Job expends a great deal of words describing the fate of the wicked. Job shows he understands well the folly of even becoming rich through wicked means. Before he describes the ironies that befall the wicked, such as, “However many his children, their fate is the sword” (Job 27:14), Job makes one simple point about his own goodness.

In our translation Job states, “I will never admit you are in the right” (Job 27:5). However, I like the way the ESV captures Job’s rationale for such a refusal as it reads, “Far be it from me to say that you are right” (Job 27:5). Why is it far from Job to say such a thing? His point is that he doesn’t even have the authority to agree with his accusers when he knows they are mistaken. To agree with them would be to lie or take up a judgement that God alone could make about secret or unknown sin. Job refuses to indict himself because he believes such authority belongs to God alone, and so Job waits for his trial before God to hear what God has to say.

Before Job sees God at trial, Job continues to maintain his innocence of sin worthy of his terrible fate. Interestingly, Job even shows integrity in maintaining integrity, for he refuses to lie to appease his accusing friends.