Job succinctly describes the problem with his friends’ counsel when he claims, “You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you!” (Job 13:4) Those lies have been about both Job and God. After saying this, Job makes plain what he ultimately longs for, namely an opportunity to make his case before the throne of God.

In confidence, Job declares his innocence and his confidence in God’s justice. “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him” (Job 13:15-16). Job believes it is impossible for the guilty to desire a hearing with God, for that would only lead to greater shame and destruction. Job is essentially saying, “Why would I want to stand before God if I were guilty?” Indeed, that would only be a fool’s desire. What Job really wants is for God, whom Job loves, to tell him why the Lord has afflicted Job and his family. This does not mean Job doubts God’s existence or character, but that he does not understand God’s hand at work. So, Job wants to hear directly from God. I think we all have been there from time to time.

Again, Job shows us authentic suffering before God, without denying His trust in the Creator of all things. When suffering comes, may we know the righteousness that is ours in Christ and boldly seek God for insight, for God loves to give knowledge to His children.