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"If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there
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
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
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.
Job knew he couldn't drag God into court to settle the matter. In Job
9:19 he said, "If it is a matter of power, behold, He is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him?" (NASB)
Job felt helpless because there was no arena where he would be on an
equal footing with God. There is no place where God wouldn't be more powerful
and more righteous than Job.
For that reason, Job cried out for a mediator. "Oh, that someone would
mediate between God and me," Job cried out, "as a person mediates between
friends." Job 16:21 (NLT) He longed for someone to serve as a "go between"
with him and God.
To some degree, that was the role of the priests. They made sacrifices
for the sins of the people and asked God to forgive their sins. But Job
didn't need a priest who would talk about his sins to God-he needed someone
who could talk about his righteousness to God and could interpret God's
actions to him.
There were times when Moses mediated between the people and God. According
to Psalm 106:23, Moses turned God's wrath away from His people. (NASB)
"Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen
one stood in the breach before Him, To turn away His wrath from destroying
them." This Psalms is in reference to the day Moses descended from the
mountain holding the two tablets on which God inscribed the Ten Commandments.
While Moses was communing with God, Aaron led the people to make a golden
calf out of the jewelry they brought out of Egypt. God knew of their sin,
and told Moses to go down from the mountain to the people because He was
going to destroy them and make a great nation out of him instead of them.
In Exodus 32:11-14, Moses mediated between God and the people. Let's read
the passage from the New Living Translation. "But Moses pleaded with the
Lord his God not to do it. 'O Lord!' he exclaimed. 'Why are you so angry
with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such
great power and mighty acts?  The Egyptians will say, 'God tricked
them into coming to the mountains so he could kill them and wipe them from
the face of the earth.' Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind
about this terrible disaster you are planning against your people! 
Remember your covenant with your servants--Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You
swore by your own self, 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the
stars of heaven. Yes, I will give them all of this land that I have promised
to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.'  So the Lord
withdrew his threat and didn't bring against his people the disaster he
Job longed for a mediator who would plead his case before God like Moses
pleaded on behalf of Israel. But he didn't find one, and would not in his
lifetime. But we have one. 1 Peter 3:18 says, "For Christ also died for
sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring
us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the
spirit;" (NASB) Sin had separated us from God, leaving a gap between us.
At Calvary Jesus bridged the gap between us and God, making a way possible
for us to be reconciled to God. Not only did he pay the price for our sins,
as we've discussed in previous weeks, He also became our mediator 1 Tim.
2:5-6 says, "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the
testimony borne at the proper time." (NASB) Or another way to put it, He
became our "advocate with the Father." 1 John 2:1-2 says, "My little children,
I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins,
we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;  and
He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but
also for those of the whole world." (NASB)
Think about the closing argument our Mediator makes on our behalf. He
doesn't tout our righteousness or innocence, but His. "Father," He will
say. "Today, Jim Wilson stands before you. I will agree with you that he
is a wicked sinner, deserving of hell, but I've come before the throne
to plead his case on his behalf. Yes, he is a wicked sinner, but as you
knew before the foundation of the world, he accepted me as his Savior and
has surrendered his life to me to be his Lord. Therefore, not only should
he receive for a full pardon for his sins, but he should recognized as
your son and be treated as you treat me."
John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right
to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," (NASB)
Just as I know that Jesus will mediate for me, I also know that He will
for you too, if you believe on His name. And you too can have the right
to be called a child of God.
Jesus will mediate for you, if you will only ask Him to. Won't you pray
with me now? With a simple prayer, tell Him that you've sinned and that
you're sorry for you sins. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to take
them away from you. Tell Him you'll live the rest of your life for Him
and that you'll serve Him until your dying day. Tell Him that you are willing
to exchange your life for His death. Ask Him to save you.