Fully aware that God is “not a man” (9.32), he expected to be paralyzed with terror (9.34; 13.21) when it was his turn to speak [to God].  Behind his anxiety lay an even more shattering thought.  What if the difference between God and man is so great that each has a different moral code and Job finds that there is no common ground to argue on?  The friends’ songs in praise of God’s justice, instead of making Job feel guilty, have had the opposite effect.  Now, he is certain that he is in the right (7a: the key word in Job 1.1) and equally sure that God will not take unfair advantage of His superior strength (6a), but will give him a fair hearing (6b).  The acquittal he expects is not the pardon of a guilty man by grace but the vindication of a righteous man by law.  This does not mean that the Book of Job is ignorant of the truths which Paul spoke are attested by “the law and the prophets” (Romans 3.21), including [the Book of] Job.  What Job is seeking is confirmation from God in contradiction of what his friends have been saying, that his right relationship with God which, throughout his whole life, has been grounded in the fear of God and not in the merit of his own good deeds, was unimpaired.  Job’s expanding faith will embrace his sufferings as something between himself and God within that right relationship.

From: Job: An Introduction and Commentary by Francis I. Andersen; Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1976), p. 209.  Comment on Job 23.


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