In Job 33:23-26, Job longs for a mediator, not knowing that God had made plans for just such a thing. But Elihu put Job’s longing into words:
23 But if an angel from Heaven appears – a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright – 24 He will be gracious and say, “Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.” 25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s, firm and youthful again. 26 When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. (NLT)
Job knew what mankind needed: a mediator between God and man. He also knew he didn’t have one. His only recourse, as he saw it, was to plead his case before God on his own. And he knew it would end with him being declared, “Guilty!”
He had no personal relationship with God; no redeemer; no mediator; and no hope. So he accused God of injustice. He complained bitterly about it. He didn’t know any better. He was ignorant (not stupid). It means he had a lack of knowledge, a lack of facts. He was ignorant of God’s nature.
But he knew a mediator, a redeemer, a savior, would be able to rescue him from God’s wrath and return him to right standing with God. As a result, he would have his health restored and be received with joy by God. Elihu was young, but wise. He prophesied about Jesus, the coming Savior, although he wasn’t aware he did so. That is amazing to me how he could know a mediator would save him!
God came to Job to correct his ignorance. After God finished speaking, Job says in chapter 42, 3 You asked, “Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?” It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me… 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.
7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about Me as My servant Job has. 8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has… 10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.
Job’s friends assumed troubles only come because people sin and have evil in their hearts.
In my final article on Job, I will address the issue of sickness being sent to try us.