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Job 23

The other day I was with a man who is blind in his left eye. At one point, he was startled by the fact that there was someone in his blind spot that he did not see. Because he did not see the man standing right next to him he almost knocked the man over when he quickly turned in that direction.

Job begins this chapter with these words, "Today also my complaint is bitter..." (v.2). His complaint is bitter and his soul groans because of his trial. And in the midst of this trial Job says, "Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments." (v.4)

Job is not afraid to seek the Lord and to tell Him all about his case; rather, he is confident that if he could come before the Lord that he would know and understand how the Lord would answer him (v. 4-5).

Job says, "Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge." (v.6-7)

Just this morning someone told me of a man who is getting older and experiencing severe complications with his health. His family is trying to help as much as they can but where their ability falls short the man refuses to accept the help of others. This has become a great burden to the family and has caused much concern for them about the care this man could receive.

Job is not like this man. Job cannot receive the help he needs from his friends but he looks to the Lord for his help. And he knows that the Lord can help him. There is just one problem, Job does not know how to find Him. Job does not always know how to perceive that the Lord is present. He says, "Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive Him; on the left hand when He is working, I do not behold Him; He turns to the right hand, but I do not see Him."

Job gives us a further description of this situation at the end of the chapter when he says, "God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face." (v. 16-17)

Job finds himself in this situation where God cannot be perceived even though he knows that the Lord is present. Job seems to know that God is at work around him even though he cannot point to Him at any given moment (v.9).

Job says, "But He knows the way that I take; when He tried me; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and I have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food." (v.10-12)

We see here the comfort and consolation of the Word of God in Job's life even when he cannot feel Him or perceive Him throughout his day. This dark time is a testing that will produce something within Job that is as valuable as pure gold. So Job does not stand around and do nothing. He does not sit around and sulk. No, he says, "My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept His way and I have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food."

This trial has made Job more sensitive to the preciousness of the Word of God. The commandments are associated with the lips of God that are breathed out from His mouth. The words of His mouth are to be treasured by Job more than even the food that he eats. So often when we are sick we set aside the Word of God for the food that we think will make us strong. When Job experienced the sensation of being distant from God and when he was made to feel as though God could not be found, Job found a way to experience great comfort and intimacy with the Lord.

May the Word of God be this to me. May the Word of God bring me comfort, nourishment, profitability and a deep sense of God's presence as it does here for Job. Amen

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