Job 13


‘My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom. Hear now my argument; listen to the pleas of my lips. Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him? Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God? Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal? He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality. Would not his splendour terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you? Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defences are defences of clay.’ Job 13:1-12

Job Continues With His Response

Job comes right out and shows his resentment toward his three friends. He refutes what they called him and basically says, I am not stupid, you are no different than I am. I know all this, so if I lack all this wisdom or understanding, I’ll take my case to a higher court.

His friends had spoken falsely because they claimed to be speaking on behalf of God. Job says they are just covering things they don’t understand and as a result, they are hiding the truth. Practically, they cannot help, they are like doctors of no value.

He says to them, do you want to know what wisdom is, then shut up, Proverbs 17:28. Job is now in the driving seat and he ridicules their ability to decipher the will and workings of God.

As Job sees it, they have taken up Job’s case for him without even an understanding of God. How would you do if the spotlight was on you, would you stand before God? he basically asks.

Whatever the consequences may be, he is willing to suffer, even to the point of death and he is willing to do that, so that the situation he finds himself in, will be understood.

‘Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him! Listen carefully to what I say; let my words ring in your ears. Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated. Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die.’ Job 13:13-19

Since Job’s answer to his misery was death, then without losing anything but his life, he turned to address God with his complaints. He sees his situation as one of despair and in it, he thrusts out. No matter what he says he will speak out to defend himself, God will ultimately vindicate him.

He feels if he could even bring his case before God that alone would be vindication because his view is that the ungodly wouldn’t even have the chance to stand before God, he says he can because he is a righteous man. Job was determined to maintain his faithfulness regardless of the loss of his life.

Job’s salvation was in the fact that he could state his case before God with a clear conscience. He was so passionate about taking his case directly to God, that he thought he would die if he didn’t.

‘Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you: Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors. Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply to me. How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin. Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy? Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff? For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth. You fasten my feet in shackles; you keep close watch on all my paths by putting marks on the soles of my feet. “So man wastes away like something rotten, like a garment eaten by moths.’ Job 13:20-28

Job hasn’t hesitated to address God, he’s happy to go to court with God, Job 9:34-35, if He agrees with two conditions.

1. God will withdraw His hand away from him, that is, take away the punishment.

2. God will not overpower him, that is, understandable.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

1. How can a man stand in a court of justice and plead for his life, when under grievous bodily affliction? Withdraw thy hand far from me.

2. Is it to be expected that a man can be sufficiently recollected, and in self-possession, to plead for his life when he is overwhelmed with the awful appearance of the judge, the splendour of the court, and the various ensigns of justice? Let not thy dread make me afraid.

If God will agree to those, God will be the prosecution and Job will defend himself.

As before he pleads with God and says stop treating me as if I am your enemy. He knows he has done nothing wrong and so, so he accuses God of writing poison pen letters against him. If he died, he first wanted to know the sin that caused so much suffering to come into his life.

If his friends were correct, that suffering is the direct result of God’s punishment, then Job wanted to know the sin that caused him such great grief, John 8:46.

Job felt that he was in stocks, guarded by God who wouldn’t release him from either his misery or life. His life was rotting away, he feels that God had brought him into the bondage of his sufferings, and thus he was as worthless as a moth-eaten garment.

Go To Job 14