Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Job Looking for God Job 23

Job 23:3 "Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!"

I heard a good sermon on this verse last week from this preacher. He was talking about all of Job's losses during this time of testing. He explained that even though the loss of his family and property was bad and the loss of his health was bad, feeling that God had left him was the worst of all.

I've heard of a number of people who have gone through dark times when it seems God was far away. They kept on by faith and made it through the time of testing. That is what faith is all about. It is not knowing all the facts and trusting God anyway. I have seen impossible situations in my life just calm down seemingly without great effort by anyone. We should do all we can but there are times when we need to just wait on God. As he told Israel, their strength was in being still.

I have a little story of my own. I was a Marine guard on a small liberty boat that carried people across a rather large bay. We could not see one side while on the other so the boat driver had to go by those floating markers in the water. The problem was that another boat always came the opposite direction on the same schedule. One of those sudden storms came up and blinded all of us. The driver could not find the next marker and we were in danger of crashing into the on-coming boat. The people all got afraid and began to stand up and holler and disturb the balance of the boat. From somewhere within me I got the strength to confront the large group. In true Marine fashion I told them to "Shut up and sit down!" They complied and the boat steadied. I could then deal with the driver who had panicked and was going around in a circle looking for a marker. I told him that obviously the marker was not here so go a little ways and circle again. In this manner he found the marker just as we heard the motor of the oncoming boat. All came out fine and I'm glad because I could not swim more than a few yards at a time. The point is those passengers were afraid but the best thing for them to do was be still and let the ones in charge get them to safety. There was no time to explain. Every one needs to recognize when it is their time to lead but also when it is their time to 'shut up and sit down'.

v8 "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:"

I am reminded of Daniel. He once set his face toward Israel and prayed to God for an answer. He prayed for 21 days before the answer came. The angel said he was on his way the first day but was hindered by Satan's angels until another angel came to help him. See Daniel 10:12-13.

So we are reminded of the spiritual warfare that goes on without us seeing it except for some results.

Job reasons things out in his heart.

v11 "My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." v12

Job takes inventory of his life and finds that he has done the best he could to live for God. He then wonders at the fact that he was not taken out of this life before darkness overshadowed him. Sometimes you get out before the storm - sometimes you must trust him through the storm.

v16-17 "For God maketh my heart soft and the Almighty troubleth me; Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face."

Perhaps this is the key to this testing time for Job. He was an upright man but in the last part of this book, God will talk to him. He must be prepared to received what God says. So we see the phrase 'God maketh my heart soft'. He was being prepared.

Job will continue in the next chapter with a little preaching of his own.

Job Looking for God.

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