-Job continues to defend himself verses his friends’ opinions throughout this chapter. He considers their memorable proverbs as ashes and their defenses as clay (Job 13:12). His eye has seen everything that has happened. His ear has heard, and his mind has understood. What his friends know, he also knows. He maintains that he is not inferior, or a second citizen, to them (Job 12:3; 13:1-2).
-Job desired to speak directly to the Almighty and even argue with Him. He perceived that his heart was blameless, but his friends had smeared him with their lies. Job called them “worthless physicians.” He wanted them to shut up and be completely silent. That, he figured, would become their wisdom. He pleaded with them to hear his argument and listen to the contention of his lips. He considered their speech as “unjust for God,” and “deceitful for Him.” He felt like they were taking God’s side in this argument by showing Him partiality and contending for Him. Job asks frankly revealing their hypocrisy, “Will it be well when He examines you?” Then he sarcastically remarks, “Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?” Job was sure, and he was correct in this (Job 42:7-9), that God would surely reprove them for secretly showing partiality. He theorizes that His majesty would indeed terrify them, and the dread of Him would fall upon them (Job 13:3-11).
-Job keeps going on, with conviction, that he will be vindicated in the end. He reiterated his desire for them to be silent so that he could speak. He was courageous and convinced enough to say, “Then let come on me what may.” He was absolutely secure in his relationship with God, or it could have been that he was just incredibly angry about the way things were going. Anyways, he’d had quite enough. He was ready for a showdown to get things straight. His next words reflect this thought:
"Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hands? Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways before Him. This also will be my salvation, for a godless man may not come before His presence. Listen carefully to my speech, and let my declaration fill your ears. Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated. Who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die (Job 13:14-19).”
-Job asks the LORD for only two things from Him not to do to him. If these requests are granted, he promises not to hide from the Face of God. First, he asks Him not to remove His Hand from him. Second, he petitions to not let the dread of the LORD terrify him. If these requests are approved, God can call and Job will answer, or God could let him speak and then he would answer. This bargaining with God is audacious, but it works. Job asks, “How many are my iniquities and sins?” Then, he comments, “Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.” He wondered aloud why God had hid His Face from him and considered him His enemy. He felt driven out like a leaf from a tree. Would God make one like this tremble? Would He continue to pursue to dry chaff (worthless stalks of the grain plant)? These were the musings of Job’s troubled heart during his grief. Job went on to declare that the Almighty had written bitter things against him, and He had made him to inherit the iniquities of his youth. Sounds much like some confession here. Job felt bound now. He realized that the LORD had put his “feet in the stocks,” and that He was watching all his paths in life with strict limitations, while he was decaying “like a rotten thing, like a garment this is moth-eaten (the moth is a biblical symbol of the one who destroys, Job 13:20-28, Isaiah 50:9; 51:8, Matthew 6:19-20, Luke 12:33, James 5:1-2).”
-*Application* How often have we contended with God when things get rough? We must admit, in most cases, that we are akin to Job’s decrees. The question becomes, “Are our contentions justified, or not?” This requires intense self-examination, including introspection, revelation, and complete confession, before an Almighty and All-knowing Sovereign. The heart must be right for us to make any case with God in regards to our suffering or trials. We must allow God to teach us through the process and keep our hope in Him, though He slay us. This, by the way, is the Way of the Master: victory through suffering, the redemption through the cross, the glory through the agony. God is overcoming. He will not take His Hand off of us. He will not let the dread of Him terrify us. When He calls, He gives us the courage to answer positively (1 Peter 2:9). He lets us speak and then replies with wisdom (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9).
Verse to Memorize: Job 13:10, 15, 24