Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:
21 Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid.
22 Then call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, then You respond to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do You hide Your face,
And regard me as Your enemy?
25 Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro?
And will You pursue dry stubble?
26 For You write bitter things against me,
And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You set a limit for the soles of my feet.
28 “Man decays like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.
2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one,
And bring me to judgment with Yourself?
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
5 Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
6 Look away from him that he may rest,
Till like a hired man he finishes his day.
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.
10 But man dies and is laid away;
Indeed he breathes his last
And where is he?
11 As water disappears from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dries up,
12 So man lies down and does not rise.
Till the heavens are no more,
They will not awake
Nor be roused from their sleep.
13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.
15 You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.
16 For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.
17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my iniquity.
18 “But as a mountain falls and crumbles away,
And as a rock is moved from its place;
19 As water wears away stones,
And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
So You destroy the hope of man.
20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes on;
You change his countenance and send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.
22 But his flesh will be in pain over it,
And his soul will mourn over it.
In this prayer Job is terrified of God and can’t understand why He is against him. In Job 13:23 and 24 Job prays, “How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offenses and my sins. Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy” (NIV)?
It is interesting to me that Job does not credit the devil for anything. He blames God for all his pain—that He is behind it all. And ultimately Job was right. The devil did have a hand in it, but God was always in control. He, in a sense, was directing Satan, and he could put a stop to it at any time. I think we sometimes give too much credit to Satan. It is God who controls all things.
In Job 14:13-17, Job, in desperation, prays for death to escape God’s anger. Then he also prays for resurrection, and that God would forgive all of his sins. Job prays, “All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come… Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin” (NIV).
What a blessed and hopeful prayer. For Christ does cover all the believers’ sins.
This post is an excerpt from my book Service of Prayer.