Job 23:3 – Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
Hey all, keeping on in Job today. I’ve been trying to go through the book in sequential order but it is providing difficult! Overall I will be going in that manner, but in between as God leads and ministers his word, that’s where I will be blogging from. The book of Job is an amazing book, it hits some of the biggest issues we face as humans living real lives here on planet earth today. It deals with suffering, it deals with injustice, it deals with questions we all have like why. It’s real stuff. But all through the book you notice one thing, Job is wondering where is God at. Job felt like God was nowhere. We know that God was present in this thing as we have the full story and are also beneficiaries of a behind the scenes glimpse into things… but Job didn’t know what had gone on between God and Satan at the start of the book. And all this happens to Job, all the loss and pain… and God seems to have disappeared on him. So while there is a lot of why God… there is actually another question Job was asking… where is God? Where can I find him in this? Ain’t that a doozy. So there’s not just a why question… there’s a WHERE question. It’s a big question actually, because when life goes sideways, and we are looking around, we struggle to see where God is at. Where on earth is he in this mess? We lose sight of him, we see the waves and begin to sink. When God disappears.
In Job we see that bad things happen in life to good and bad alike. That’s a reality of life. We live in a sin cursed world (our fault!). And people instantly ask where is God in this? How is this fair? We start blaming God, oh God you’re so unjust, you’ve got it wrong, I know better! Did not Job have these kind of questions? If the greatest man of the east, Job, had these questions… we can be sure we will have them also. You don’t have questions or complaints or grievances that aren’t a well worn path of many before. Isn’t it so, when bad things happen, that the world thinks God has disappeared. Where’s he gone? He seems so absent. And that is why many people do bad things, because like in Ezekiel 8:12 they say… the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. And in Ecclesiastes 8:11 – Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Job himself completely undid the very premise of his friend’s arguments, because he pointed to people doing bad things and getting by with it. Of course we know that bad people may get by with it for a time, or in this life, but ultimately the wages of sin is death… and vengeance belongs to God, and God will recompense to each person their works. But what we start to see is that there is more to the apparent disappearance of God than we think. His apparent detachment or disappearance results in behavior, and in many cases it results in bad behavior. Furthermore for the bad, it seems to validate their behavior in their own minds as they do bad and nothing happens. But God is so “detached” for a reason. God’s absence proves all of us, good or bad. It is great when we know God is with us… but the proving grounds for faith is not when we are in close fellowship, but when God seems distant. That’ll really test a relationship.
God seems to have disappeared right? I mean, that’s what they say in 2 Peter 3:3,4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Hey they’ve always said Jesus is coming back, but all we see is things going along like they always have! See… people think God’s nowhere. And we live like it. We can easily do religion, but our hearts and lives are so far from God it’s dizzying. But why is God so “disappeared”? Well there’s a simple answer, that’s the way God has created it. Duh! God in his wisdom has made it so… because he wants to see if we will trust him and obey him. Where was God when Adam and Eve disobeyed God? God ain’t going to force you friend. And when he’s away, see what happens. Moses went away, and look what the people got up to while he was gone… they started fornicating and worshiping a golden calf. God’s disappearance is not really a disappearance, he’s God… but he’s made it so he’s hidden to us carnally and only seen through the spiritual eyes of faith, and he’s made it so we have real options and so we can really make our own choices in our lives. God will see who will take him at his word. Who will value and keep his word? When God has disappeared… he actually hasn’t. You may think he has but God hasn’t forsaken the earth. In tragedy and suffering and pain particularly it can seem like God’s done a runner… but he hasn’t. Where is God in all this? But God has made it so that the just will live by faith. See faith isn’t abstract belief made up in something we create in our minds… it’s believing God’s word. It wouldn’t be faith if we could see him. God’s word means a fair bit to him, the Bible says he has magnified his word above his name. It’s about faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God… Hebrews 11:6.
We live in a time where everyone is wondering… where is God in this? Coronavirus has swept across the entire world and nobody quite knows where to place it and how to deal with it. There are so many unknowns… we can try figuring it all out like Job’s friends and Job… but boy oh boy it is a hopeless task right. We don’t know everything, and really we barely know anything at all. And there are so many things happening in recent times, and we can seem lost as to where God is in it all. But the Bible does eventually answer this question in Job doesn’t it? Where was God? Well Job knew where God was when God spoke. God spoke to Job when Job and his friends were done with their arguing and debating. Where was God… and where can you find God? You can find God in his word. That’s how he’s chosen to reveal himself to man for the time being. God’s word is God speaking, and we have it every day for us written down. Sometimes we all need a refresher on what God says, see Job knew what God said, but he finally heard God speak again. That’s why we must read our Bible again and again, it keeps building our faith as we read and the Holy Spirit ministers the word to our heart. You won’t see Jesus Christ in person yet. And thus you won’t see God yet, because seeing Jesus Christ is the only way you will ever see and know and comprehend God. 1 Peter 1:8,9 – Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Remember Philip, he wanted to see God. Look what Jesus said to him. John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
You may think God has disappeared… but God was there all along. You’ve had a Bible all along. God was there at the start of Job’s trial, and he was there at the end… and he was there in between. It can seem like God is absolutely nowhere at times, just like with this coronavirus thing. But he’s way ahead of this. We need but turn to his word to find God, but that involves coming to an end of ourselves. It was when the friends stopped, when Job stopped, when Elihu stopped… that God spoke. If Job shut up, so should we. If you think God has disappeared, if you think it’s nowhere… it’s because in those times God is seeing whether or not his word is enough for you. What his promises really mean to you. Whether you value the gospel of his Son. Whether you value the word that has been given you, a word that carries the seal of the Creator, a word that created all things and by which all things consist, a word who’s very promises alone hold the key to our personal and corporate eternity. Don’t take God’s word for granted… if Job couldn’t find him, imagine how hard it will be to find God if God actually withdraws himself from you? Salvation is a gift, not an entitlement.
We so easily go past the precious word of God delivered to us, who our faith is built upon. You know, hearing his word and believing it and building your life upon it… Jesus said that’s building your house upon the rock. And when the wind and storms came… the house stood firm. You may not see yet, you may not know everything, you may not be able to work it all out… but you can trust God while he’s gone, so you’re not ashamed when he is revealed. We have more than enough to go on, we have his word, a word that will remain while all else passes away. We have the promise from Christ that he will never leave us or forsake us, that he is with us always, even unto the end of the world. God gives us in every day a fresh opportunity to choose to believe him, to trust him, to trust what he’s said. This was a trial of Job’s faith, would he keep believing and trusting God despite a hostile set of circumstances… part of which was feeling like God had dealt him a bad hand and not really knowing where God was at. Life may be tough, but trust the book, trust his word, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today.