6 Hear now my argument;
listen to the plea of my lips.
7 Will you speak wickedly on God's behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?
10 He would surely rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor terrify you?
Would not the dread of him fall on you?
Job is speaking to his "friends". They are zealous, God-believing folk trying to make sense of a situation which challenges their faith and which they feel threatens God's honour. So they come to God's defence and put Job in his place so that God is seen to be justified.
But Job argues that, in fact, if God turned up he would expose the error of his own apologists and vindicate Job's righteousness.
By seeking to defend God they painted a portrait of the situation that dishonoured Job and dishonoured God.
Sometimes, when we try to act as God's friends and to defend him we actually misrepresent him and act, in effect, as his enemies. And on the day of judgement it is such apologists who will have to repent.
Of course, apologetics is not wrong per se — in fact, I consider it to have a helpful place — but it can be wrong: it can be unethical; it can fail to treat people with respect; it can end up misrepresenting the Lord.
What we need is wisdom to know when to speak, what to say, and how to say it. And we need to know when to shut up.
If only you would be altogether silent!
For you, that would be wisdom. (Job 13:5)