Job now begins his part of the “discussion”. For me the meat of his statements are found in vs.14 where he states: “Those who withhold kindness from a friend, forsake the fear of the Almighty.” Those are some pretty strong words, even fighting words. He goes on to accuse his friends of being treacherous like a torrent-bed. He says that in the time of heat they disappear, just like ice When things get rough, good friends don’t disappear.
His friends didn’t disappear, but rather they were there accusing him of doing something terribly wrong and so as a result he was being punished for that wrong. Job states basically that he hopes the Lord would just crush him because then that would show that maybe his friends were right, he was doing something wrong and at the core he was unrighteous. But that is not happening.
As a result Job pleads with the Lord to teach him what he is to learn from this situation. So often our prayers are that we would be taken from a situation that is calamitous. We don’t pray for a sense of understanding and wisdom as result of what we have experienced and suffered. That is a huge difference when we pray to be liberated from pain as opposed to praying that we would understand what we are to learn from the pain in which we find ourselves. That is a complete turn in prayer which Job sets the stage for us in which we are to be involved.