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Bible Commentaries
Job 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 13

Lo, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood. Now what you know, the same I also know. I am not inferior to you. Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I would desire to reason with God ( Job 13:1-3 ).

Tell me to stretch out my hands to God. I'd love to. I'd love to reason with God. But you guys...

You're a bunch of forgers of lies, you are physicians of no value. Oh that you would altogether hold your peace! and it should be to your wisdom ( Job 13:4-5 ).

If you'd just keep silent, then people would think you're smart, maybe. Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're a fool than open it and remove all their doubts.

Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleading of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him? ( Job 13:6-7 )

Oh, how many times this is being done, even today. People speaking wickedly for God. In other words, they're speaking supposedly for God, but what they are saying is off the wall. God said, "Woe unto that prophet that saith, 'Thus saith the Lord,' when I have not spoken." And there's a lot of that going on today. People speaking, supposedly, in the name of God, and speaking for God, when God hasn't spoken. In James we are told, "Be not many teachers, knowing that you will receive the greater condemnation" ( James 3:1 ). You see, as I stand here before you tonight, I stand here as God's representative. As I speak of God and for God, I must be careful that I speak the truth about God lest you get a false concept of God and then I'm responsible, because you've got a false idea or a false concept concerning God.

Now there are some people who are supposedly representing God, but they are falsely representing God. Because if you listen to them, you'll think that God is broke. And He's going out of business tomorrow unless you respond immediately today. God is constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. And His program is going to fail, this great plan of God is about to go under, and God can't take care of Himself and He's depending on you to bail Him out with your offering of $25.00, immediately. Speaking deceitfully for God.

My son wants to understand a little bit about the radio ministries because he's in charge of the Word For Today ministry and our radio outreach ministry. He has written into a lot of the radio ministries in order to find out what literature they send out and things of this nature. And he writes in, in the name of Benny Smith and gives, of course, our address. And so we're always getting these letters for Benny Smith. Well, that's not so bad, except that we get letters that read like this: "Dear Benny, The Lord has laid you on my heart today and I've been spending time fasting and praying for you because the Lord has revealed that you are going through a special problem at this time." Now that's speaking deceitfully for the Lord, because Benny Smith doesn't exist. "Now please write and tell me your problem and enclose a special offering for my ministry."

Even these men who tell you how to be prosperous, and tell you if you only believed, you can have great prosperity, wrote Benny a letter this week. And if he'll just respond with a $25.00 offering at this time, God's work can be greatly expanded and this glorious truth of prosperity can be heard by many more people. It just doesn't add up. Speaking deceitfully for God. Oh, how I would hate to be in that position.

And so Job rebukes them because they had been speaking deceitfully for God.

Will you accept his person? will you contend for God? ( Job 13:8 )

Will you fight for God? God doesn't need you to fight for Him. God doesn't need you to defend Him. Perfectly capable of defending Himself.

Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do you so mock him? He will surely reprove you, if you do secretly accept persons. Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you? ( Job 13:9-11 )

Now a little further down the line, God finally does speak when we get to chapter 38. And when He does speak, He does exactly what Job said; He reproves these counselors. I mean God really lays one on them for all of the things that they had been saying to Job. And God finally says, "You ask Job to pray for you or you're in big, big trouble." And so Job says, "God's going to reprove you, man. You're speaking all these things for God."

Now Job here gives some of the ancient proverbs with verse Job 13:12 :

Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay. Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let it come on me what will. Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him ( Job 13:12-16 ).

Oh, this is to me a depth of faith. Here is the guy, he's in as bad a shape as anybody could ever be. I mean, you think you've had it bad? You think you've gone through some rough times? Job had it worse than any man could ever have it, and yet, in this place, he says, "Hey, even though He slays me, I'm going to serve Him."

Now how deep is your commitment to God? A lot of people, as long as things are going well, "You bet I serve Him." Things start to turn a bit and you get a little vacillating. Job is in the pit and he says, "Though He slay me." That's real commitment. And that's the kind of commitment we need. No matter what happens I'm going to serve God. Though I be stripped, though I be emptied, I'm still going to serve God. I'm going to trust God. That's the kind of trust that we need to have. Because when you have the kind of trust, then you have rest in your life. It's in God's hands and you can rest. Otherwise things are going to upset you. They're going to get you all disturbed. But if you have that kind of confidence, that my life is in God's hand, and even though He slays me, I'll trust Him, then you can't be shaken.

And then Job said, "He shall also be my salvation. He's going to deliver me."

Hear diligently my speech. Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified. Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I'll die. Only do not two things unto me; then will I not hide myself from thee. Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid ( Job 13:17-21 ).

Just get out of here and don't terrify me with your fears.

Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me. How many are my iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin ( Job 13:22-23 ).

You say I'm such a horrible sinner and all, how many? Show them to me. Reveal them to me.

I went through a long period of my own Christian experience when I was trying to be righteous enough to be accepted and approved by God. I was desiring to receive what was termed "the baptism of the Holy Spirit." And well-meaning evangelists and all would say, "But God will not fill an unclean vessel. You've got to clean up your act, you know, if you're going to be filled with the Spirit of God, because He is a Holy Spirit and He won't enter an unholy vessel." So I was doing my best to clean up my act. As I was asking God to fill me with the Holy Spirit, of course I would confess all my sins and I heard people say, "When I took my cigarettes out and laid them on the altar and said, 'God, there they are, you know, I'm through.' Then God filled me with the Holy Spirit." "When I told God, 'I'll never take another drink,' then God filled me with the Holy Spirit." "When I said, 'God, I'll go to China,' then God filled me with the Holy Spirit." Well, my problem was I never did smoke, so I couldn't lay my cigarettes down. Nor did I ever drink, so I couldn't give up booze. And I told God I'd go to China. And I actually would confess everything that I could think of that I did wrong and ask God's forgiveness. And made all kinds of promises of, you know, "I'll do better. I'll pray more. I'll read more. I'll study more." But still I didn't receive. Now it really troubled me because I had a buddy who did receive and I knew he was smoking cigarettes and that was not fair because I was much more righteous than he was. And he actually went to shows too. And I didn't do that. I was so much more righteous than he was. I couldn't understand how in the world he would receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit on his life and I didn't. And I had a difficult time. And I would pray, "God, show me. Show me what's wrong. Show me my sin."

And here's Job with his friends, "Hey, you're a horrible sinner, man. This wouldn't happen to you unless you're a really rank sinner." And Job says, "All right. Just show them to me. Show me where I'm...you know, you say I'm a sinner, then point them out. Help me out. Point them out to me." And they say, "Well, they're secret, Job. You're hiding them, Job. We can't see them, but they're surely there." And then Job said,

Why do you hide your face ( Job 13:24 ),

Now you have to realize that this is Oriental culture, culture of the Mid-East. You have to actually go over there and watch these people in their arguments to really appreciate this fully. I mean, they don't just say things to each other, they're always yelling at each other. It's interesting, you see people talking and you think, surely, there's going to be a fistfight any minute now, because they're just standing there yelling. I think even the language sounds vicious, you know. You don't understand what they're saying, but they're just standing there yelling. But they not only yell, they shake their heads, they shake their hands, and they're just all full of gestures and gyrations.

And so this is the way these things are going on with Job. And so when Job gets to this point, he says, "Just show me." And they go, "Ohh, noo." And so Job says, "Why are you hiding your face?" A little later on, he'll speak of other gestures that are being, you know, demonstrated. So to get a full mental picture, you've got to see this thing with a bunch of actions and yelling and all. They're not just talking to each another, they're yelling at each another. These accusations and all, and this is really a lively interchange that is going on here, full of all kinds of "ahh," covering their mouth and other (noises and expansive gestures). And Job speaks of these actions, you know, these phony actions, "Oh no," and all of this. So here Job said,

Why are you hiding your face, and why do you hold me for your enemy? Will you break a leaf that is driven to and fro? will you pursue the dry stubble? For you write bitter things against me, and you make me to possess the iniquities of my youth. You put my feet also in the stocks, and look narrowly unto all my paths; and you set a print upon the heels of my feet. As he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth-eaten ( Job 13:24-28 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-13.html. 2014.
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