The Steadfast and Trustworthy Love of God

Job 9:32-35 (NIV):

[God] is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, 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.

My initial reaction to this was, “Just wait, Job; just wait. Your Mediator is coming” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Then I thought about what this suggests about God. The fact is, even under the Old Covenant, God calls humans to reason with him and come away washed white as snow! (Isa. 1:16-20). Later, when Job does get to confront God, without a mediator, yes, God frightens Job with terror, but concludes by justifying him. In chapter 42, Job—in terror—repents in dust and ashes (though he did not have to go get dust and ashes; he was already in the ashes.) God says no more to him, but rebukes his “comforters” and tells them Job has said what is right.

The point is that Job had audience with God without a mediator and came away justified. He got what God offers in Isaiah 1:16-19. Later, God used Job (along with Noah and Daniel) as an example of righteousness (Ezek. 14:14,20).

I am not saying that we do not need a Mediator. I run to that Mediator because I want to be among the saved who know the truth (1 Tim. 2:4-5). I have confident access to the throne of grace because of faith in the Mediator (Eph. 3:12; Heb. 4:16). When I am there, he is always at my side (1 Jn. 2:1-2).

What I am saying is that God’s character is often misrepresented. He is portrayed as unmerciful and harsh under the Old Covenant when, in fact, the Bible teaches from the beginning that he is merciful and kind, punishing only the guilty (Ex. 34:6-7). This is every bit as true under the New Covenant (Gal. 6:7-8). Even as Jeremiah mourned the just and forewarned destruction of Jerusalem, he announced, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23).

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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9 Responses to The Steadfast and Trustworthy Love of God

  1. Do you have any take on what on earth the Leviathan is supposed to be in ch41?

    • Paul Pavao says:

      I did not start on January 1 like you probably did, but I read ahead this morning, so I did read about Leviathan. My answer is no, I was puzzled. It sounded like a sea creature, and some have proposed it is the kraken (sp?), which people speculate is actually a giant squid. But it runs its belly through the mud. Behemoth, I think, could be a crocodile, but Leviathan sounds more like a dragon as far as its scales go. The reference to the belly in the mud might just be because of dragons being serpents. Someone suggested to me recently that sightings of dragons may have been spiritual manifestations by the devil or his demons. Obviously, I’m puzzled too. I do hold out the possibility that it could be a fictional beast, known only by rumor. I know the author put those words in God’s mouth, but what else is an author of a story like that supposed to do? He is telling a story about Job, obviously because he had a lot to teach. Thus he uses Job, Job’s “friends,” Elihu, and God to get the teachings across that we wants to teach. The Jews saved this book as representing true teaching from God, not necessarily real words from God.

      • Thanks. My wife and I listen through to the daily reading together, and it was her who exclaimed “that’s a dragon”!

        You made some really interesting comments at the end there related to story of Job and biblical inspiration. I can’t quite figure out exactly what I believe when it comes to how biblical inspiration works. I am not comfortable with the term “inerrancy” , but neither do I have much time for progressive positions on it that lead to large sections being dismissed.

        N.T. Wright’s “Scripture & the Authority of God” is probably the approach I most resonate with that I’ve encountered so far.

        • Paul Pavao says:

          Well, I sure hope I’m not dismissing large sections of Scripture! I am suggesting, though, that Leviathan might be a mythical beast. In the end, that is certainly as good a position, by any definition, as “no one knows,” LOL.

  2. Paul Pavao says:

    Yeah, this year I am going to go through the chronological reading plan on the YouVersion Bible app. I think it is based on the Blue Letter Bible.

  3. I read that Job bit today too – are you following a particular plan?

    Jon B

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