Will you mock God – Job 13:10-19

Portrait of a lawyer moving up on a staircase and smiling

10 He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.

What you do reflects back on him. He cannot let you get away with it. You may be satisfied that no one else knows of your duplicity, but God knows everything, and he will not allow it.

11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?

According to your advice to me, you should expect him to punish you severely for such an offense. And he will not accept your protest that you were just taking his side, for he expects you to be unbiased.

12 Your remembrances [are] like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.

You are just like me. God is doing to me what he will do to you, if you behave badly.

13 Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what [will].

He is hostile, and it shows. They have no right to side with anyone unless they have concrete evidence that will stand the scrutiny of the court. So, be quiet and leave me alone.

14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?

It is hard enough for me to face God under these conditions, without having to contend with you at the same time. I am taking a grave risk challenging God like this, and I do it with the knowledge he will make me account for everything I say that is wrong. Do you not think that applies to you as well?

15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

I do not challenge him as if I am walking away from him. The result will not change my attitude to God. It will just change my understanding of him.

16 He also [shall be] my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

I not only trust him. He is all my hope and desire. I am not a play actor here. This is life-and-death. He will not accept a hypocrite, and I will not be one in his presence.

17 Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.

You had better listen carefully, because you are in the spotlight just as much as I am, and you will be expected to account.

18 Behold now, I have ordered [my] cause; I know that I shall be justified.

I expect to be cleared in the end. My argument cannot be dismissed as nothing. It will be admitted by God as right, and if you ignore my plea, you will be seen to be wrong.

19 Who [is] he [that] will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.

If I do not get this out of my system I will explode. I cannot hold it in any more. I have to say exactly what is going through my mind. And I will direct my complaint to God, so you do not feel obliged to respond, since you cannot answer.

 

What you know the same do I know – Job 13:1-9

cadre sup

Chapter 13

1 Lo, mine eye hath seen all [this], mine ear hath heard and understood it.

There are no mental gymnastics involved in assuming he is guilty. Your arguments are feeble at best.

2 What ye know, [the same] do I know also: I [am] not inferior unto you.

I need someone to talk with who can do better than that. I can work all that out for myself. But there is an issue, and I need to have it resolved. I am tormented by the darkness. I need to know why?

3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

There is only one who can answer this question and that is God himself. It is hopeless relying on people who do not know. The same people who make wild and unfounded claims that are not true.

4 But ye [are] forgers of lies, ye [are] all physicians of no value.

I listen to your words hoping to find something that will help me heal my wound. But all I get are lies. You are not doctors of anything. A doctor holds himself out to be an expert. If he cannot solve any problems, then his credentials are dubious.

5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.

It would be better if you just sat there and said nothing. Then I could guess what you are thinking, and draw some strength from that. But you open your mouths and I am tormented by your thoughts, none of which have any meaning to me.

6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.

We need a change from our earlier debate. Now you are expected to listen to what I say and answer directly. We will not engage in emotional outbursts. We will reason together. Answer what I say.

7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?

Do you think it is reasonable that you speak lies on God’s behalf? You tell lies for God as if he needs you to do that? And if you tell a lie for God, it is still a lie.

8 Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?

You take God’s side because he is God, and ignore my argument. You are showing respect of persons toward God and against me. This is deceit. You have chosen to side with the strong against the weak, not because of the force of argument, but because you want to be seen to be on God’s side.

9 Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye [so] mock him?

Do you not think God will be upset if you do that? If God were to put you under the microscope, he would see you are partial in judgment and incapable of truth. He will punish you for afflicting me. If your story is true, God must deal with you for being false witnesses.

With the ancient is wisdom – Job 12:12-25

Portrait of senior man

12 With the ancient [is] wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

It is usually true the older you are the more understanding you have, because you have been around long enough to gather the necessary information to get it right. But I am finding this is not true either.

They make the claim they are older than Job. Why then can they not explain what he wants to know? Their explanation so far does not square with the facts.

13 With him [is] wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

With God is all knowledge. He knows the rules. Why then does he not apply the rules, and make the world work the way you say? He is not going to break the rules. He is, after all, older than you.

14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again:

he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

When God does something it is done permanently. It is never half done. It is done right. So why does it not follow the rules? If indeed you have interpreted the rules correctly.

15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

Sometimes there is calamity as happens in the time of drought. And then again we know the devastation a flood can cause. But it is reasonable for all these things to follow the rules God himself has set. And if these rules do not follow the ones you prefer, it is time to review your rules.

16 With him [is] strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver [are] his.

He has the strength and knowledge to know what to do. Then why does it not work the right way round. The poor innocent deceived victim, and the one who is guilty, the deceiver, are both treated the same by God. Does that make sense to you?

17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.

The way God deals with them makes a mockery of your advice to me. And you who set yourselves up as judge of all things, are made to look silly. You are obviously wrong about God, because God does not do what you expect.

This happens when the law does not support the truth the way it ought to do, and the counsel and judge are forced to obey the law, when it is obviously inadequate to deliver justice. How do you explain that?

18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Kings who do not deserve to be released are loosed from their prison and returned to their throne. He sets them back and restores their glory and confidence. And they set about avenging themselves on those who opposed them. And you say right will always prevail, because God makes sure it does. Then explain how this injustice can occur.

19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.

Princes, who have not the power to be guilty, but get the blame for everything that goes wrong, are imprisoned not to return, and they were the ones to have the right to rule. What do you make of that?

20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.

God changes the rules while doing the deed. So those who are supposed to know, and who have been right in the past, are made to look like a fool. These events point out the aged know nothing. The aged say this or that applies, and it does not apply at all. So what do they know?

21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.

Princes do not always get their way. According to the theory, when they fail, it is because God is pouring contempt on their ideas. And every time the mighty are prevented, it is because God has taken a dislike to them.

22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

God knows the secrets of those who have all the power to hide them. He can bring to light all the intrigues of the king’s court, and the plans they have to win against their enemies. Even those plans they have to get rid of people who stand in their way.

23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them:

he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them [again].

Fortunes come and go with no explanation. Nations prosper and wane by rules not in your accounting. Do you say the collective goodness and wickedness settles their fate? And how does that work? It does not follow a pattern.

24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of The earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness [where there is] no way.

Consider this. The ruler is wicked, so God takes away his heart so he cannot rule well. The result is the people under his care wander around the desert not knowing where to go or what to do. The people are the ones who suffer for the delinquency of their leader. But they do not know that. So how does your theory work for them? They are innocent and yet they suffer.

25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like [a] drunken man].

Who was guilty of the sin that caused this suffering? The theory of retribution cannot be true, because if that community of people were made to suffer because of the sin of one man, then God is unjust. The people were innocent and yet they were suffering. Where does the guilt rest, and who is responsible?

He abandoned his friends as a source of truth. He rejected their position, and they know it. He has struck a serious blow to their case, but is still dissatisfied with the answers he has.

Job answered Zophar – Job 12:1-11

Schwehöriger Mann

Chapter 12

1 And Job answered and said,

2 No doubt but ye [are] the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

When you go from this planet we will not know what to do, because there will be no one to explain where we are going wrong. If you interpret this as sarcasm, you are right. He dismisses everything Zophar said, and gives his other friends a spray at the same time.

3 But I have understanding as well as you; I [am] not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

What we need to realize is Job believes what they say at this point, in broad terms. What puzzles him is; if these ideas are right then his complaint is all the more valid, because he has not done anything to deserve this treatment. So either the ideas must change, or God must stop, one or the other, because they exclude each other.

4 I am [as] one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright [man is] laughed to scorn.

No one takes any notice of his protests of innocence. Everyone assumes he is guilty and will not own up. They pour scorn on his protests. They pour scorn on his call for God to answer. He claims to be innocent, and no one will hear him. The fact God will not answer builds the case against him, so his God is in league with his enemies in this debate. God supports their position.

5 He that is ready to slip with [his] feet [is as] a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.

A person ready to slip, is on the edge. No one is interested in pulling him back from the edge. A lamp despised is one no one cares about. If it goes out it will not matter to anyone, so let the wind catch it. There is usually great care taken of the candle in the wind, because if you lose it and are plunged into darkness, it can be inconvenient.

6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth [abundantly].

Job comes out fighting. Their theory does not stack up. The tabernacles of robbers prosper, they that provoke God are secure, and those who say otherwise are ignoring the facts. Despite what you say in your theory, that God punishes the wicked, and they are cut-off in their wickedness. I claim their homes are safe and they go from strength to strength, and those who provoke God do not have trouble at all.

7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

Nature itself will tell you this is true. The guilty animals, the beasts of the jungle and desert are the most prosperous. Ask the fowls of the air and they will say an eagle gets the better of it, and he is the most ruthless and brutal bird of prey in existence. So I say your theory is a lie.

8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

Look at the thorns and briers for support of the theory, and you find the most-ugly plant, and the one with the most thorns, is the one left alone to grow where it wants to grow. The most beautiful and delicate get pushed aside. This is particularly true in the sea. If you are small and weak and only eat weeds, you are the bottom of the food chain. They get eaten first.

9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?

God made it like that. If you suppose he is trying to teach lessons you prefer, then why make the rest of the world work differently. The gentle and innocent should thrive, and the guilty get the worst of it. Instead of this it is the other way.

10 In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Or do you say there is one rule for animals and birds and fish of the sea, and another for man. And if it is so, why is this? They are all living creatures that God made. They have a soul just as man has a soul.

You may well be tempted to say at this stage that Job has not considered that animals and birds and fish have a different soul than a human. Human’s have a soul that lives forever. Well you may have to rethink that view, because no one in the debate raises this difference, and if it were significant, then they would be obliged to raise it, to make sense out of God’s world. It does not come up in the debate, or in the words of Elihu, or in the words of God, which means it is not a factor, and perhaps it is not even true. We are trying to work out what is true and what is a lie. We need to examine everything.

11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?

Your ear is given to test whether the words are valid or not. You try them and accept or reject them. In much the same way as the tongue tastes food and accepts it as nice or rejects it as disgusting. I try your words and find them untrue, and so I reject them.

If iniquity is in your heart put it away – Job 11:13-20

praying man

13 If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;

What you need to do is surrender as a guilty party, make your prayers to him, and let him know you are sorry.

14 If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.

You have to change. You must yield. You must purge all error, and all those who in your house may be guilty need to do the same, because you are responsible for them as well.

15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:

Once you have done that, all will be well again. You cry for relief but you will not do what you have to do. Put your house in order.

16 Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away:

You will get your relief, because you will be restored to your former position of prosperity and peace. And all of this will be forgotten.

17 And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.

You will no longer have regrets, and you will look forward to tomorrow. You will see clearly where you are going and how to get there.

18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig [about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety.

Your safety and confidence will be restored. You will know it will not happen again, because you have straightened it all out.

19 Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.

You will not have to do anything to make it better. Others will do it all for you. It will be better than before.

20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.

The giving up of the ghost is the giving up of the spirit of life. The wicked are the ones who ask for oblivion. They are the ones who find darkness.

There were many lies and assumptions in that argument. We need to be able to work them out, if we are to be of any help to ourselves and others. There was much half-truth. There was much fantasy and invention, and much error. This idea that you prosper if you are good, and suffer if you are evil is an invention. You must ignore the bad times and only remember the good, if you want to argue this point, because the facts do not support the idea. You must lie about how well things are going for you, because everyone has good and bad things occurring daily.

Zophar answers Job – Job 11:1-12

14212472242_d904f90c5c_k

Chapter 11

1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,

He has been waiting patiently for his turn. He was not going to interrupt. Job has reached a plateau. Now is the time to give him some stern advice.

2 Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?

If I am silent now, you will run away with the impression we have no answer. We must speak because it is just words. Words must mean something if we are to take notice of them.

3 Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?

What we have heard are lies. You mock us, you mock God, and there is no end of your words. Do you think we are going to say nothing?

4 For thou hast said, My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

Job had not claimed his doctrine is pure. He claimed their teaching was not right. He claimed to know of no major sin for which this suffering would account. They claimed issues of doctrine, and Job rejected them, because they would not stack up against the facts. He did not claim to be clean in the eyes of God.

He would not confess and abandon his sin, and therefore he must be lying. We know he had no specific sin for which to account, so we can see Zophar is a false accuser.

5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;

If God were to tell us, we would be made aware of secrets that would appall us. God has not done this because he does not need to do it. We know enough just looking at you.

6 And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that [they are] double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less] Than thine iniquity [deserveth].

If he were to show us, they would be twice as bad as we ever imagined. We imagined sins equal to your suffering, but if the truth were known you have gotten-off lightly. We would discover God has only exacted half of what your iniquity deserves.

7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

He becomes philosophical. Your approach is all wrong. You will not find God by going about it the way you do. You can know things about him, but you cannot know all about him. It is not reasonable for you to insist.

8 [It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

For a start he is too far away. You cannot go into heaven. Nor can you go into the grave, so finding out God to perfection is unlikely. You must accept what you are told and leave it at that.

9 The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

You need more reserves than are available to you, so all your words are nonsense.

10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

He can do as he wants. No one can interfere.

11 For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider [it]?

Man has no rights. He gives up all of those by wickedness. Do you not think God has taken all that into account?

12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass’s colt.

A man might want to know, but he has no right to know. He has as much right as we would give to a wild ass’s colt. That is none at all.

You hunt me like a lion – Job 10:16-22

12248607684_8d5dc4e5b9_k

16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.

It gets worse and worse. As time goes by I expect some relief. But relief does not come. It is like a fierce lion is concerned I may escape. It has no emotion about the welfare of the prey. It maims me, and then leaves me alone to ponder my end, and then maims me again, in case I imagine escape.

17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war [are] against me.

It is as if I am on display. You are displaying me to another, testing, probing, and I feel under siege. Even a city under siege will send ambassadors to the enemy camp and ask what the leader wants. He might decide to surrender.

18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!

I must ask why you gave me life in the first place. If you disapprove of me so much it might have been better for me, and for the impression others would have of you, if I died as an infant. From my perspective, it would be better that no one rejoice over me, because there is nothing to rejoice about.

19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.

It happens in the accident of birth that a child is stillborn. Something goes wrong in the delicate arrangement of birth, and the child does not take its first breath. I would not have felt anything. As it is, I am caused to feel unbelievable pain, and I am forced to ask why?

20 [Are] not my days few? cease [then, and] let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,

Seventy years is a short span of time compared to the endless time available to you, so just stop for a while and let me rest. It does not have to be relentless to defeat me. You know I am defeated.

21 Before I go [whence] I shall not return, [even] to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;

There is no life after the grave, to those alienated from God. It is a place of darkness. This is where I will go, and you will be finished with me.

22 A land of darkness, as darkness [itself; and] of the shadow of death, without any order, and [where] the light [is] as darkness.

The darkness that folds around you, that can be felt it is so heavy. All the light down there is darkness.

Your hands have made me Job 10:8-15

3551548997_1e2bfa4e57_o

8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.

I am what you made. Why then would you want to destroy me, unless I am faulty and need to be remade. And if this is so, then a simple explanation is all that is needed.

9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?

You made me from the dust of the ground, and you return me to the dust of the ground. You need to explain what that means, because people are looking for an answer, so they can avoid the offense I have committed.

10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?

It used to mean something when we walked together, and I did what I understood you to want. But this is like you are making something that has nothing to do with me. To make cheese you must beat the cream, but why do you want to turn me into something else.

11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.

You have made me into a man in your image and likeness for some high purpose. All you need to say is you are not satisfied with me, and you need to change me into something else. I would understand, and may even agree.

12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

You give me opportunities and blessings, leading to some purpose you have in me. I have been progressing in one direction, and you are saying it is not what you want. You need to tell me what it is you do want.

13 And these [things] hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this [is] with thee.

It was not for nothing. It meant something to me, but it now appears it means nothing to you, though I cannot believe that. I need to be pointed in the right direction, so I can work toward this new goal.

14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.

If I do wrong there are affects. I accept that. That makes sense. You are righteous and sin is wrong. I understand that. It is unreasonable for you to say to one who is prone to sin, you must not sin. The only way I can be delivered is have my sins forgiven.

15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and [if] I be righteous, [yet] will I not lift up my head. [I am] full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;

It makes perfect sense that I should suffer if I am wicked. But then if I suffer when I am righteous, and the situation does not change, I am confused. You should see that.

I will speak in bitterness – Job 10:1-7

Eye
Eye

Chapter 10

1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

There are three issues here. His soul is weary of his life, which shows how far down he has gone. There is little distance to go. I have reached the stage where I cannot complain any more, and anything I say at this stage will just be an expression of the bitterness I feel. He claims it is too late to hound him however this is what he would say if he had the chance.

2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.

Do not condemn me for asking, even though these things are critical of God. I need to know why you are doing this to me. Again we say everyone knew God was doing it to him. For God to do it, he must have a reason. Because it is so devastating, he feels he has a right to an explanation.

3 [Is it] good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?

I need to know how you can oppress me and make it appear it is all right to do it. You show contempt for one that you have made, and are ready to identify yourself with those who are wicked, who delight in the idea that I be brought down.

4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?

You allow the impression that you identify with human ways of truth and justice, even though they can be seen to be corrupt and unequal. And I do not understand how you can allow that.

5 [Are] thy days as the days of man? [are] thy years as man’s days,

It is as if you are under constraints of time, that will not allow justice to be seen to be done. The urgency has overtaken any other concerns. Constraints of time might explain some of it, but I was under the impression you were not so constrained.

6 That thou inquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?

This urgency translates into a hastened punishment, as if there is not enough time to get it all done. It is almost like an interrogation to see if I will breakdown and confess.

7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and [there is] none that can deliver out of thine hand.

But you already know I am not guilty, so why do you let it go on? You are the only one who can bring this thing to an end. No one can deliver me. You are the only one I can ask, but you do not want to answer.

If I justify myself – Job 9:20-35

A Rainy Day

20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: [if I say], I [am] perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.

Since truth is vital, as soon as I open my mouth I will prove myself guilty. I have no defense. I cannot say I am innocent because it is not true, but then that is not the issue. And yet it seemed the only defense, that is likely to have a chance.

21 [Though] I [were] perfect, [yet] would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.

Even if I were innocent I could never claim it, because it would be inappropriate given my past. So what can I say? We need to remember Job had offered offerings, with those for his children. That alone is proof he needs delivery from his sin.

22 This [is] one [thing], therefore I said [it], He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.

Job becomes a little more rational as he examines the facts. I consider now that God destroys the perfect AND the wicked.

According to the theory, God only destroys the wicked, and the perfect prosper at the hand of God. Job says, God destroys both of them, which raises the question of how that works? It also puts the theory under the microscope.

23 If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.

Perhaps it is a case where the innocent get caught up in the calamity of the wicked, simply because it happens so quickly. God did not intend it, but he was not swift enough to prevent it. In that case he would have to laugh and try harder next time. It is not unreasonable that a chance event take the innocent away.

24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, [and] who [is] he?

Perhaps the wicked have control, so he confuses all the judges and catches them all that way, and innocent people are the ones who miss a fair deal. What is unreasonable is the idea everyone gets justice. It would be impossible to check and impose.

25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.

Days run into one another, so they are gone so fast there is not time for enjoyment, for respite.

26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle [that] hasteth to the prey.

Ships and Eagles are on a mission. They do not get a chance to stop or even slow down, or they miss out. They just have to keep going, or the end will be worse than their greatest fear.

27 If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort [myself]:

If I were to forget my complaint, then the time I spend complaining can be assigned to comfort, and that way I can have some pleasure. But that does not even work.

28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.

As soon as I stop complaining I begin to think of the things of which I am guilty, and they come back to haunt me, so I become maudlin and morose. There is no rest.

29 [If] I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?

It occurs to me that I am not all that wicked, or I would not even try to defend myself. This urge to protest is real. I have a complaint. This is wrong.

30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;

But even if I could make amends, to go back to the start and do it right, it does not seem it would make any difference. There is something seriously wrong with the whole arrangement.

31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.

Your treatment of me will make it clear to all, that I am guilty of something evil, so even my clothes will testify against me. There is no going back from here. I have a mark on me and no one will believe me, even if I were restored.

32 For [he is] not a man, as I [am, that] I should answer him, [and] we should come together in judgment.

Job is once again pleading to have the opportunity to challenge, knowing all the time it cannot occur. But then, provision ought to be made if the matter is to be right.

33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, [that] might lay his hand upon us both.

And providing, is as simple as appointing one who can stand between God and me, one who can relate to both parties, and put the case of the one to the other. God is too high, then someone who can stand between should be appointed.

34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:

He calls on God to provide one who can fairly represent God’s position in the dispute, while they convince Job his view will be heard. To provide one who could become a mediator between God and man.

We must draw the parallel between what Job looked for, and what the Lord Jesus Christ became. He became the mediator between God and men for the reasons Job asks that one be provided here, and for the reason Paul explains in writing his letter to the Hebrews. He says; “we have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.” Here is one who can stand between, and place his hand on God and place his hand on man. This is one who can feel our weaknesses. Therefore man is not expected to appeal to a God who makes him afraid, who makes him feel so ashamed and bewildered by their sin they feel there is no hope. All judgment is given into the hands of this man who stands between God and man. He is provided in that role for that purpose. So “all mouths might be stopped and men should become guilty before God.” But Job suggests God ought to provide someone who can mediate, because he cannot make his point, unless there is one to represent him.

35 [Then] would I speak, and not fear him; but [it is] not so with me.

Under those conditions I would be willing to put my case, but it is not like that, and so I despair.