Introduction: A theme we keep seeing in these lessons is that we must
trust God no matter what happens. The question is, “Trust God to do
what?” Our assumption is that we trust God and He will make things
better. If we are suffering, we would hardly want to trust God that
things would remain the same or get worse, right? One reason we
trust God is because the issues are not about us, they are about the
larger conflict between good and evil. But, even though we might
intellectually agree that “it is not about us,” our trust is that God
wins that larger conflict so that at some point in the future our
suffering turns to joy. We call that “hope.” Let’s plunge into our
study and learn more about our hope!

  1. Job’s View of His Friends

    1. Read Job 13:1-2. What does Job think about the attitudes
      of his three friends? (They think they are smarter or know
      more than Job.)

      1. What does Job think about their relative
        intelligence? (That they are all smart, including

      2. Read Job 12:3. In both chapters 12 and 13 Job makes
        the same statement that he is as smart as his
        friends. What does this tell you about Job’s
        attitude? (He thinks that he is really under attack
        on this point. How do you like it when someone says
        in a dispute, “I win because I’m smarter than you

      3. No doubt this is a universal debate about government.
        Those who think government should be small, want to
        be left alone to make their own decisions. Those who
        think government should be large, think that they can
        help the government make better decisions for other
        people. Does anyone think that other people make the
        best decisions for them? (I’m doubtful that anyone
        thinks they should turn their decision-making over to
        someone else. Job says “I’m smart enough to make my
        own decisions.”)

    2. Read Job 13:3-4. This is an old theme. Job believes he has
      been treated unjustly, and he wants to be able to argue
      his case before God. Job’s friends think that Job is
      obviously sinful, and that is why he is suffering. They
      think that Job’s refusal to admit his guilt, and his
      insistence that God is treating him unfairly, shows a lack
      of respect for God. Job calls the views of his three
      friends “lies.” Do you think Job’s friends are lying? (To
      the extent that they say that Job deserves to suffer, they
      are speaking things that are not true. However, I believe
      the friends think that what they are saying is not only
      true, it is important to say.)

      1. What do Job’s friends think about his honesty? (They
        think Job is lying about his guilt.)

      2. Is there any hope for resolving this debate when both
        sides think the other is lying?

        1. Are they, as Job says, “worthless physicians?”
          (If the goal is to heal the situation, then
          they are worthless for that task.)

    3. Read Job 13:5. Is this true? (Yes. Keep this in mind when
      you are trying to comfort someone.)

  2. Job’s Argument

    1. Read Job 13:6-9. Job has just said that his friends are
      not any smarter. In what other area are his friends no
      better than Job? (In Job 13:9 Job says that their behavior
      is no better than his. He does not think they could
      survive a close look by God. He thinks that they put on a
      better show of obedience to the public then they do in

      1. Is this true of everyone?

      2. Do you think this helps Job’s argument about not
        deserving his situation? (This seems to be an
        admission that Job is not as good as he seems to be.)

      3. Notice that in Job 13:7 Job says that his friends
        argue “wickedly” and “deceitfully” on behalf of God.
        How is that true? (If the friends do, indeed, have
        secret sins and they are doing well, this shows that
        they do not truly believe that God punishes the

    2. Re-read Job 13:8. What does it mean that Job’s friends are
      “partial” towards God? Do they favor God over Job?

      1. Consider that charge. Are Job and God opponents? Is
        that the correct mind set for Job to have?

      2. Are you partial towards God? (Many are rebels against

      3. Is Job’s claim of partiality towards God a valid

      4. Should we consider whether we are showing enough love
        to others, or are “partial” towards God? (God loves
        us. Being “partial” towards God means that we should
        also be loving towards those around us. Job creates a
        false dichotomy in claiming that being biased in
        favor of God shows hostility toward him.)

    3. Let’s jump down a few verses and read Job 13:13-15. Why
      would God slay Job? (Job believes that he is opposing God
      by demanding that God explain the justice of what is
      happening to Job. Job also believes that God is the power
      of the universe. It is normally dangerous to challenge the
      king. Thus, Job believes that he could be in peril.)

      1. What does Job mean when he says that he would “hope”
        in God even if God killed him?

        1. How is this “hope” related to Job saying that
          he will defend his ways “to [God’s] face?” (Job
          is not backing down on his claim that he does
          not deserve to suffer. He thinks that he is
          right, and God is wrong, in letting him suffer.
          Nevertheless, Job’s hope in the justice of God
          remains even if God kills him for being

    4. Read Job 13:16. Why does Job think that God will not kill
      him for being impertinent? (The fact that Job appeals to
      God for justice shows that he is loyal to God.)

      1. Do you agree with Job’s view? (Yes, it is not
        disloyal to view God as the solution to a problem
        that you want to bring before God.)

    5. Read Job 13:17-19. Wait a minute! Job speaks of his death
      in another context. Job is not talking about God killing
      him for being impertinent. What would cause Job’s death
      here? (Job fears that his current illness will end in
      death. In fact, he hopes death will come soon if he is not
      vindicated. Since Job’s friends argue that he is suffering
      because of some secret sin, Job’s death would result from
      that and not impertinence to God.)

      1. Is Job showing hope here? (Yes. He says, “I know I
        will be vindicated.”)

    6. Read Job 13:20-22. Job asks God for two things. What are
      they? (He asks that God will put a stop to his suffering
      and then grant him the hearing he requests.)

      1. Are Job’s two requests fair? (If you agree that a
        person is innocent until proven guilty, then Job
        should not be suffering for his sin until after
        losing his hearing before God.)

        1. What is wrong with our conclusion? (It assumes
          that Job is suffering for his sin – which we
          know is not the case.)

    7. Read Job 13:23-25. What is the lesson can we learn in
      Job’s continual mistaken belief that he is suffering for
      his sins? (That we do not know enough to argue our case
      before God. We do not understand the big picture. Job
      does not understand that he is suffering because he is a
      righteous man, not because he is an unrighteous man.)

    8. Read John 16:33. Jesus has just told His disciples that He
      is leaving and that other people will want to kill them.
      Wow! That is a big load of bad news. How can Jesus say “I
      have told you these things, so that in Me you may have
      peace?” Knowing that terrible things are coming is not
      normally the road to peace of mind! (Jesus continues, “But
      take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is where Job
      failed. Job thinks that he needs to convince God that he
      does not deserve to suffer. He does not know that God
      agrees, God does not want Job to suffer. If Job just
      trusts God, He will make things right.)

    9. Friend, I ask you again, will you agree to just trust God?
      Trusting God will give you hope!

  3. Next week: The Wrath of Elihu.