Job 13-15

job13.jpgGreetings!  Job is in the middle of his response to his friend Zophar.  He strongly defends himself and accuses his friends of false accusations. 

13     “My eyes have seen all this,

my ears have heard and understood it.

2 What you know, I also know;

I am not inferior to you.

3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty

and to argue my case with God.

4 You, however, smear me with lies;

you are worthless physicians, all of you!

5 If only you would be altogether silent!

For you, that would be wisdom.

6 Hear now my argument;

listen to the plea of my lips.

7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?

Will you speak deceitfully for him?

8 Will you show him partiality?

Will you argue the case for God?

9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?

Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?

10 He would surely rebuke you

if you secretly showed partiality.

11 Would not his splendor terrify you?

Would not the dread of him fall on you?

12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;

your defenses are defenses of clay.

13 “Keep silent and let me speak;

then let come to me what may.

14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy

and take my life in my hands?

15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;

I will surely defend my ways to his face.

Verse 15 is powerful: Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.  Now that’s faith.  May we all have the faith that says that whatever God directs or lets happen that we’ll trust in him for the end result. 

16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,

for no godless man would dare come before him!

17 Listen carefully to my words;

let your ears take in what I say.

18 Now that I have prepared my case,

I know I will be vindicated.

19 Can anyone bring charges against me?

If so, I will be silent and die.

20 “Only grant me these two things, O God,

and then I will not hide from you:

21 Withdraw your hand far from me,

and stop frightening me with your terrors.

22 Then summon me and I will answer,

or let me speak, and you reply.

23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed?

Show me my offense and my sin.

24 Why do you hide your face

and consider me your enemy?

25 Will you torment a windblown leaf?

Will you chase after dry chaff?

26 For you write down bitter things against me

and make me inherit the sins of my youth.

Job does not claim to have lived a sinless life.

27 You fasten my feet in shackles;

you keep close watch on all my paths

by putting marks on the soles of my feet.

28 “So man wastes away like something rotten,

like a garment eaten by moths.

14     “Man born of woman

is of few days and full of trouble.

2 He springs up like a flower and withers away;

like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.

3 Do you fix your eye on such a one?

Will you bring him before you for judgment?

4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure?

No one!

5 Man’s days are determined;

you have decreed the number of his months

and have set limits he cannot exceed.

6 So look away from him and let him alone,

till he has put in his time like a hired man.

7 “At least there is hope for a tree:

If it is cut down, it will sprout again,

and its new shoots will not fail.

8 Its roots may grow old in the ground

and its stump die in the soil,

9 yet at the scent of water it will bud

and put forth shoots like a plant.

10 But man dies and is laid low;

he breathes his last and is no more.

11 As water disappears from the sea

or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,

12 so man lies down and does not rise;

till the heavens are no more, men will not awake

or be roused from their sleep.

13 “If only you would hide me in the grave

and conceal me till your anger has passed!

If only you would set me a time

and then remember me!

14 If a man dies, will he live again?

All the days of my hard service

I will wait for my renewal to come.

15 You will call and I will answer you;

you will long for the creature your hands have made.

16 Surely then you will count my steps

but not keep track of my sin.

17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;

you will cover over my sin.

18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles

and as a rock is moved from its place,

19 as water wears away stones

and torrents wash away the soil,

so you destroy man’s hope.

20 You overpower him once for all, and he is gone;

you change his countenance and send him away.

21 If his sons are honored, he does not know it;

if they are brought low, he does not see it.

22 He feels but the pain of his own body

and mourns only for himself.”

Eliphaz

15     Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

2 “Would a wise man answer with empty notions

or fill his belly with the hot east wind?

3 Would he argue with useless words,

with speeches that have no value?

4 But you even undermine piety

and hinder devotion to God.

5 Your sin prompts your mouth;

you adopt the tongue of the crafty.

6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;

your own lips testify against you.

7 “Are you the first man ever born?

Were you brought forth before the hills?

8 Do you listen in on God’s council?

Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

9 What do you know that we do not know?

What insights do you have that we do not have?

10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,

men even older than your father.

11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,

words spoken gently to you?

12 Why has your heart carried you away,

and why do your eyes flash,

13 so that you vent your rage against God

and pour out such words from your mouth?

14 “What is man, that he could be pure,

or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?

15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,

if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,

16 how much less man, who is vile and corrupt,

who drinks up evil like water!

17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;

let me tell you what I have seen,

18 what wise men have declared,

hiding nothing received from their fathers

19 (to whom alone the land was given

when no alien passed among them):

20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,

the ruthless through all the years stored up for him.

21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;

when all seems well, marauders attack him.

22 He despairs of escaping the darkness;

he is marked for the sword.

23 He wanders about—food for vultures;

he knows the day of darkness is at hand.

24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;

they overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,

25 because he shakes his fist at God

and vaunts himself against the Almighty,

26 defiantly charging against him

with a thick, strong shield.

I didn’t realize that the phrase “shakes his fist at God” was in the Bible.  I’ve used that metaphor to describe many of the atheist and apostate Christian groups.

27 “Though his face is covered with fat

and his waist bulges with flesh,

28 he will inhabit ruined towns

and houses where no one lives,

houses crumbling to rubble.

29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,

nor will his possessions spread over the land.

30 He will not escape the darkness;

a flame will wither his shoots,

and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.

31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,

for he will get nothing in return.

32 Before his time he will be paid in full,

and his branches will not flourish.

33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,

like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.

34 For the company of the godless will be barren,

and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.

35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;

their womb fashions deceit.”

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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