Trace the HEART of GOD when you cannot SEE HIM: "Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:8-10)
Eliphaz exhorted Job to admit that his sufferings resulted from sin (Job 22:1-11) to which Job disagreed. However, when Eliphaz reminded that God is in heaven (v. 12) - this statement may have triggered Job’s lament about God’s inaccessibility. First of all, Job wanted to make it clear that his suffering was even worse than it appeared or than he could describe (Job 23:1–2). This made it all the more urgent that he be able to confront God in a legal setting and arrive at a fair resolution of his case. Job believed that if only he could meet God face to face, he could persuade Him of his innocence (vv. 3–7). Of course, that was not possible, as Job could not see God anywhere he turned – whether it was forward or backward or at his left hand or at his right hand (vv. 8–9).
When Job could not see God around him, he then traced the heart of God. In the very next statement Job declared that God knows the way that he is taking at this time. Job then hit the core of his problems so far – God was testing him as gold is tested through all his afflictions. However, he will surely come out his distress one day – more valuable and more precious - free from all his impurities.
Here are three precious lessons that we can learn from Job’s life:
- At the most difficult times, we should trace the heart of God even when we cannot visualize His presence anywhere around us.
- God will provide us the strength and comfort to see us through our troubles.
- God will also intervene in our lives and with His peace fill up the place that is emptied of the comforts of this life.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalms 55:22)