COMFORT 2 COMFORT
Job 13:3 ‘Oh, how I long to speak directly to the Almighty, I want to talk this over with God Himself! The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible, and here we see at one of the earliest points of Bible history a situation where a man desperately wants to have a one to one with God Himself! Job knew and understood that God was a Spirit and so he couldn’t have a face to face with his maker, but he longed to. So Job had to make do with three friends to comfort him! However, they were the cold comforters I spoke about yesterday, full of pious platitudes and empty emotions.
What Job wanted was God to be there in the flesh, to feel how it felt to be human, to know suffering, pain, sorrow, disappointment, rejection, abandonment and the full caboodle of human afflictions! But how could the perfect Almighty King and maker of heaven and earth ever know what it was like to be human, and so Job I guess lashes out at God. Thing is, 2000 years ago, God did just that; He took on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ! A child was born [Jesus]; the Son [Christos] was given. God felt the whole scale of human anguish and sufferings, joys and happiness. Then on the cross, Jesus experienced the full horrors of pain, sin, depravity and loneliness, and therefore the writer to the Hebrews could say, “This Great High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, since He had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave in to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” [Hebrews 4:15-16]
And now, through the Holy Spirit who is [the Comforter/Counsellor] we continue to receive all we need as though Jesus Himself were still here in the flesh, but through His Spirit! The Greek word ‘Parakletos’ [comforter] literally means an exact representation of Jesus Himself! So, although God the Father is still in heaven, and Christ Jesus is now sat at the Father’s right hand in heaven, yet we are not left comfortless or bereft of help. The Holy Spirit is to us what Jesus was to His disciples, always there, never to forsake or abandon us. And we have been given the great privilege of taking that comfort to the comfortless.
PRAYER Merciful heavenly Father God. I thank you that though it was tough for your servant Job, yet in the end you comforted him, and though he never got his wish to see you face to face in his flesh, yet when he passed on he would have seen you face to face. But we thank you that you did take on flesh and you now know completely what it is like to be human. Thank you for all the ways you have comforted me. Amen.