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Chapter 23

Job speaks again


Job wants to discuss his troubles with God
v1 Job answered. He said: v2 Even today, I still complain. I am miserable. God still punishes me, although I protest. v3 I would like to find God. I would like to go to his court. v4 I would explain my situation to him. I would reason with him. v5 I would discover his explanation. I would think about his words. v6 I do not suppose that he would oppose me. He would listen to me. v7 In that place, a good man can explain his problems to God. So, God would always rescue me from my punishment. v8 But I cannot go to God. I cannot find him in the east or in the west. v9 I cannot see him when he works in the north. And I do not know when he begins to work in the south. Chapter 23 Verse 1 Jobs final speech begins here. It continues to the end of chapter 31. Bildad interrupts briefly in chapter 25. Some people think that there are other interruptions too. For example, they think that Job 26:5-14 is by Bildad. And they think that Job 24:18-25 and Job 27:13-23 are by Zophar. But the Bible does not name these speakers. And elsewhere the Book of Job always names the speakers. So we think that the complete speech in Job chapters 23 to 31 (except chapter 25) is by Job. Verses 3-5 In Jobs society, if somebody needed help, that person would go to the judges court. The person would explain their problems to the judge. The judge might not only act as judge, but also as the policeman. So he would be an important man, and everybody would respect his judgement. Job was confident that God is a fair judge. Job could not explain why God seemed to be punishing him. But Job knew that Gods answer would be right. Verses 8-9 God is not like a human judge, whom Job could visit. God rules heaven and earth. He works everywhere (Psalm 139:7-10). And nobody can control him (John 3:8).

Job trusts God


v10 But God knows where I am. God knows my actions. He tests me, so that I will be like pure gold. v11 I choose to live in the way that God wants me to live. I refuse to do evil deeds. v12 I obey Gods law always. Each day, Gods words are more precious to me than bread. Verse 10 Job did not know where God was (verses 8-9). But God knew where Job was. Job was starting to understand the reason for his troubles. His troubles were like a test (Job 1:812; Job 2:3-6). Job had been a wealthy man. Now he was poor. The purpose of the test was to see whether Job would still serve God. But the test would also improve Job. Job was learning to trust God more and more. See 1 Peter 1:6-7. Sometimes men test whether gold is pure. They use a very hot fire. The fire burns away anything that is not gold. And only the pure gold remains.

Verses 11-12 These are wonderful words. Job did not behave as Eliphaz supposed (Job 22:4-9). Jobs attitudes were good. Job loved Gods law. Job always wanted to obey God. See Psalm 1.

Job is worried about God


v13 But nobody is like God. And nobody can oppose God. God does whatever he wants to do. v14 He decides my fate. And he has many such plans for me. v15 So, I am worried about God. I think about these things. Then, I am afraid of God. v16 God made me weak. God frightens me. v17 But I will not be silent, even if I cannot see anything. Verses 13-17 Job loved God. But Job was still worried. He did not know Gods plans. And Job was afraid of the future. Job did not need to be afraid. Gods plans for Job were wonderful (see Job chapter 42). And Gods plans are wonderful for everyone who trusts him (Revelation 21). God wants to help us (Mark 1:41-42). He wants to do good things in our lives (Acts 2:38-39). He gives us good gifts (Matthew 7:11). And he will always provide for us (John 14:2-3). So we should trust him (John 14:1).