Job 23 Commentary
Verse 8 is important. God cannot be found by Job’s search in the east and in the west. When the LORD shows up through His works in the north, Job cannot still see Him. And when the LORD turns to the South, Job catches no glimpse of Him. This is not an admission that the LORD is very far away and unconcerned about Job’s righteousness, or the lack of it. Job is simply unable to find the LORD through his searches. And when the LORD shows up through His works or actual presence, Job cannot still see the LORD.
Job is responding and countering Eliphaz’s insistence that the LORD is distant. Indeed, this should be simple logic. The fact that we cannot see bacteria with our naked eyes doesn’t mean that bacteria doesn’t exist. It simply means that our search has been unsuccessful. Reasons are many: it could be that our tools are short or simply that our tools are altogether wrong.
Regardless of the above, the LORD doesn’t have such problems finding man. Unlike Eliphaz’s God, Job’s God is very much around and will test Job’s life. It is another way of saying the Judge will ensure justice is done. Nothing is escaping His attention.
The New Testament is standing in the way of this life-long problem: how can man find this God? If man’s search for God hasn’t produced any fruit – which is the essence of religion, the LORD knows humanity; the LORD knows man’s way. So the solution lies in the LORD stooping down to find man. That is the function of the cross. Through the man Christ Jesus, God can be found. God can be seen.
Again and regardless of the above, God remains sovereign. Job appreciates this fact with admirable obedience. It is a point of worship when the saint coils in ignorance but obedience. Let God’s will be done.
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