Job 23:1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
Job has been putting up with lies and false accusations for some time now. We are not given a time frame as to how long Job was suffering from ill health and from these false teachers. I have no doubt that these false teachers were harder on him than his boils. The boils were a physical issue. These men were seeking to demoralize him. They were attacking his emotions and his soul. This was a difficult thing for Job to take.
As we have noted before, it is important to have good friends in life. A good friend is a faithful Christian. Those that are not saved would not see the importance of this. They would look to the world for diversions from their challenges. If a person has enough money, they might be able to buy enough diversionary things to keep the emotional toll under control for a time. However, there is eternity, where money does not exist, that is ignored by lost people.
When we observe what Job was facing from these three men, that is nothing compared to what lost people will face in hell. Some people talk of their life being “hell on earth”. They do not know what they are talking about. There is nothing on this earth that can be compared to hell. God’s Word gives us all the description of hell that we need. That description should cause all lost people to run to God for help, but sadly most don’t believe what God says and they ignore His Word.
As long as a person lives on this earth, there is always an opportunity to hear the truth and turn to God in repentance and be saved. After death that opportunity does not exist any longer. Death is final. The lost person can think of things they wish they had done, but there is no opportunity to change anything. The lost person will be in torment for all eternity. This should be a very sobering thought.
Job knew the true God. He had walked with Him for some time. He had sought to help his children to know the fear of God. At this present time, he longed for an opportunity to talk to God and to find out why He was inflicting such pain on him.
Job was in a difficult place. Even when he complained, these three men would take that and distort it and use it as fire power against him. Job needed to voice his concerns, but when he did these men used his words against him. The Hebrew word translated as “stroke” is in reference to his strength. It literally speaks of his hand as a symbol of power.
Job was struggling to find purpose in what was happening to him. He knew he would not find any help from these three men. He did not even bother to respond to Eliphaz’s latest rant. He sought to hear from God.
In verses 3-7 that is where Job turned his attention. These three men were quiet for a little while and that gave him opportunity to express his desires before God once again. In verse 3 Job assumed that God was hiding somewhere. He needed to find out where that place was. The good news is that Job did not go off on a tangent somewhere. There are so many people who have developed evil philosophies as to how to know God. Job simply brought his complaint into the open and hoped that God would respond to him.
In verse 4 Job stated that he would organize his thoughts in a way that would be most profitable before God. He did not want to be incoherent. He wanted to think things through so that he could make an intelligent plea before God. He also stated that he would be ready with his arguments before God. That was a useless tactic. There is no value in arguing with God.
Moses tried that when God called him to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage. Moses lost out with his arguing. God knew that Moses could do the job under His authority. God was not asking Moses to do it alone. He was simply asking Moses to be His mouth piece and His representative before the children of Israel and before the Pharaoh. Moses did not win the argument. He wasted time and resources, but it did not benefit him at all. He needed to understand the blessing there is in being chosen by God to serve Him.
In verse 5 Job desired to know the words that God would give in answer to his arguments. As we will see yet, Job was greatly humbled when he was confronted by God. He realized how foolish he had been in making all kinds of plans to set God straight. He needed to understand that God is greater than all of His creation and no one can teach God anything.
In verse 6 Job was sure that if he could talk to God, God would exonerate him and He would strengthen him. Job was sure that he did not deserve the chastening that he assumed he was getting. He did not understand that God was not chastening him. He needed to learn patience. Every true child of God needs to learn patience. We can know that God knows what He is doing. He does not make any mistakes and He does not act irrationally.
In verse 7 Job had confidence that in God’s presence he could make his claim. He believed that God would hear him out and that God would justify him. He did not understand that God had justified him in the presence of Satan. He had declared that Job was better than what Satan accused him of.
Job would soon get his meeting with God and God would show him that he was out of line in his way of thinking toward God. Job had some good qualities, but he lacked that reverence that he needed to have for God.
God wants us to take the time to learn of Him.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We know very little about God and Jesus Christ. We need to turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation first of all. Then we need to spend time every day in God’s Word, to get to know Him better. We also need to become part of a true local church where we can hear the preaching of God’s Word, but also interact with the preacher and with other saints.
God shows us in the book of Job how taxing it is to have ungodly friends who have an agenda that is against the Word and will of God. He shows us how important it is to have some godly friends who we can meet with and get to know as they get to know us. As we get to know one another, we can begin to understand how to best help one another in good times and in difficult times.
It is a shame that so many people choose a church that does not seek to honour God. Too many people want their ears scratched, rather than have their hearts touched with God’s Word.
As Jesus taught, take the time to learn of Him. The Bible shows us that the right way to learn of Jesus is in a good local church, in this dispensation. There have been men like Perry F. Rockwood who called himself the radio pastor. He had contact through radio and the printed page, with many people over the years. He had some good things to say. However, it is not possible to be a radio pastor. It is not possible to be an internet pastor.
In John 10 Jesus stated:
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Jesus is God and He knows each person inside and out. However, for 3 1/2 years He met with hundreds of people in large groups and in smaller groups. He did not settle in one place and beam His Words across Israel. He went to where the people were and He dealt with them on a personal level. He is not physically here now. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us how we can know Jesus Christ now. We do so through a good local church that honours His Word and has a faithful pastor/teacher who can help people to understand and follow the truth.
Job did not have that option at this particular point in the book of Job. Most people today do have that option, although too many are choosing not to take advantage of the opportunities that God is giving them to be in a good local church where they can be fed properly. Choose wisely and be blessed of the Lord.