Scripture: Job 9:1-15; 32-35
Key verses: (5-7, 15, 33) 5he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger; 6who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; 7who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
15Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
33There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
Reflection: Job is grieving. Earlier in the book, Job suddenly lost his oxen, donkeys, camels, sheep, and servants, his children, and his house. Every person and possession is gone except his wife. Job has no idea what to do with these challenges, particularly as there is a sense that Job did not sin. While he and his family partied every night, Job gave offerings to God every morning; the narrator even states Job did not sin with his lips. The theme of disinterested righteousness is clear. If I sacrifice to God every day, I can do what I want every evening.
Job is wrestling with his grief and wants to sue God. He recognizes this is nearly impossible as God is plaintiff, judge, and prosecuting attorney. Job raises the question: can mortals be righteous before God?
The passage refers to God as the divine warrior shaking the earth, having reign over the sun and stars, stretching the heavens and commanding the sea. These actions are examples of God’s righteous judgement and a parallel to how God trampled evil in the ancient world.
Job ends up looking for a mediator between him and God; a mediator between disinterested righteousness and righteous judgement. Job eventually recognizes he can have no justice before God. In a courtroom, God is on all sides: defense lawyer, plaintiff attorney, and judge.
The passage invites us to communicate with God, be angry with God, and even want to sue God when life does not go our way. It tells us to remember God is our creator, sustainer, and redeemer. God created the heavens and earth and the waters and the sky, and is the ultimate mediator. We must look to God for justice.
Prayer: Divine warrior, we are grateful for your creation of the heavens and earth and waters and sky. We ask for forgiveness when we take on a righteousness we do not deserve. We are grateful that we can turn to you when life is not going our way, be angry, and even want to sue you. Through this, we recognize that you are the ultimate judge, attorney, and mediator. Be with us as we continue to wrestle with our righteousness. Amen.
Author: Amy Speas
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].