Job 1:1-2; 4-5 (NASB)
“1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him.
4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.”
Intercessory prayer is vital to G-d’s plan. Over the last few weeks I’ve come across many examples of how it brought salvation to the nation of Israel. Moses, Esther, Ezra, and more, all sought G-d’s providential deliverance in order to save His chosen people.
But interceding requires a strong relationship with G-d and faith that He will answer.
“You cannot intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption.”
These words are written in Oswald Chambers popular daily devotional, “My Utmost For His Highest”.
He goes on to say that intercession is, “having (G-d’s) mind and (G-d’s) perspective.” (1)
But to have Adonai’s mind and perspective, we must walk righteously before Him.
Job displays this righteousness throughout his trials because he lives it daily before his troubles even begin.
The very first verse of the book of Job lists four traits of Job that we should all desire. These characteristics carry him through the enemy’s attacks and keep him righteous in G-d’s eyes.
Job 1:1 says, “…that man was blameless, upright, fearing G-d and turning away from evil.”
First of all Job is blameless. He has integrity. He’s honest in his word and in his actions.
Psalm 1:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.”
Job’s blameless walk gives him a confidence that he is going in the right direction and doing the right thing. He never second guesses himself.
Second, Job is upright. To be upright means to be level and straight.
Each of the four Gospels record the cry of John the Immerser when he quotes from Isaiah 40:3-4 and says, “Make ready the way of the L-rd,
Make His path straight!”
Job is already prepared to walk with G-d on a straight path.
Next, Job fears G-d. Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1;7, and Proverbs 9:10 all say that the fear of the L-rd brings us wisdom. But fearing HaShem also fulfills the commandment of loving your neighbor.
Lev. 25:17 reads, “So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your G-d; for I am the L-rd your G-d.”
In the 31st chapter of Job, he states many times over how he cares for others and shows compassion to widows, orphans and others in need.
This is not bragging on Job’s part. His fear of Adonai leads him to care for and provide for others just as The Almighty has taken care of him and his household. His fear of HaShem brings out respect and love for his neighbors.
Finally, Job turns away from evil. This is probably the most important trait that Job displays.
Proverbs 4:26-27 (NASB) tells us,
“26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.”
Job is careful to keep his walk right before G-d. He declares in 31:4, “Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?”
He knows that he is accountable for all his actions and must answer to both G-d and man for what he does.
Being this righteous man puts Job in the position of priest and intercessor for his family. He often makes sacrifices on behalf of his children on the chance that they may have, even inadvertently, blasphemed Adonai.
According to the Archeological Study Bible, the feasts his children indulge in may refer to birthday celebrations. With 10 siblings, they may have had a celebration almost every month of the year.
Strong drink was certainly a part of this. It loosens the tongue and can make us say things we don’t intend to. These insults can be hurled at The Almighty just as easily as a friend or family member.
So Job commits to his family to be the intercessor between them and G-d.
He intercedes for his children in order to turn away the wrath of G-d. He can do this because of his righteous walk.
However, Job’s times of intercession comes to an end. His children die tragically during one of their feasts. He gains more sons and daughters in the end and, undoubtedly, he also does whatever is necessary to teach them to fear Adonai.
But this can only go on for so long. Eventually death also overtakes Job and his prayers come to an end as he enters his eternal rest.
But we’re told in Hebrews 7:25 that we have an intercessor now who, like Job, has made a sacrifice for us on account of our sins. His walk on this earth is even more righteous than Job’s and He lives eternally in order to continue interceding.
Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) tells us: “25 Therefore He (Yeshua) is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Yeshua lives to intercede for us. He does not need to continually make a sacrifice since His death is sufficient payment to take away the sins of the world. Instead, He now covers us with His righteousness so we can share in His life.
While we’re still expected, and needed, to pray and seek G-d’s protection for those in need, we do this in partnership with our Savior.
So don’t turn away from intercessory prayer when it’s needed. We have examples in the Bible that show how effective it can be and we have Job to demonstrate that it’s a hallmark of a righteous person.
Blessed are You, O L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who intercedes on our behalf for our salvation.