Job began his third monologue by affirming the truth of the words of Eliphaz and Bildad concerning mankind's lack of righteousness before God (4:17). Bildad had spoken about the justice of God (8:3, 20), which led Job to ponder the notion of taking his case before God in a court of law, pleading innocence, and begging for mercy before the Judge. A great problem for Job, however, was that he considered the Judge (God) to also be the plaintiff, who had risen against him without cause and was much greater in strength than himself. Job was the hopeless defendant. Even if he were the most righteous man (which the Lord had found him to be, 1:8) and had been appointed a day in court, Job felt he would still be found guilty before God and could never stand up to Him (9:2, 15, 20).
With descriptive words, Job magnifies the Lord who is "wise in heart and mighty in strength" (9:4), and yet because of Job's trouble, he sees God's strength in the negative sense, for he feels God has turned against him. Job felt that what was happening to him was truly a mystery. The finite mind of man cannot comprehend the mind of God and understand His ways, for He is infinite, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Thus, Job confessed, "He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number" (9:10). The mystery of it all left Job distressed, and because he felt God was being unjust to him, he was in despair.
Job's main question was not about how he could become righteous before God, but it was a legal question about how he could possibly defend his case before the Almighty and be found innocent and justified. After all, a mere man "could not answer Him one time out of a thousand" (9:3). God and Job were certainly not on equal planes (9:32). Job longed for a mediator who could be in a position to, as Job said, "lay his hand on us both" (9:33), that Job might have a chance to stand before God. This mediator would have to be equal with God, and yet condescending enough to touch an unworthy sinner. He could then be his lawyer, an advocate to defend his case before Heaven.
Job's cry came from a deep need to be reconciled with God. He felt so far removed from God and so small, wretched, weak, and inferior compared to the greatness, glory, and transcendence of God. The psalmist David had a similar feeling when he said, "What is man that You are mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Job was searching for a way to approach the unapproachable One and fulfill the longing of his heart to know God and be justified in His sight. Job was full of questions, and because he could not find an advocate, and since he thought he was about to die, he had nothing to lose. So he spoke his mind directly to God, questioning Him about why He was set against him. Once again, Job's words were harsh, but so were his circumstances. He could not understand why God had given him life in the first place, and he wished he had never been born.
Because of progressive divine revelation, many of Job's questions and longings have now been answered. God desires all men to come to the truth and be saved, and that is why He sent His Son Jesus into the world. He is our Mediator to God (1 Timothy 2:5), the One whom Job had wished to have, so that his case could be presented directly to God. He is the One whom we now enjoy as our advocate to God in the New Covenant era. Only He could lay His hand on both Holy God and sinful man. He is equal with God, and since He became a man, He can identify with and lay His hand upon man (John 1:3-5, 14; Hebrews 2:14; 10:5).
It is true, as Job believed, that "all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), and that was why Job could not stand before God on his own righteousness. As well as being our Mediator, Jesus is also our Reconciler. He became a ransom for us and redeemed us that we may be reconciled to God through the shedding of His blood upon the cross (Colossians 1:13-22). It is only by the righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ that we can stand blameless before God and even have access to Him (Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2:16-18). That which Job longed for, we now have the privilege to enjoy.