Poor Job! Without any justification, God seems to have turned against him. His peaceful, happy life is in ruins, and he does not know why. He thought that he knew where he was with God; but evidently he was horribly, tragically wrong. And he cannot simply go to God and demand an explanation, because it is impossible to corner God or pin Him down. He is not on our level, nor even in our world, but somewhere ‘out there’ – inaccessible and unapproachable. Like the rest of us, Job has no personal ‘hotline’ to God; he prays constantly, almost frantically, but gets no ‘voice from heaven’ in reply. If God is there at all, is He an angry and cruel God? Or is He simply remote and uncaring?
“If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together!” (Job 9:33) What Job needs is someone to penetrate the mysterious depths of God, to bridge the gulf between them, to shield him from God’s terrifying anger, to open a channel of communication, and to bring them to some kind of mutual understanding. No mortal can do this for him, because all human beings are in the same boat as he is. God is not ‘one of us’, and we cannot approach Him on equal terms. What is required is someone with, as it were, a foot in each camp – someone who is ‘at home’ both in heaven and on earth, and who can speak with authority to both sides in the dispute.
The patriarch Jacob once had a vision in which he saw a ladder linking heaven and earth (Genesis 28:10-12). Nearly 2000 years later, Jesus referred to this vision when He told one of His disciples, “You will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51) As God become Man, He is the only One able to close the gap between man and God (I Timothy 2:5). And it is because of Him that Christians are assured that our prayers are not just going ‘into thin air’ but will be heard by our Father. “Therefore, brothers and sisters… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and the full assurance that faith brings.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)