January 21, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 52: Advocate


"Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God, as a man pleads for his friend." (Job 16:19-21 NIV)

Our study of God's great names has already revealed Him to us several times in a military or battle-oriented capacity: Shield, Glorious Sword, Fortress. Today, we see Him in a legal light.

Our Advocate presents our case. He speaks on our behalf. He says what we do not know how to say or what we don't know we should say in the first place. He has the legal standing required to gain the court's attention. 

But how I also love the other side to this name of God as presented by Job—a man who very much needed an advocate after everyone he might have expected to fill the role abandoned him or was allowed to be taken from him. Job declares his confidence in an advocate who is not only exalted above Job's own lowly standing and who stands in the gap on his behalf but who is a friend, pleading Job's cause. This Advocate is no mere hired legal representative, dispassionately doing a job; no, this Advocate speaks on Job's behalf with all the emotion and fervor of someone connected to Job on a heart level. 

I so appreciate the way these other versions of Job 16:19 amplify our understanding of God in this role:

*He vouches for us (ASV).
*He supports our cause (BBE).
*He testifies for us (ESV).
*He stands up for us and takes our side (GNT).
*He knows the truth about us and is an attorney who can clear our names (MSG).

And finally, from the King James Version, He is our record. Oh, don't miss this: He IS our record. Our Advocate does not merely present our blemished record: He replaces it entirely with His innocent, sinless self. This is the active pity of God on display! He cares about our case with the compassion of a friend, but He is able to do something about it with the power of the Almighty.

El Shaddai on high, bending low as our Advocate and friend. No wonder the prophet Isaiah said of this God, "No one has ever heard of a God like you. No one has ever seen a God besides you, who helps the people who trust you." (Isaiah 64:4 NCV) 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!