Read: Job Chapter Sixteen
"Surely even now my witness is in heaven,
and my evidence is on high.
My friends scorn me;
my eyes pour out tears to God."
(Job 16:19, 20)
It seemed that the more Job's friends talked the worse things got. Instead of providing the required remedy to soothe his afflictions and calm his complaints, every word they uttered proved to be a deadly prescription for inflicting further pain and increasing his misery. "Miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:2b). Job attempted to instruct them in the proper way to counsel and comfort a friend in need, but they had already drawn their own conclusions and judged his case for themselves. As far as they were concerned, Job was guilty, and this case was closed! So any word he spoke would only serve to incriminate him even further, and if he remained silent, well, that was simply an admission of guilt. His friends twisted all his words and left poor Job tied up in knots, but what pained him the most was that, rather than rescuing him from his abusers, it seemed God had purposely placed him into their hands. "They gape at me with their mouth, they strike me reproachfully on the cheek, they gather together against me. God has delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over to the hands of the wicked" (Job 16:10, 11). Job had no idea that God had already reviewed his case in the high court of heaven, and had issued a verdict of "Not guilty!" Nor did he know that his life was being used to paint a intricate portrait of the innocent Lamb who would be delivered into the hands of wicked men to be tortured and crucified, so that a world of dying criminals could receive a verdict of "not guilty!" and be set free from an eternity of suffering (Acts 2:23, 24). "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17)! All Job knew was his own pain and suffering, and that there was no one around to help him, so he made his appeal to God with fasting and weeping, and sackcloth and ashes. "I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, and laid my head in the dust. My face is flushed from weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; although no violence is in my hands, and my prayer is pure" (Job 16:15-17). Job poured out his heart to that great "Witness in heaven" (v. 19), who knew the truth about his case and would surely vindicate him and clear his name! This faithful Intercessor and heavenly Advocate who is there to help us in times of trial and testing is Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain! "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Romans 8:33, 34). Beloved suffering saint, you are not alone in your hour of greatest need, you have an ever-present Intercessor in heaven who calls for you to come to Him with your heavy burden and anguished heart, so that He can give you His all-sufficient grace and perfect peace, and provide rest for your weary soul. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
"Hear me, O LORD,
for Your lovingkindness is good;
turn to me according to the multitude
of Your tender mercies.
And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
for I am in trouble; hear me speedily.
Draw near to my soul, and redeem it;
deliver me because of my enemies.
You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor;
my adversaries are all before You.
Reproach has broken my heart,
and I am full of heaviness;
I looked for someone to take pity,
but there was none;
and for comforters, but I found none.
They also gave me gall for my food,
and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
I am poor and sorrowful;
let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
The humble shall see this and be glad;
and you who seek God, your hearts shall live."
(Psalm 69:16-21, 29-30, 32)