Job is adamant that he will not surrender his position in this chapter, but he still believes God has caused his troubles. Verse 2 begins “As God lives, who has taken away my right,and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter…”But he says that as long as his breath is in him, he will not speak falsehoods or utter deceit. In other words, he will not say that he has done wrong, simply to appease them. He will hold on to his integrity, and hold fast his righteousness. His heart does not tell him that he has guilt.
As for any enemies (other than God himself, of course), Job says they are the wicked, and any that rise up against him are the unrighteous. God, he is still convinced, will be his witness and his avenger. He puts forward that God will not hear their cry, and they do not call upon the Lord at all times – implying that he does. Then he begins to show his own confidence and says that he will teach his friends about God. He tells them that they have seen themselves, but they have become vain in their thinking.
Job then goes into a long explanation of what will happen to the wicked and oppressors – but it is the “heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty.” Job knows that their punishment will come indeed. It just is not set to do so swiftly in this life. This is the truth that his three friends have missed.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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