no contest. Job, however, did not have the luxury of seeing a mediator (v. 33). We sing back to him (and in doing so, sing to ourselves). We sing not from pride but from mutual timeless relief, for God has introduced an unexpected deliverer into humanity’s hopeless case. We were alone in the dock, the gavel descending to pound out our deserved sentence of death, when the courtroom doors burst open and an unexpected Savior exploded into the room.

The watching cosmos falls quiet, and we who are forensically guilty fall on our knees and whisper, “For my pardon this my plea: Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

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