10 I am disgusted with my life.
I will give vent to my complaint
and speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God,
“Do not declare me guilty!
Let me know why you prosecute me.
3 Is it good for you to oppress,
to reject the work of your hands,
and favor the plans of the wicked?
4 Do you have eyes of flesh,
or do you see as a human sees?
5 Are your days like those of a human,
or your years like those of a man,
6 that you look for my iniquity
and search for my sin,
7 even though you know that I am not wicked
and that there is no one who can rescue from your power?8 “Your hands shaped me and formed me.
Will you now turn and destroy me?
9 Please remember that you formed me like clay.
Will you now return me to dust?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and wove me together with bones and tendons.
12 You gave me life and faithful love,
and your care has guarded my life.13 “Yet you concealed these thoughts in your heart;
I know that this was your hidden plan:
14 if I sin, you would notice,
and would not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me!
And even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head.
I am filled with shame
and have drunk deeply of my affliction.
16 If I am proud,[e] you hunt me like a lion
and again display your miraculous power against me.
17 You produce new witnesses against me
and multiply your anger toward me.
Hardships assault me, wave after wave.18 “Why did you bring me out of the womb?
I should have died and never been seen.
19 I wish[h] I had never existed
but had been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are my days not few? Stop it!
Leave me alone, so that I can smile a little
21 before I go to a land of darkness and gloom,
never to return.
22 It is a land of blackness like the deepest darkness,
gloomy and chaotic,
where even the light is like[j] the darkness.”
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:2 Should this abundance of words go unanswered
and such a talker be acquitted?
3 Should your babbling put others to silence,
so that you can keep on ridiculing
with no one to humiliate you?
4 You have said, “My teaching is sound,
and I am pure in your sight.”
5 But if only God would speak
and open his lips against you!
6 He would show you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know then that God has chosen to overlook some of your iniquity.7 Can you fathom the depths of God
or discover the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earthand wider than the sea.10 If he passes by and throws someone in prison
or convenes a court, who can stop him?
11 Surely he knows which people are worthless.
If he sees iniquity, will he not take note of it?
12 But a stupid person will gain understanding
as soon as a wild donkey is born a human!13 As for you, if you redirect your heart
and spread out your hands to him in prayer—
14 if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it,
and don’t allow injustice to dwell in your tents—
15 then you will hold your head high, free from fault.
You will be firmly established and unafraid.
16 For you will forget your suffering,
recalling it only as water that has flowed by.
17 Your life will be brighter than noonday;
its darkness[l] will be like the morning.
18 You will be confident, because there is hope.
You will look carefully about and lie down in safety.19 You will lie down with no one to frighten you,
and many will seek your favor.
20 But the sight of the wicked will fail.
Their way of escape will be cut off,
and their only hope is their last breath.
Job’s Reply to Zophar
12 Then Job answered:2 No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I also have a mind like you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who doesn’t know the things you are talking about?[m]4 I am a laughingstock to my[n] friends,
by calling on God, who answers me.[o]
The righteous and upright man is a laughingstock.
5 The one who is at ease holds calamity in contempt
and thinks it is prepared for those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of robbers are safe,
and those who trouble God are secure;
God holds them in his hands.[p]7 But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 The life of every living thing is in his hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.
11 Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.13 Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 Whatever he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
whoever he imprisons cannot be released.
15 When he withholds water, everything dries up,
and when he releases it, it destroys the land.
16 True wisdom and power belong to him.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes judges go mad.
18 He releases the bonds[q] put on by kings
and fastens a belt around their waists.
19 He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows established leaders.
20 He deprives trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the elders’ good judgment.
21 He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms[r] the strong.
22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
24 He deprives the world’s leaders of reason,
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.
25 They grope around in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.13 Look, my eyes have seen all this;
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 Everything you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty
and argue my case before God.
4 You use lies like plaster;
you are all worthless healers.
5 If only you would shut up
and let that be your wisdom!6 Hear now my argument,
and listen to my defense.[s]
7 Would you testify unjustly on God’s behalf
or speak deceitfully for him?
8 Would you show partiality to him
or argue the case in his defense?
9 Would it go well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you would deceive a man?
10 Surely he would rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would God’s majesty not terrify you?
Would his dread not fall on you?
12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ash;
your defenses are made of clay.13 Be quiet,[t] and I will speak.
Let whatever comes happen to me.
14 I will put[u] myself at risk[v]
and take my life in my own hands.
15 Even if he kills me, I will hope in him.[w]
I will still defend my ways before him.
16 Yes, this will result in my deliverance,
for no godless person can appear before him.
17 Pay close attention to my words;
let my declaration ring in your ears.
18 Now then, I have prepared my case;
I know that I am right.
19 Can anyone indict me?
If so, I will be silent and die.20 Only grant these two things to me, God,
so that I will not have to hide from your presence:
21 remove your hand from me,
and do not let your terror frighten me.
22 Then call, and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you can respond to me.
23 How many iniquities and sins have I committed?[x]
Reveal to me my transgression and sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a wind-driven leaf?
Will you chase after dry straw?
26 For you record bitter accusations against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks
and stand watch over all my paths,
setting a limit for the soles[y] of my feet.28 A person wears out like something rotten,
like a moth-eaten garment.
At the beginning of today’s reading, Job has some questions to ask God. At the end of chapter 9 here is what Job says, “32 For he is not a man like me, that I can answer him,
that we can take each other to court.
33 There is no mediator between us,
to lay his hand on both of us.
34 Let him take his rod away from me
so his terror will no longer frighten me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear him.
But that is not the case; I am on my own.”
Because he cannot find a mediator, Job, as if a trial lawyer, starts to question God. Surely God has had enough time to look over Job’s sins. Surely he has had enough time to see that Job is innocent. But here is the point, sometimes in our despair we find we are asking God questions, but they are not the right questions. God has already declared Job innocent to Satan, but Job feels he needs to plead his case. Friend, there is no need to plead your case before God…you have a mediator…his name is Jesus…”5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5