Sometimes it can be hard to find our way in life. This fallen world presents many obstacles, frustration and confusion cloud our judgment, and God can often appear as a shadowy figure. Out in the darkness, somewhere doing something.  Discerning His GPS coordinates can prove elusive though, even for the best of men.  This was the way it was for Job.

““Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. “My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
— (Job 23:8–12, NASB95)

He is looking for God.  Job senses His presence moving in the undergrowth of trouble that surrounds him.  He knows God hasn't completely abandoned him, he just can't quite lay his hands upon Him.  He is reaching out for God, but can't quite touch the warm embrace of His Fatherly presence.  Job is in the shadowlands; there is much he does not yet know.

In such times, our souls yearn for certainty, some solid ground beneath our feet.  Job finds this certainty, not under his shoes but in his God.  The God who knows the way that He takes.  There is a lovely contrast here, between what Job does not know (v8-9), and what God does know (v.10).  Though the children of God don't always know Job's confusion, they can always enjoy Job's certainty.  Their troubles, difficulties, and fears are not unknown to God.  He knows precisely where we are, He knows precisely what He is doing, and He knows precisely where He is leading us.  Home.

For Job, this dynamic spells D.U.T.Y (vv11-12).  He will not allow earthly consternation to lead Him towards spiritual compromise.  He holds fast to the commandments of God.  He treasures God's word more than His bodily food.  He refuses to even consider the prospect of forsaking God for a better show in town.  How attractive the alternative broad road can seem, even though we know it leads only to destruction.  How many of us give up on God, thinking, "God has let me down.  I know what I will do, I will give myself over for a time to the passing pleasures of sin.  I've gotta have some fun somewhere!  And if God won't treat me well, I won't serve Him at all -- at least not with my whole heart!"  The blasphemy of such words is shocking and abrasive.  But we have all had such thoughts, and worse!

Job stands tall, however, as a faithful saint.  One thing is certain, darkness will not have the last word over His soul. He would, I think, agree with John Calvin,

The gist of true piety does not consist in a fear that would gladly flee the judgment of God, but rather in a pure and true zeal that loves God altogether as Father, reveres Him as Lord, embraces His judgment, and dreads to offend Him more than to die.
— John Calvin

May God give us grace so to be, so to know, and so to do.  Until the day breaks and the shadows forever flee...

Comment