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. (Job 16:19-20)
Relate: About a month back I was talking with another teacher at a school I was volunteering at. Like almost all of the students there, this mother/teacher is from Kobani, Syria, and she left that city to go to Turkey about the same time ISIS was threatening to take it over. Earlier on I was sharing with the students about the life of Job and so I shared with this teacher one of my favorite verses which is actually something Job was crying out after he had hit rock bottom. 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. I absolutely love this verse and to illustrate it, I will add here two pictures:
The first of these is a picture I took from here in Istanbul. It was taken from Suleymaniye Mosque. Actually, from almost this exact spot thousands of photographers both professional and amateur have snapped away. That is because it is the highest in this area of the city and the vantage gives a great view of most of the rest of the city. For a long time, the cover for my personal blog (then Between Two Seas, now Kingdoms Collide) was actually a photo from down below looking up at this same mosque.
This second picture was taken back in the states about as far from any city as one can get in NY. It might look as though I am skydiving without a parachute but actually my friend snapped this on the top of Mount U. That friend is actually the guy in the green jacket looking out over almost the same view in the title image. This mountain is one of the highest points in the region and there is actually an old fire tower on top that adds another sixty feet to the vantage. From that tower (for those brave enough to climb it) one has a 360 degree view for miles. It is definitely worth driving away from civilization for a couple hours to come and see it for yourself.
React: Both of these photos illustrate the same truth. The higher one gets, the more they can see. This is true whether you are in the center of a city or the middle of nowhere. The first thing Job cries out in his distress: “Even now my witness is in heaven.” You cannot get any higher than that. From that vantage one can see… “Nothing is hidden from God’s sight.” (Heb 4:11)
Our witness, the Father, sees from heaven. Our advocate, the Holy Spirit, acts from on high. The role of an advocate is to take up our case. We have a defender who has never lost. He can never lose. The phrase “on high” does not actually denote a location so much as it does a position of authority. You can see this concept time and again in the Psalms. “Gather the nations before you. Rule over them from on high.” (7:7) “Who can be compared to the Lord our God who is enthroned on high?” (113:5)
Our Witness knows, our Advocate acts, and our intercessor (Jesus) is our friend. He cares. Jesus, is right there walking through our trials with us. He has promised that He “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” So we can come “boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Heb 4:15,16) Because He is our friend, His heart breaks when ours does. No matter what struggle or difficulty we might be facing, no matter how alone we might feel, no matter how desperate our situation gets, He knows, He acts, and He cares.
You have my back. No matter what I am going through, You see. You are moving on my behalf long before I even realize how much help I am going to need. You care more deeply for my good than any other friend I could have. Help me to realize this as my eyes begin to pour out their tears. When the sicknesses and circumstances seem to have rolled over me like a modern day Job, help me to never forget that You are there, walking through those times with me. You will bring me through.