Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God
13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak falsely for God
and speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you plead the case for God?
Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
Will not his majesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
“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.
Job 13 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The absolute trust Job has in God despite the afflictions he continues to deal with, the friends that are off base in their advice, the unanswered questions still looming are nothing short than amazing.
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…”Job 13:15
Job has been rattled to the very core of his being. He has chosen to still trust in God despite the wave of hardship and physical turbulence. I pause a moment and consider, could I say the same thing? Would my own feelings state the same trust? It’s hard to know but definitely is something worth considering. It is easy to trust God in the good times, not so much when those times turn sour or tragic.
God desires so much for His people to trust in Him throughout every situation in life, even when He appears silent.
In the classic book by C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters” – it holds the thoughts of a senior demon whose name is Screwtape writing to a junior demon Wormwood on the makeup of humankind and strategies to cause them to stumble and walk away from the Creator. At one point he addressed trials that come into our lives. Screwtape writes with his limited knowledge concerning God’s ways:
“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, look round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
These thoughts are so powerful. I’ve sat and reread them now several times. This is exactly how it seems to work. The enemy of our soul is at constant work to bring us down, manipulates situations even to cause us to give up. But as Screwtape states, their biggest danger is no matter what has come against a human, is when that human decides to trust in God despite the circumstances.
The thought of being ‘slayed’ is not an ideal concept. I know, right? Charles Spurgeon weighed in on such times that come against all of us when we feel completely obliterated from some news, a health issue and so forth. Spurgeon gave several reasons as why he thought these times were good for people.
These times reveal we are truly sons and daughters of God because he does use opportunities like this to discipline. These times are when real faith is created – not faith that is simply in our mind. These times of testing affirms our faith in Him. They are when we grow the most. These times also prove to the watching world we are children of God as we trust in Him despite.
This is truly tough stuff to mull over. God uses all things to develop our faith. He also uses many things and hardships to refine us. There is no way we can muster the strength to follow on our own. This is a continual giving of ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to strengthen us moment by moment.
The challenge for each of us, in particular, if we are feeling afflicted or in such hardships, is to pray to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us for the very moment we are in. It is to ask for His wisdom and not the wisdom of man to guide us. It is to plead for His presence to help us second by second so our faith that is being refined will come out as gold.
Job 13 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
I want to build on what Hank has written here with a few thoughts. If it’s true that the enduring attitude of a believer is a great threat to everything the enemy is trying to do, I would argue that Satan’s mentality is to pit us against God’s sovereignty. If he can convince us that God is the source of our suffering, and even more, convince us that God doesn’t love us, then he has won. There is a great battle that takes place in the hearts and minds of each person when they face trials and suffering.
If you notice, Job and his friends have been completely focused on God as the source of the suffering. There has been no mention of Satan or the enemy. We know of his involvement because of his request to torture Job with all these afflictions. I would argue this is Step 1 on the enemy’s protocol.
The enemy must convince the believer that God is the source of their suffering so that they will lose trust, hope, and faith. They redirect the focus away from this world, their sin, and the demonic forces of evil so that they begin to blame God for everything. How many people have you known who asks the question, “If God is so good, why does He allow suffering in this world?”
As believers, we know that God does allow suffering. But the absolute truth we must cling to is that His purposes are far greater than we could ever imagine. When we are placed in a position such as Job, we arrive at the crossroads of our faith. We can choose to lose trust in God, or we can choose, as Hank has written, to trust Him despite.
Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him. I will still defend my ways before Him.Job 13:15 HCSB
“Job 13:15 is almost the greatest sentence ever uttered by mortal lips! Let us ask for grace to affirm it.”F.B. Meyer
These thoughts are so counter-cultural. They make zero sense to the world. They require the gift of faith to understand. But this is just like God. He would send His Son to be tortured, beaten, and killed for people who deserve eternal punishment. It’s radical and offensive. It’s grace.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.Ephesians 1:18-21 NASB