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Job 13

Job Continues (13:1–28)

20–23 From this point on and throughout the next chapter, Job addresses God directly—as if he were speaking to Him face to face in a courtroom. He starts by asking God for two things (verse 20): first, that God withdraw His hand of terror from him (verse 21); and second, that God talk with him and show him his offense and sin (verses 22–23).

24–27 Then Job asks God why He is treating him like an enemy (verse 24). “For you write down bitter things against me; you keep a record of all my past sins—you make me inherit the sins of my youth” (verse 26). Job, of course, is mistaken (see Psalm 130:3; 1 Corinthians 13:5); but this is how he feels at the moment. He also feels that God is treating him like a prisoner or a slave—even putting marks on the soles of his feet35 (verse 27).

Many believers go through periods in their lives when God seems to hide [His] face from them (verse 24), when they feel that God is their enemy, their slave master. They know differently, but they are overwhelmed by their feelings. When we suffer without knowing why, it does seem as if God is angry with us. At such times, we must first of all examine ourselves to see if the cause may not be in us. Then, if no cause is found, we must hold on to our faith; we must cling to the hope that in the end God will bring us through to a place of peace and rest. Holding on to our faith in such circumstances is easier said than done, but there is no other way for our faith to be proved genuine (1 Peter 1:6–7).

28 Here Job's mood suddenly changes. He started out with confidence (verses 18,20), but now as he talks with God he becomes aware of his humanness, his frailty; he feels like a garment being eaten by moths. This verse serves as an introduction to Job's continuing words in the next chapter.

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