Appealing to a Higher Court

Read Job 12--14

"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face." Job 13:15

Job 13:13-17 is one of the greatest declarations of faith found anywhere in Scripture, but it must be understood in its context. In it Job is saying to his friends, "I will take my case directly to God and prove my integrity. I know I am taking my life in my hands in approaching God, because He is able to slay me. But if He doesn't slay me, it is proof that I am not the hypocrite you say I am." Later, Job will take an oath and challenge God to pass judgment (Job 27). To approach God personally was a great act of faith, but Job was so sure of his integrity that he would take his chances. After all, if he did nothing, he would die; and if he was rejected by God, he would die; but there was always the possibility that God would prove him right.

Why does Job want to meet God in court? So that God can once and for all state His "case" against Job and let Job know the sins in his life that have caused him to suffer so much. "Why should God pay so much attention to me?" asks Job. "He treats me like an enemy, but I'm just a weak leaf in the wind, a piece of chaff that is worth nothing. I'm a piece of rotting wood and a moth-eaten garment, yet God treats me like a prisoner of war and watches me every minute" (13:24-28, author's paraphrase). Job felt the time had come to settle the matter, even if it meant losing his own life in the process.

Applying God's Truth:

1. What do you think about Job's desire to meet God "in court"?
2. Have you ever felt so righteous and innocent that you would invite God to "check you out" personally? Explain.
3. What do you think motivated Job's actions: Desperation? Confidence? Or something else?

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