Job 23:3 “O that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat!”

Observation: In this reading, Job declared his great longing for God. The security, comfort, and health he had once known had been stripped away, and the counsel of his friends, while well motivated, had issued from their impoverished reservoirs of the knowledge of God. So Job cried, “O that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat.” See how honest Job was in his cry, and how well he expressed the longing of every honest heart in the midst of trials? Later, in verse 16, he acknowledged that his suffering is in God’s will: “It is God who has made my heart faint, and the Almighty who has dismayed me.” Still, the deepest desire of Job’s heart was to again find himself in God’s presence.

Application: Imagine the disciple John, reclining at dinner one evening with his body pressed close in front of Jesus, his head resting on Jesus’s breast, secure in a position of intimate touch that would be unusual between men today. That’s where Job wants to be. Isn’t it interesting that Job’s heart longs to be with the very One whom he knows has made his heart faint and who has dismayed him? 

Where else am I to go? What other source of true comfort and pure love is there?  The nearest example I can think of is the laboring woman who, between hard contractions, glances sharply at her husband and exclaims, “You did this to me!”  But later, she gladly surrenders to his loving embrace with their newborn between them. Job longed to be nestled once again in the warm cocoon of God’s loving embrace. He stubbornly clung to the only thing he was certain of as he said in verse 10, “When He has tried me, I will come forth as gold.” Yes, Job. You did understand. 

O that I would have such clear vision of God’s purposes behind the testings that come to me today. But even with the benefit of New Testament writings that clarify the purpose of suffering, I can easily lose sight of His reasons for the difficult processes He takes me through. Let Job be my example, even as he foreshadowed the still more profound sufferings of Christ. For it is through Christ’s suffering and my identification with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection that the cry of Job’s heart, and mine, is fulfilled. “O that . . . I might find Him, that I might come to His seat.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, You do have a plan for my life, don’t you? It unfolds without surprise to You; You are never caught off guard by what we experience. How great must be Your love for me, as You wait for my race to be completed. Thank You, Lord, for loving me as You do, through every painful circumstance of life.