Those who keep the way of the Lord may comfort themselves with the thought that they are being tried, that the result will be for their honor and benefit and that when God is through with them they shall come forth as gold (1 Pet. 1:7) pure and precious to the Refiner.
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.
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.
Job 23:1-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 23 – “He Knoweth the Way That I Take”
This chapter is threaded by a sublime faith. Job admitted that his complaint seemed rebellious, but God’s hand had been heavy on him. From the misunderstandings of his friends, he longs for the calm, holy presence of God Himself.
It seemed as if nothing would content the sufferer but a personal audience with the Almighty. He felt that he could plead his cause there without fear. He was sure that his Almighty Judge would not contend against him with His great power, but would listen to him. Yet it seemed impossible to find Him. Job did not realize that he was already in God’s audience-room. We are made nigh through Jesus Christ. God hides Himself, because mortal eyes could not bear the burning glory of His presence. But though we fail to see Him, we are never for a moment out of His view. He knows the way that we take. Speak to Him, weary, suffering soul; the Lord is at hand!
It was not a mere self-righteous boast that the sufferer made in Job 23:7, 11-12. David also used similar words of himself, Psalm 18:20-23. We are always sinners, needing the precious blood; but we may be very thankful if we have been kept from “the great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). Yet the perfect man is still troubled in the divine presence, and his heart becomes faint, Job 23:15-16, unless he can claim something more than creature or natural goodness. “On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” —Through the Bible Day by Day
Job 23:3—Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His seat!
Poor tempest-driven man, he knew not that God was intimately near, nearer than breathing. There was no need for him to go forward and backward, on the right hand or the left. The Lord his God was nigh him, even in his heart; for His throne was pitched, there on the sands of the desert, between job and his pitiless accusers.
Thou needest not speak like this. Thou knowest where to find Him; thou canst find the way to His seat. He is to be found in Jesus, seated on the mercy-seat; in that room where thou sittest reading these words; in that railway train or store. No need to ascend into heaven, or descend into the abyss. Thou couldst not be nearer God, if thou west in heaven. True, the obscuring wail shall be then removed.
“And without a screen,
At one burst shall be seen,
The Presence in which we have ever been”;
but the dropping of the scales from our eyes will not make us nearer God than we are at this moment.
Now go to His seat, just in front of thee. Order thy cause before Him, and argue it. Wait to know the words with which He shall answer thee, and understand His reply. Only be sure that He will not contend against thee with His great power. Sometimes we are so bewildered and perplexed that we lose the realizing sense of God’s presence; but there is no real difference. God is not really farther away; and nothing glorifies and pleases Him more than for us to go on speaking with Him as though we could see His face, and realize His embrace. Be still for a moment, and say, reverently and believingly: “Lo, God is in this place.” —Our Daily Homily
Find the missing words then click and drag the letters in the grid below. Click “Start“
8 Behold, I go ______________, but he is not there; and ________________, but I cannot ________________ him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth ________, but I cannot ____________ him: he ____________ himself on the right ________, that I cannot ______ him:
10 But he ______________ the ______ that I ________: when he hath __________ me, I shall come __________ as ________.
Job 23:10 – When you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to the spirit of God, and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one.
In the meanwhile, continue along the path which you have been already treading. It lies in front of you; pursue it. Abide in the calling in which you were called. Keep on as you are, unless you are clearly told to do something else. Expect to have as clear a door out as you had in; and if there is no indication to the contrary, consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God’s will that you are on His track.
Be not afraid to trust Him utterly. As you go down the long corridor you will find that He has preceded you, and locked many doors which you would fain have entered; but be sure that beyond these there is one which He has left unlocked. Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend of the river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you had dared to imagine in your sunniest dreams. Launch forth on it; it conducts to the open sea. (F.B. Meyer)
Job 23:10 – When David was fleeing through the wilderness, pursued by his own son, he was being prepared to become the sweet singer of Israel. The pit and the dungeon were the best schools at which David ever graduated. The hurricane that upset the tent and killed Job’s children prepared the man of Uz to write the magnificent poem that has astounded the ages. There is no way to get the wheat out of the straw, but to thresh it. There is no way to purify the gold, but to burn it. (Talmage)
Job 23:10 – Though men do not, can not, or will not understand us, it is a comfort to know that our Lord Jesus, who was tried in all points as we are does perfectly understand our hearts.
Job 23:12 – Every growing Christian is a ruminating animal; he chews Bible truths and nutritious sermons and wholesome books and other such provender, as the cow cheweth her cud. One strong Bible text lodged in the memory, and turned over and over and well digested, will be a breakfast for your soul, and in the strength of it you go through the whole day. (Cuyler)