Job’s Final Defense (Job 31)

Scripture Text:

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Job 31

1. Forgetting all the good things you have done, in a probationary court of law, what would be the most impressive thing you could tell the judge that you have not done?

2. In Job’s final claim to uphold his integrity, before whom is he making his defense? Who is his adversary at law (verse 35)? What kind of courtroom is this, in Job’s mind, where the Judge and prosecutor are the same person (verse 35)? Is this true justice or blind perception? Explain.

3. Who would you guess is standing quietly on one side of the courtroom and why?

4. Upon what basis does Job claim his innocence in verses 5 – 7? In verses 1 and 9? In verses 13 – 21? In verses 24 – 27? In verses 29 – 33? In verses 38 and 39?

5. What is the implicit answer to each of these “if-clauses”? How can Job be so confident before God? What can you assume from this about Job’s understanding of God’s character?

6. What strategy does Job use for his defense? Is he claiming sinless perfection? If not, what?

7. How does Job wish to confirm his oath-taking? How is this oath related to his wish of chapter 19:23?

8. In the end, what has Job claimed in this chapter that has already been claimed for him by God in chapter 1:3? From the perspective of chapters 1 and 2, is Job right in his defense of himself? If so, upon what grounds?

9. How will you claim your innocence before God when your “day in court” comes? Of what sins will you quickly claim yourself innocent? What sins (of omission or commission) will you, more than likely, not want to bring up?

10. How confident will you be before the divine Judge? Who will be your accuser? Upon what ground can anyone come confidently before the throne of Judgment? Who will be at your side? In this matter, how is our situation different from Job’s?

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