He Couldn’t “Find” God

October 19 – Today’s Readings – Job 22-24 and Psalms 109

Job 23:3-12 reads, “If only I knew where to find him if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say. ‘Would he oppose me with great power? No, he would not press charges against me. There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be delivered forever from my judge.’ ‘But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”

Here is a man who stands confident in his righteousness (right standing with God and others) even though all of his outward circumstances speak of the opposite. His friends are trying to convince him that he is not right with God although Job knows in his heart that he is pleasing to the Lord.

This kind of faith takes a deep understanding of who God is and what makes us “righteous”. We can be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to the outward trappings of the Christian faith, yet have an assurance that we are saints of God. The devil may “sift us like wheat” (Luke 22:31) for a season, yet we will be confident of our forgiveness and salvation.

It is astounding to me that we can get so caught up with what righteousness looks like on the exterior that we forget “the kingdom of God is within you”. (Luke 17:21) This was Job’s situation. He knew in “his knower” that God had made him righteous – that he was a Son of God – that he was accepted. Remember Job 19:25 – “I know that my redeemer lives”? He hung on to his faith and to his confidence of salvation because ultimately he had nothing else to hang on to. If for a moment, he had followed his wife’s advice to “curse God”, (Job 2:9) then it would have been the end and he would have died. Not Job. He was certain of what he could not see (Hebrews 11:1) and he had evidence in his heart that his salvation was secure.

What an example for those who suffer – what a strengthening testimony. Job was facing one serious problem however – he couldn’t “find” God. He wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit as a New Testament believer is and he didn’t have Holy Scripture to guide his thinking. He was on his own because God was not answering him and the enemy was pressing his attack on Job to the point of death. Somewhere inside he knew however that God is a Holy and Just God who does not do evil!

Questions:

1. What gives you confidence in God’s love, care and presence when you go through extremely negative situations?
2. Give another example of a New Testament saint who went through severe trial yet had confidence in his relationship with God.

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