After listening to Bildad the Shuhite tell him he should repent, Job wants more. He wants an umpire. He wants an arbiter between himself and God Almighty.
VERSE 1. Then Job answered,
how can man be just with God? Job uses the Hebrew word יִּצְדַּ֖ק (“yiṣ·daq”). It means to be just or righteous.
It is a denominative verb from tsedeq, which means “right relationships.”
Job wants to be in a right relationship with God Almighty.
VERSE 3. If he is pleased to contend with him, he can’t answer him one time in a thousand.
VERSE 4. God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and prospered?
VERSE 5. He removes the mountains, and they don’t know it, when he overturns them in his anger.
VERSE 6. He shakes the earth out of its place. Its pillars tremble.
VERSE 7. He commands the sun, and it doesn’t rise, and seals up the stars.
John 6:19. When therefore they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the boat; and they were afraid.
makes. That is, “covers over.”
VERSE 10. He does great things past finding out; yes, marvelous things without number.
VERSE 11. Behold, he goes by me, and I don’t see him. He passes on also, but I don’t perceive him.
VERSE 12. Behold, he snatches away. Who can hinder him? Who will ask him, ‘What are you doing?’
VERSE 13. “God will not withdraw his anger. The helpers of Rahab stoop under him.
VERSE 14. How much less shall I answer him, And choose my words to argue with him?
VERSE 15. Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn’t answer him. I would make supplication to my judge.
VERSE 16. If I had called, and he had answered me, yet I wouldn’t believe that he listened to my voice.
VERSE 17. For he breaks me with a storm, and multiplies my wounds without cause.
VERSE 18. He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
VERSE 19. If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty! If of justice, ‘Who,’ says he, ‘will summon me?’
VERSE 20. Though I am righteous, my own mouth shall condemn me. Though I am blameless, it shall prove me perverse.
I despise my life. Job is deeply suffering. He admits this truth.
Many Christians would rebuke this statement. However, it is a frank admission of the terrible extent of Job’s suffering. It is an expression of his own grief.
When they are ministering to people who are suffering, Christians should let them speak their truth.
VERSE 22. “It is all the same. Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked.
VERSE 23. If the scourge kills suddenly, he will mock at the trial of the innocent.
VERSE 24. The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If not he, then who is it?
VERSE 25. “Now my days are swifter than a runner. They flee away, they see no good.
VERSE 26. They have passed away as the swift ships, as the eagle that swoops on the prey.
VERSE 27. If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;’
VERSE 28. I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that you will not hold me innocent.
VERSE 29. I shall be condemned. Why then do I labor in vain?
VERSE 30. If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye,
VERSE 31. yet you will plunge me in the ditch. My own clothes shall abhor me.
VERSE 32. For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, that we should come together in judgment.
umpire. That is, “arbiter” (ESV translation).
Job wishes for an arbiter. He wants an intermediary to bridge the gap between the fearsome God and himself.
This comes up again in the next chapter:
Job 10:7. Although you know that I am not wicked, there is no one who can deliver out of your hand.
lay his hand on us both. God has given us the arbiter in the person of Jesus Christ. He takes away our sins and makes us acceptable to God.
Thanks to Jesus, we no longer fear God.
VERSE 34. Let him take his rod away from me. Let his terror not make me afraid;
VERSE 35. then I would speak, and not fear him, for I am not so in myself.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.