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1 Then Iob answered, and said,

2 Euen to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heauier then my groning.

3 O that I knewe where I might find him! that I might come euen to his seate!

4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

5 I would know the words which he would answere me, and vnderstand what he would say vnto me.

6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No, but hee would put strength in me.

7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be deliuered for euer from my Iudge.

8 Behold, I goe forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceiue him:

9 On the left hand where hee doeth worke, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himselfe on the right hand, that I cannot see him.

10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

11 My foot hath held his steps, his way haue I kept, and not declined.

12 Neither haue I gone backe from the commaundement of his lippes, I haue esteemed the words of his mouth more then my necessary food.

13 But hee is in one minde, and who can turne him? and what his soule desireth, euen that he doeth.

14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for mee: and many such things are with him.

15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.

16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:

17 Because I was not cut off before the darknes, neither hath he couered the darknes from my face.

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Commentary for Job 23

Job complains that God has withdrawn. (1-7) He asserts his own integrity. (8-12) The Divine terrors. (13-17)1-7 Job appeals from his friends to the just judgement of God. He wants to have his cause tried quickly. Blessed be God, we may know where to find him. He is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; and upon a mercy-seat, waiting to be gracious. Thither the sinner may go; and there the believer may order his cause before Him, with arguments taken from his promises, his covenant, and his glory. A patient waiting for death and judgment is our wisdom and duty, and it cannot be without a holy fear and trembling. A passionate wishing for death or judgement is our sin and folly, and ill becomes us, as it did Job.

8-12 Job knew that the Lord was every where present; but his mind was in such confusion, that he could get no fixed view of God's merciful presence, so as to find comfort by spreading his case before him. His views were all gloomy. God seemed to stand at a distance, and frown upon him. Yet Job expressed his assurance that he should be brought forth, tried, and approved, for he had obeyed the precepts of God. He had relished and delighted in the truths and commandments of God. Here we should notice that Job justified himself rather than God, or in opposition to him, ch. #32:2|. Job might feel that he was clear from the charges of his friends, but boldly to assert that, though visited by the hand of God, it was not a chastisement of sin, was his error. And he is guilty of a second, when he denies that there are dealings of Providence with men in this present life, wherein the injured find redress, and the evil are visited for their sins.

13-17 As Job does not once question but that his trials are from the hand of God, and that there is no such thing as chance, how does he account for them? The principle on which he views them is, that the hope and reward of the faithful servants of God are only laid up in another life; and he maintains that it is plain to all, that the wicked are not treated according to their deserts in this life, but often directly the reverse. But though the obtaining of mercy, the first-fruits of the Spirit of grace, pledges a God, who will certainly finish the work which he has began; yet the afflicted believer is not to conclude that all prayer and entreaty will be in vain, and that he should sink into despair, and faint when he is reproved of Him. He cannot tell but the intention of God in afflicting him may be to produce penitence and prayer in his heart. May we learn to obey and trust the Lord, even in tribulation; to live or die as he pleases: we know not for what good ends our lives may be shortened or prolonged.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 23

  • Anne
    Although Job may not fully understand what he is going through, he still has his trust in God. when God is silent let us continue to have faith and trust in him for He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, creator.
  • James, minister
    Our gracious God is sovereign and knows the trials that each of us will face.We will have to take righteous steps that
    wiil become the stability in which the end can show us it was God all the time.We did not contributed nor blamed for how
    God will turn us into a perfect body of people that believe!
  • Ahuwa Chiamaka
    God is our refuge in the time of trouble because He strengthens us to overcome them all
  • Catherine for verse 10
    ''He knoweth the way that I take '' God sees me is in control as I trust him
  • "My foot hath held his steps". It is interesting to note that the author stated, my foot holding the steps of God and not his feet holding the steps of God. What I feel the spirit of God is saying is that, along with walking, our feet also help us maintain physical balance of our bodies. Especially if we, the body of Christ, are pushed or stumble while walking along a path, the path God has ordained us to walk. When I realize that I am in trouble, because one of my feet is straying from God's chosen path, one foot stays firmly planted while the other foot is trying to help maintain balance until both feet are again firmly planted following the steps of God.
  • Jacqueline Evans for verse 5
    Job23 is. a powerful book.It enables me to know that even though God is silent he is still working on my behalf.

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