(Job 23:1-6) “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.”
Often when troubles, trials and adversity comes in a Christian’s life, they turn to God and say as did Job in his troubles, (Job 23:3-4) “…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.” When events in one’s life are past his or her power, they many times look to God and say, “Why, God?” It is when the Christian finds himself powerless to change anything, he begins to turn from self to seek God, the Controller of all events (Prov. 19:21), Who has all power on earth and in heaven (Mt. 28:18).
Many times the troubled Christian approaches God in self-arrogance, as did Job in Job 23:4: “…and fill my mouth with arguments.” Christian, don’t be so quick to condemn your desire to argue with God about recent adversity in your life. This is a natural response of the “old man” that still abides within you. The truth of the matter is, until you leave this life, you will always have questions as to the actions of God and of men. However, do not commend your arrogance in the face of God; for God’s dealings with His children are always just and righteousness: (Rom 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This arrogance of the “old man” must be identified and over-shadowed by the way of the “new man” that abides in the child of God. The best way to see the light is to be in the dark and then come to the light. So it is in the life of the child of God. God uses the doubts, fears and rebellion (the ways of darkness, or sin) of the old man in the child of God to reveal the Light and the ways of the new man; which are the ways of surrender to a Sovereign God, Who is the Creator, Controller and Consummator of all things.
Always remember, the “deceiver” that remains in the child of God until death is the “old man,” or as Paul called it the “flesh where sin abides.” The difference is, once a person is regenerated and converted to Jesus Christ, the “old man” no longer has the power to control the “new man.” The “…new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24), after conversion to Christ is in control of the spirit of man; for this is where God dwells in the child of God.
In the text of this devotion, Job makes a very revealing statement, three things are of great importance if you have great distress in your life today:
- (Job 23:5) “I would know the words which he would answer me,”
- “and understand what he would say unto me.” Job realized that God would answer him; and that he would know and understand God’s answer. However, Job did not say when God would answer; but, that He would answer and would give him understanding of His Answer;
- (Job 23:6) “Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.” Job also realized that God would place “strength” in him to do what had been appointed for him to go through.
You may be asking at this very moment, ‘How can I go through this situation?’ The answer is in (Php 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Friends and family and your Christian brothers and sisters all mean well and it is their duty to bear your burden. However, when they are all gone home and you are all alone; the distressed child of God must come to God; for He, and He alone, can and will give you the power to overcome the terrible situation that you now face.
Before closing these devotional thoughts, look once again at our example Job in the greatest hour of trial of his life. Note the following:
- Job, like so many Christians today who are in their greatest hour of need, wanted to find God and argue with Him. (Job 23:1-4)
- Job knew that God would answer him and would make him know and understand His answer. (Job 23:5)
- Job understood God would not plead against him with His great power; but would give him “strength” to perform in this hour of trial.
- Even though Job tried to find God, God seemed to hide Himself from Job (Job 23:8-9); Job knew that God knew of his faith to stand in the midst of the trial (Job 23:10)
- Job stood firm, no matter how rough his trial became (Job 23:11-12)
- Job knew God was Sovereign, and no man could turn the plan and purpose of God, and God would perform, “…the thing that is appointed for me.”
What is to be concluded in the example of Job’s time of suffering? The conclusion is this, God is God; meaning, He has a plan and a purpose for each of His Children. He has good for each of His children and not evil. Your suffering is not to hurt you; but, to conform you to His Will. The test is not for God to know Who He is; but, that you might know who you are in God. Knowing these facts will bring you peace in the hour of your trial; God loves you, and He knows exactly what you need in order to bring Him glory and honor through you, and to show others around you that you are His child. And God knows exactly what you need in order to mature into the child of Grace He has purposed you to be.
Don’t be upset that you desire to talk to God, and even if your first response is to argue with Him; God will use even your arrogance to bring you to see that God loves you. You cannot look at the situation through the eyes of the flesh; but, only through the eyes of God’s purpose. When God is silent, stand firm in the faith; God is not asleep, but will answer you and give you understanding in His own time. God will give you strength, as He did His servant Job, to go through this time of suffering. (See Psalm 121:1-8.)