Job 23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
In verses 8-9 Job complained that he did not know where to find God. He tried to look ahead and backward but he did not see God anywhere. We are not told what he was looking for. We are not told what evidence he needed to see to satisfy his desire that God was there. We know that God was with Job at all times. Job was never left alone. God never forsook him.
Job wanted God to explain to him why He was punishing him. Job had a false idea of who God is. He assumed that he had the right to demand a response from God. He had witnessed the mighty hand of God earlier in his life with the many blessings he had received from God. Now that some of those blessings were gone, he assumed that God was no longer close to him. As noted several times already, he would soon learn that God was well aware of what Job was facing. God did not take any pleasure in the sufferings that Job faced. There were lessons that Job needed to learn through this testing that he was facing. There are also lessons that future generations of saints would need to learn through the trials that Job faced.
Job did not realize it at this time, but he was a teaching tool for all future generations of saints. His impact went much further than just his children that had died or the children that God would bless him with in the future. Job needed to trust God and so do we.
In verse 10 Job conceded that God knew all about his way. Job was not hiding anything from God. His three friends accused him of being a hypocrite but they had no evidence to back that up. They believed he needed to confess his sin to God and get right with Him.
Job understood that God was not wasting His time with Job. He was wrong in assuming that God was trying him at this time. It was the devil that was trying to break Job and in so doing, he thought he would prove God wrong. God is never wrong, but the devil is always wrong.
Job understood that in the end he would come forth as gold. He understood that he would be a better man in the end of all that he faced. He just needed to trust God more in the midst of his trials. It is not always easy to trust God when things are going tough. However, we need to trust Him just as much in our trials as in the “good” times. Those who are saved can know that God is never far from them.
In verse 11 Job stated that he had been faithful to God. He knew that he had not sought to go astray. He knew what he was doing far better than his three friends did. They had come from other places to “comfort” him. He had lived through the time of great blessings and through the trials he was facing. He knew what he had been doing. His wife did not find any fault in his testimony. She just wanted him to curse God and die. She encouraged him to sin against God, but he refused her wrong counsel.
In verse 12 Job testified that he had not gone back from God’s commandments. He was not a fair weather saint. He was not picking and choosing what he would obey of God’s commands. He had sought to live in accordance with God’s will and way. We will see that in the future.
In fact Job stated that he held God’s Word to be of greater value than his necessary food. That is quite the testimony. We have no reason to doubt this in his life. God did not rebuke Job for making such a claim. God would rebuke him for demanding that God bow to Him, but He did not accuse him of making light of His Word.
In the final verses of this chapter Job appealed to the sovereignty of God. I realize that the Calvinists try to claim that word “sovereignty” for themselves. They have twisted the meaning of that word. God is sovereign. He is Jehovah God. He is the self existent God who does as He pleases when He pleases because He is God. He is not dependent upon any person for anything. Man is dependent upon Him for all things.
Unlike man, God is always seeking to do good to man. He must punish sin. He shows us the great benefit of knowing Him and serving Him faithfully. Satan is a liar and he tries to keep man from believing in God and trusting Him. Most people will choose to remain lost and they will believe Satan’s lies rather than believe the truth.
There are many who assume they can get along quite well without God. We have heard of earthquakes affecting various places in the world recently. We have heard of wild weather affecting certain areas as well. These things are not the result of “man-made climate change”. There are many foolish governments that are promoting that lie. There are many foolish people who are believing those lies. God is in charge and He is showing us that we need Him to give us the environment to be able to live and to flourish on this earth. We are going to see more adverse events taking place as God seeks to get the attention of man.
Those who are saved are being given opportunity to warn the lost of the judgment of God upon the world. It is time for the lost to stop and consider their hard-heartedness. God is God without us. We are nothing without Him. The lost tend to look at the here and now. They ignore the facts of the here and now and they also ignore the facts of the future. Thinking positive thoughts does not mean anything. Thinking realistically and living in the light of God’s truth is what is important. We can handle life when we know the giver of life. Without knowing the true God, life is very difficult and can be overwhelming.
Job did not understand why he was still alive. Why did God not take his life and put him out of his misery. The reason is explained in this book. God had more things for Job to learn and more blessings He wanted to bestow upon Job. We are privileged in having the entire book of Job to study and learn from.
God knew what He was doing then and He knows what He is doing now. The wise person trusts in God and seeks to learn the lessons He has for us in this short time we are on this earth. As we learn and grow in the Lord, we can be a help to others as well. The lost need to know that the difficulties they face now are just a shadow compared to what they will face in eternity. The saved need to understand that this life is short and our trials are nothing in comparison to the blessings God has in store for us throughout all eternity.