Job is continuing his answer to Zophar. To all his friends he says, “Be Quiet!” He turns instead to speak to God because his friends don’t get it.
Job has been listening as his friends make their case against him. They claim they are speaking words of wisdom from the Lord. Not direct prophecy but words born out of years of observation and teaching. Possibly some of even Job’s own teaching. 1) You must have sinned to have this much evil fall on you. 2) Repent of whatever it is. 3) God’s justice is why you are being punished. And it could have been worse!
Each time a new portion of their argument was brought forth Job maintained his innocence. God confirmed that innocence; not to Job and his friends but to Satan. All of Job’s searching for his sin has brought him up empty handed. If he would have found his sin I certain he would have repented immediately.
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Job is tired of the accusations. “Be quiet!” he says. “I already know the same arguments you are using against me. Who do you think you are anyway? God?” Job shakes his head in disgust. “I would like to see you stand up against this same kind of scrutiny. I bet NONE of you would pass the test of introspection. ‘Will it be well with you when He searches you out?’ (verse 9a). Will He find that your words have been for Him alone or are they self-serving too? Just stop talking. I will plead my case with God.”
Job nods his head at his last statement. “That is what I want to do; plead my case with God, come what may. ‘Though He slay me, I will hope in Him; yet I will argue my ways to His face’ (verse 15). Being allowed to do so would prove out my innocence as the godless cannot come before Him.”
Looking to his friends once more Job readies himself. “Keep listening to what I’m saying. I don’t need your response right now, just listen. I have been practicing my case and I know that it is sound. No one else will take it up for me. If ANYONE could truly speak of my sins I would shut my mouth and die.”
“Only grant me two things, then I will not hide myself from your face: withdraw Your hand far from me, and let not dread of You terrify me” (verses 20-21) Job pleads with God. “Just talk to me, or let me talk and You at least confirm that You have heard by answering me. PLEASE tell me what my sins are. Let me know if I HAVE offended You that I may offer an atoning sacrifice. ‘WHY do you hide your face and count me as Your enemy?’ (verse 24). I am undone! I am as useless as chaff. I am bound up as with chains and I am wasting away!”
(to be continued)
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Job is crying out. I want to reach out and help him but I don’t know what to do. My words would be as useless as his friend’s. My only comfort would be to tell him that God is STILL in control. Even when it looks like everything is lost and ‘going to hell in a handbasket’, God KNOWS what is best.
As for his friends and their ‘advice’, I would personally be giving myself that same advice. I have a feeling Job did just that in the beginning until he exhausted himself in search of where he had failed. Only AFTER his exhaustive search would he feel confident in giving this steadfast answer. I know that would have been MY first reaction in his shoes.
When I was a child, I would occasionally get a painful bump on my tongue. I have no idea what triggered them. I still sometimes get them today. But when a child, I brought my concern to my mom. She told me that her mother called them ‘liar’s bumps’ and you get them when you tell a lie. From that time forward, when I would get a bump on my tongue I would start searching my memory for the lie I told that created it. I still find myself doing the same thing at the age of 57 (almost 58). I automatically count myself guilty. Not Job. He KNEW his heart as he had trained it to serve the Lord probably from his youth. He was CONVINCED he was blameless.
We will have to wait and see how he fares with his argument with God. He is bolder than I would EVER be!
Father God, thank You for allowing me into Your presence. For letting me bring my concerns before You. I don’t have the same kind of fear that Job did because I come to You through Your Son Jesus. Job didn’t have Jesus as his advocate, yet. But You didn’t strike him down either. Thank You that You listen to the cries of Your children!
Even though You have made a way for me to come before You, I don’t think I could do it with the boldness that Job had. I will not demand. But I will stand against Satan and command him to flee through the power of Jesus’ name. And I will trust You know what You are doing in my life.
I am feeling lost in Job’s story. I pray I am listening to Your Holy Spirit and letting Him lead me through this story. But I have no idea where we are going and I keep getting lost on the way.