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"If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none."(NLT)
Job 16:21 (NLT) "Oh, that someone would mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends."
In Thompson, Manitoba, Judy Inder is scrambling to find daycare for her grandson, whose daycare center closed abruptly, giving her only 24-hour notice. Inder, the guardian for her grandson pieced together childcare that includes the boy's father, a paid babysitter and a friend. Her patchwork plan is good for one week, but then Inder doesn't know what she is going to do.
Inder isn't alone. Seventy families are without daycare for their children because of the center's closure due a dispute between management and the workers. According to Donna Hopkins, a spokesperson for management, they are paying "90 percent [of revenues] in wages and benefits, which only leaves 10 percent to operate the centre (sic)..."
The conflict has escalated to the point that management has locked out the workers it looks like further negotiations have stalled until they can find a mediator to help bring the two sides together. (http://winnipeg.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=mb_daycare20040302)
I've been there, haven't you? There have been times when I needed a mediator to help me and someone else get past a problem that was gridlocking our relationship. Though I can't think of many examples where I've needed one in adulthood, can remember many times that my Mother mediated a dispute between me and a sibling. Sometimes she assigned blame, but most of the times, she simply helped us get past our problem to enable reconciliation. Of course, I don't mean to trivialize the problems the good people in British Columbia are having by comparing it to a childhood squabble, but I do know from experience that there are times in life when mediators are necessary.
So did Job.
Job's problem was much more severe that the one's I'm referencing this morning. His argument wasn't with a sibling or with his work-his problem was with God. The common theology in his day was that God played favorites with his creation. He prospered those who honored Him and zapped those who didn't. Because Job lived righteously all his life, he couldn't understand why God wasn't shining His favor on him. Or more to the point, why God was doing quite the opposite. It appeared that God had turned His back on Job all together.
Having read the end of the story, we know Job's suffering was bringing glory to God and was serving an eternal purpose. Yet, even though he didn't know the purpose, Job remained faithful to God. God wasn't picking on Job or punishing him, but God was allowing Job to suffer to prove to Satan that Job's righteousness wasn't connected to God's blessings. In other words, even if God removed His outward blessings from him, Job wouldn't forsake God.
Yet, at this point in the story, Job felt forsaken. Job wanted to have
his hearing before God. He wanted to make the point that he was living
righteously, and if he was wrong, he wanted God to tell him he was wrong.