Read: Job Chapter Thirteen
"Only two things do not do to me,
then I will not hide myself from You:
withdraw Your hand far from me,
and let not the dread of You make me afraid.
Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, then You respond to me."
The presence of Job's friends meant so much to him in the early days of his suffering. When the bottom dropped out of his life, they rushed to his side to hold him up; like Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12), their presence strengthened him in the heat of the battle. Their silent ministry was a great comfort to him when his tears were his food and the agonies of his heart were his constant companion. They had proved themselves the most effective counselors until they opened their mouths to actually give him counsel. "You are all worthless physicians. Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom!" (vv. 4b, 5). Without even stopping to consider if they had made a proper diagnosis, they took their scalpels and began to cut into his flesh; and oh, how deep they wounded their friend without a second thought to the scars they were leaving behind. When they opened their mouths to speak, if only they would have turned their words to heaven in prayer, instead of spewing their balm of lies upon his open wounds. "Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay. Holy your peace with me, and let me speak, then let come on me what may!" (vv. 12, 13). Job's only hope for relief from his suffering and their slander, was to get an audience with God so he could make his appeal to heaven. "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him" (v. 15). As Job's life was slowly ebbing away, he declared his absolute trust in the Lord in this bold declaration of faith. Then he submitted his supplication to the One who was his only hope: "Only two things do not do to me, then I will not hide myself from You: Withdraw Your hand far from me, and let not the dread of You make me afraid. Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, then You respond to me" (vv. 20-22). There were two things Job wanted God to do: to withdraw His hand of punishment and to start communicating with him. How he longed to remove the impediment wedged between him and his Friend, so that he could enjoy His favor and fellowship as he had in times past. "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me" (Micah 7:7). May we follow Job's example, and not that of his friends, and go boldly before the throne of grace in prayer to obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Regardless of all the earthly losses we sustain, we will find hope for the journey if we are willing to lay hold of that which can never be taken from us - prayer! "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope" (Psalm 130:5). "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).
"This I recall to mind,
therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD'S mercies
we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion," says my soul.
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
to the souls who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope
and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."