-Job replies with a heavy heart longing for the God who has seemingly abandoned him during this time of need. The LORD’s tests were arduous and enduring. He equivocated his complaint to rebellion, probably in reference to what Eliphaz had just said (see Job 22). Job felt the LORD’s heavy Hand upon him despite his continuous groaning in unrelenting pain. He couldn’t find the LORD. He wanted to come to His seat and reason these things out. In other words, he was desperately looking for answers to all his life’s problems. He wanted to present his case before the Almighty and actually argue with Him. He had a desire to hear, perceive, and learn the words of the LORD’s answer, but they were not forthcoming. God remained silent for this time, to prove Job’s faith. He reasoned, “Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power?” Then he answered his own question with a level of trust, “No, surely He would pay attention to me. There the upright would reason with Him; and I would be delivered forever from my Judge (Job 23:1-7).”
-Job continues to bemoan the fact that the LORD’s presence was nowhere to be found. He goes forward, but He is not there. He goes backward, but he can’t perceive Him. When God acts on the left, Job cannot behold Him. When He turns on the right, Job cannot see Him. However, Job realizes that God is aware and knows as to the way he would take. Job demonstrates great awareness with these words. He maintains his stance that when he is tried, he will come forth as gold, rich and pure. He discerned that his foot had held fast to the LORD’s path. He had not turned aside to false doctrines, ways, or means. The commands of God’s Lips he had not departed from. He had treasured the Father’s words more than his necessary food. But, Job realized that the LORD was unique, and wondered who could ever turn to Him? Whatever God wants in His soul, He does. Nothing can thwart Him. He performs what is appointed for His servant, and anyone else as well. Because of all this, Job concludes that he would be dismayed at His presence even if this was available. When he considers all these deep things, he is terrified of the All-powerful Majesty. He speaks again, “It is God who has made my heart faint, and the Almighty who has dismayed me, but I am not silenced by the darkness, nor deep gloom which covers me (Job 23:8-17).”
-*Application* It is known from Scripture that the LORD departs from us sometimes to see what is actually in our heart (2 Chronicles 32:31). This is a test that He knows the outcome to, but it makes us fully aware of the truth in our own heart. When these times of dryness or loneliness pervade, how do we respond? Let us long for God like Job, and many other righteous people, have done. God will come back. Actually, His presence never leaves us or forsakes us, so don’t worry. Instead, have complete and abiding faith even through all of life’s difficulties. He knows the way we take.
Verse to Memorize: Job 23:10