I have to say, the thoughts running through my head reading this section were along the lines of “Would he really have crossed a line with God at all if hadn’t been for his ‘friends’?”
Think about it. His friends are basically yelling at him at this point. “Look, man, how long are you going to argue with us?! It’s obvious you’re being judged for something!”
So Job basically yells back. “I thought you knew me? How long are you going to refuse to believe me?”
Job talks about how everyone has turned on him, convinced his turmoil was something he brought on himself. They have all judged him harshly and incorrectly. He is innocent. Would he have overstepped himself and demanded answers from God if those around him had just sat with him? Commiserated with him? Listened to his pain and walked through it with him? Agreed that it made no sense?
I don’t know that he would. He is still trying to keep his faith in God. “And yet I know my redeemer lives!” In all of this, through all of this, Job holds tight that somehow behind all of it is a just God. He just desperately wants answers.
I would, too. Uncertainty is a lot easier to bear when you have someone at your side who believes in you. To be surrounded by people accusing you? Yeah, he wanted vindication.
Think about that. Think about how often we drive each other to self-defense. How often we go at each other, in the name of being helpful. How often we are just plain cruel to each other because we are tired.
And how often do we argue back with people who are not actually listening to us? How often do we defend ourselves to people who really don’t care about us one way or the other, they just want to be right? How often would be better off grieving their loss than trying to hold onto them?