So far today I've read the scripture passages for April 27 and 28.
Picking up my Daily Devotional Bible, I knew what was coming (and maybe that's why I was putting it off a little): Job. Not exactly uplifting material. Very real life.
I saw something today that I hadn't noticed before. (If you have, please smile knowingly as I share my "discovery.")
You know the story of Job - super good guy, considered "the finest man in all the earth- a man of complete integrity" by the Lord Himself. Satan assumes Job is this way because of all the blessing he has received from the Lord, so God allows Satan to take away everything - everything - except Job's life. Job is obviously very shaken by this turn of events but never curses God...questions, yes, but never curses.
But what I noticed today was a certain longing that Job expressed as he sat with his friends and they tried to counsel and comfort him. Two times (in the 14 chapters I've read so far!) Job speaks in "if only" terms that seem to point to someone he didn't know - Jesus.
In chapter 9, Job addresses his buddy Bildad, reminding him of how awesome and in control God is. At the end of the chapter, you can almost see his gaze change from looking into the face of his friend, to looking far off - maybe to the sky - as he wonders aloud:
"If only there were a mediator who could bring us [God and people] together, but there is none." (v33)
Did a scripture just pop into your mind?
"For there is one God and one mediator
between God and mankind,
the man Christ Jesus."
1 Timothy 2:5
Later in chapter 14, Job laments that life is all there is - he assumes there is nothing after the last breath.
"If mortals die, can they live again? This thought would give me hope, and through my struggle I would eagerly wait for release. You would call and I would answer, and you would yearn for me, your handiwork. For then you would count my steps, instead of watching for my sins. My sins would be sealed in a pouch, and you would cover over my iniquity."
He dreams of time where His sins are covered and His relationship with God is clean.
"We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place
by the blood of Jesus...
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
and with the full assurance that faith brings,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us
from a guilty conscience and
having our bodies washed with pure water."
He dreams of restoration and newness that we know comes when God fulfills His promise of a new heaven and new earth...all because of the finished work of Jesus.
And I couldn't help but imagine the look on Job's face when he got to heaven, after a life devoted to God in good times and very difficult times. I picture the Father pointing to His Son, and imagine Job's face as he looked into the eyes of Jesus. Can you just see the slow recognition, as the bigger picture came into view? Don't your eyes burn with tears as you envision Job, his own tears streaming down his face as he slowly falls to his knees in worship. I imagine I can hear his voice whisper through his tears, "thank you. thank you. thank you."
For he now knows it was Jesus all along. Jesus was the Hope, the Mediator, the Plan.
Take the whisper with you all day long: thank you.