Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thirteen.
Job continues his response to Zophar. Job’s response to Zophar takes three chapters. (Chapters 12, 13 and 14) This is the longest response Job has given thus far.
1 "Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. 2 What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. Job 13:1-2 (NKJV)
WHAT JOB AND HIS FRIENDS KNOW
In verses one and two Job confirms that he has seen and heard the same things that Zophar has. He is not ignorant of the things that are taking place around him or the theology of the day. It is wise for us to be aware of what is going on around us. We can not bury our heads in the sand. Job assures Zophar that he is not inferior to him.
Matthew Henry says of these two verses, “Those who enter into disputation enter into temptation to magnify themselves and vilify their brethren more than is fit, and therefore ought to watch and pray against the workings of pride.” The irony of the situation is that neither Job nor his friends know very much. As humans we but see through “a glass dimly.” We do not have all knowledge – only God does.
3 But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. Job 13:3 (NKJV)
JOB SEEKS TO SPEAK WITH GOD
In verse three Job says, “Let me take it to the top. Let me talk to the one who says, ‘The buck stops here.’”
Who can stand before God? Are we so close to God that we will sit and drink coffee with Him? Will He invite us home for dinner like we are one of His buddies? God is above the heavens. Every knee will bow at His presence. When Moses came into the presence of God he was told to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. (It was not the ground that was holy – but the presence of a holy God that made it holy.) There is still to be the fear of the Lord. He is God and we are not.
Job has already heard what the three friends have to say – they are of no help.
4 But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians. 5 Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom! 6 Now hear my reasoning, And heed the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will you speak wickedly for God, And talk deceitfully for Him? 8 Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? 9 Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? 10 He will surely rebuke you If you secretly show partiality. 11 Will not His excellence make you afraid, And the dread of Him fall upon you? 12 Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay. 13 "Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! Job 13:4-13 (NKJV)
JOB SPEAKS OUT AGAINST HIS FRIENDS
In verse four Job goes on the offensive. He has listened to the “wisdom” of his three friends and now he wants his turn to speak. Job calls them liars and worthless doctors. Job calls his friends “worthless physicians” because they have given advice but have no real cure for it. He says that the wisest thing that they could do is to be silent. “Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” Proverbs 17:28 (MSG)
Job asks his three friends a series of questions:
1. Will you speak falsely for God? (verse 7)
2. Are you His mouthpiece? (verse 8)
3. When all is said and done where will you stand with God? (verse 9)
In verse twelve Job tells his friends that their wisdom is nothing more than ashes and clay. Job asks his friends to let him speak. He says that once he says what he has to say – let the chips fall where they may.
14 Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, And put my life in my hands? 15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. 16 He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him. 17 Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears. 18 See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated. 19 Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish. 20 "Only two things do not do to me, Then I will not hide myself from You: 21 Withdraw Your hand far from me, And let not the dread of You make me afraid. 22 Then call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, then You respond to me. 23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? 25 Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro? And will You pursue dry stubble? 26 For You write bitter things against me, And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27 You put my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit for the soles of my feet. 28 "Man decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten. Job 13:14-28 (NKJV)