Job 32 states the dilemma of the book: “Job was righteous in his own eyes,” and Elihu burns against him “because he justified himself more than God” (vv. 1-2).
Job suffers. If Job sinned and suffers just punishment, God is justified. But Job refuses to admit sin commensurate with the punishment. Therefore, Yahweh punishes him unjustly. What cannot happen is that both God and Job be justified. If Job justifies himself, he condemns God; if he justifies God, he condemns himself. Justification is a zero-sum game. This is the cul de sac of the entire OT.
This is the dilemma that the cross unravels: Astonishingly, God justifies Himself in the very act of justifying sinners. God proves Himself just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus.