Job and his “friends” are talking at complete cross purposes. It is evident the “friends” are not really listening to him, they are not taking in the points he is making. It seems to us there is a parallel here with today: those who claim to believe there is a God, very few really read God’s word to take into their minds – and hearts – its message for today – and tomorrow!
But Job maintains his faith although he is not granted the personal contact with God he seeks. In today’s ch. 23 he declares, “I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him” [v.8] But, in faith, he says, ” …he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”[v.10] This is what happens in the end to you and I – as long as we follow the example of Job and join with him in what he further declares, “My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way … I have treasured the words of his mouth …” [v.11,12]
How wonderful when we can say the same: but the more we contemplate the immensity of what God must be, the more we are inclined to join Job in saying, “he will complete what he appoints for me … Therefore I am terrified at his presence … God has made my heart faint” [v.14-16] Can we grasp the reality of the Creator – and, especially, his all-seeing presence!? Are not our hearts overwhelmed if we intensely pursue such a line of meditation?
How wonderful that we have a mediator, but how real is our Lord Jesus to us? Let us fully appreciate how much we need him: in attempting this appreciation, our thoughts go to our readings in John’s second short epistle. It is written to “the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth …” This is genuine love, true love. There are words in John’s gospel that echo with this! “… when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” [13 v.1]
This is the ultimate evidence of committed relationship: it is the ultimate example for us. It is evidence that John, in his senior years fully experienced and practiced this “love in truth.” Are we following his example?
Back to Job to stress his words. Let us say with him, “I have treasured the words of his mouth” and show this day after day. And let us love all those who do the same – and set an example to those who do not yet fully do so. Finally, the words of Paul to Timothy come to mind, “we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God.” [1 Tim 4 v.10] Because we “have treasured” God’s words – let us set our hope in this way – every day – until he come – and our faith is turned to sight.