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FRAMEWORKS: Job 23: Job (8) Part 1: Job stands firm in the darkness


[Preliminary Comments: This is a remarkable response by Job. He acknowledges that God seems far off [v.1-5] but feels if only he could make contact with Him, God would not condemn him – FIRST faith statement [v.6,7]. He has sought the Lord in every direction to no avail [v.8,9] but he knows the Lord watches over him and will bring him through at the end - SECOND faith statement [v.10]. For himself, he is sure he has sought to remain faithful – THIRD faith statement [v.11,12] yet accepts that God is sovereign and is still working out His plans for him – FOURTH faith statement [v.13,14]. He accepts that he feels what he does because of what God has done, [v.15,16] yet refuses to be put down by the awfulness of it – FIFTH faith statement [v.17]. Remember, this is Job still in the thick of it yet providing an example of a man of faith remaining true to the Lord and gracious in what he says about the Lord – in it!]



v.1-5 Job anguishes to encounter the elusive God


v.1 Then Job replied

v.2  “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. 

v.3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 

v.4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 

v.5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. 


v.6,7 If only he could make contact, he is sure God would be for him


v.6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. 

v.7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge. 


v.8-10 He has sought God to no avail but still trusts in a good outcome


v.8  “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 

v.9 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. 

v.10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 


v.11,12 To the best of his ability he has sought to remain faithful


v.11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 

v.12  I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. 


v.13,14 But God is sovereign in His wisdom and deeds


v.13  “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. 

v.14 He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. 


v.15-17 Fear is a wise response, yet he is not overcome by it all


v.15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. 

v.16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. 

v.17  Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.



[Concluding Comments: In this positive chapter, as we have seen Job , he

•  yearns to encounter God [v.1-5],

•  feels if he could, God would not be blaming him [v.6,7],

•  is sure God is watching over him to yet fulfil His plans for him [v.8-10].

•  declares he HAS kept to God's ways [v.11,12],

•  yet knows God will do what God will do [v.13,14],

•  declares the fear of God is a right response [v.15-17].


Go back through the chapter, picking up the six faith statements we have highlighted and see them as examples to be followed:

•  to be sure in your justification today [v.6]

•  to be confident in God's oversight of our lives [v.10a]

•  and the Lord's ability to bring us through times of testing [v.10b]

•  so we ensure we hold fast to His path for us [v.11]

•  and trust that we can rest in His plans being worked out in and through us [v.14]

•  so we will remain faithful even in dark times [v.17].

A powerful testimony and example.]



Continue to Chapter 24