Job 13:1 ¶ Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.
Job 13:2 What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.
Job 13:3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
Job 13:4 But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
Job 13:5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
Once again Job states that he has seen and heard the same things his friends had; he knew every bit as a much as they did. He was not their inferior. He again expresses his desire for the opportunity to reason with God.
Job pulls no punches. He tells his friends that they have made false charges against him and are worthless to help him. The wisest thing they could do for him is just not talk. He then asked them to please listen to his reasoning.
Job 13:7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?
Job 13:8 Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?
Job 13:9 Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
Job 13:10 He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
Job 13:11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?
Job 13:12 Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
Job basically asks his friends if they want to misrepresent God and speak lies on His behalf. He wonders if they can be impartial in defending God’s actions against Job. He wonders how they would stand up against God’s examination, if they thought they could deceive Him as men deceive one another. God would surely rebuke them if they tried to cover for Him, and Job questions their fear of God in doing so in light of His majesty. Job compares their advice to ashes that are worthless and reminds them that they are just made from the dust of the ground.
Summary: You “friends” are accusing me falsely and misrepresenting God. You are made from dust, yet claim to possess the wisdom of God—but you don’t!
Job 13:13 ¶ Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.
Job 13:14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job 13:16 He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
Again, Job tells his friends to be quiet and listen to him and he will accept the consequences for his words. He is going to express himself before God even if it means his death. Still, Job maintains that he has faith in God even as he defends himself before Him. No sinful person would dare choose to declare his innocence before God, and Job takes comfort in that truth because he is not a practicing sinner; he is a man that trusts in God.
Considering the trend of today’s culture, I often pray that I would have the faith of Job and the three young men threatened with death in the fiery furnace. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
David Guzik used a very appropriate quote from one of my favorite books in his commentary: “Writing fictionally in the voice of a senior demon instructing a junior demon in his popular book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis stated – from a demon’s perspective – this dynamic of trial in the life of the believer: ‘He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.’”
Job 13:17 Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
Job 13:18 Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.
Job 13:19 Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.
Job asks his friends to listen carefully. He has thoughtfully prepared his presentation and knows that he will be justified. He is confident that there is no one that can charge him with sin; if they could, he would utter no more complaint for the rest of his life.
Job 13:20 Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.
Job 13:21 Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.
Job 13:22 Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me.
Job 13:23 ¶ How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.
Job begins his presentation before God. He begins by stating that he is asking God for two things as he makes his case—1) that God remove His hand of judgment against him and 2) that He not fill him with terror so that he can present his case. He basically asks God if He wants to ask the first question or if he wants Job to go first. Job’s plea: How have I sinned and rebelled against You?
Job 13:24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?
Job 13:25 Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?
Job 13:26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.
Job 13:27 Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.
Job 13:28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten.
Job continues—God, why have You turned against me; what has made me Your enemy? Why would You frighten me—an insignificant piece of your creation? I assume You have decided to destroy me for the sins of my youth.
Note that Job has never considered himself sinless. He admits to sins of his youth. What he has denied all along is there is currently no sin for which he should be accounted worthy of the judgment he is experiencing.
He continues—You have bound my feet, watched all my steps and taken note of each place I have stepped. Meanwhile, I am wasting away like a coat being eaten by moths.