Job is Asking For a Showdown With God

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Job asks to be heard (v. 17). He declared, with a degree of confidence, that he would be justified (v. 18). He could not conceive of a fair argument resulting in His condemnation (v. 19). Job has two desires (v. 20). His first desire was that God would remove His chastening hand and give him relief. His second desire was that God would come to him in such a way that he would not be frightened (v. 21). Then Job turns his attention to God once more (v. 22). He is ready to speak out to God and take the consequences, even though it might mean death. He then asks God for a list of the specific sins that could have warranted such treatment (v. 23). This reminds me of people who say they have  unanswered prayers. There are no unanswered prayers. God always answers prayer, and many times He answers “no.” As I look back over my life and think of the times He has said “no” to specific requests I have made, I am now very thankful He didn’t give me what I asked for.

Job could not understand God hiding His face and dealing with him as an enemy (v. 24). After all, he was as helpless and worthless as a leaf or straw driven by the wind (v. 25). It seems that Job felt that the time had come to settle the matter, even if it meant losing his own life in the process. He then charged God with having written “bitter things,” not because of what he did as a man, but because of what he had done in the immaturity of his youth (v. 26). He seems to feel that he is just rotting away and cannot see any point to his suffering at all (vv. 27-28). He was upset because God was not giving him any reasons for his suffering. He misinterpreted God’s silence as rejection. It was not his actual suffering that bothered him as much as the apparent rejection. However, if God had given reasons, Job’s faith would not have been stretched and strengthened.


God doesn’t have to give reasons for why He allows certain things to happen in my life because He is God and He knows best. I just need to trust Him and seek to follow Him.

Job 13:17-28 (English Standard Version)

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.

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