Chapter 13:13-28 (ESV) - Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
Keep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
Behold, I have prepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
Who is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent 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.
Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why do you hide your face
and count me as your enemy?
Will you frighten a driven leaf
and pursue dry chaff?
For you write bitter things against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks
and watch all my paths;
you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
Man wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Question to consider: What does it mean to put our hope in something?
The fact that Job had to keep asking his friends to be silent and let him speak suggests that with each argument he made, they were sitting there and scoffing or trying to cut in on his monologue. It is still amazing to me that these guys could continue to make accusations against their friend who was in pain. Ultimately, Job only wanted to hear from God about whether there was some sin that he had done to bring about this calamity. No matter the outcome, Job knew that God was his only hope of salvation from the mess he was in.
Job argued that his desire to be face-to-face with God was a sign that he was not as wicked as his friends accused of being, for a godless man would have no desire to present his case before God. It is hard to confront our sin. We’d like to think that we are basically good or at least have good intentions. Even living almost 2,000 years after Christ paid for our sin, we struggle with the shame of being helpless before God and needing to depend solely on the righteousness of Christ.
While Job may have been terrified of the response he would get from God, he seemed to understand that he stood a better chance of appealing to God’s mercy than that of his friends, and that God was the one who could restore him.
It’s pretty amazing to realize that Job would have the faith to appeal to God’s mercy given that he was not born into the ancestral line of promise like Isaac or Jacob. We live in the age in which the good news of Jesus has been proclaimed to people all over the world so we have a view of God’s mercy to which Job was not privy. Even so, sin can make us feel like someone who is wasting away like a moth-eaten garment. Praise God for not leaving us in this state.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for showing patience to us when we become exhausted by the sin of this world or the sin in our own hearts. We ask that You will renew us and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.