Dave Burnette's Commentary

Job Chapter 23

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Unknown, possibly Job, Moses, Solomon, and Elihu
Date Penned: (2000-1800 BC)
Overview: Faith in God's Sovereignty Through Trials (c 1-42)
Theme: Three Friends Answer Job (c 3-31)
Message: Job's Third Discussion (v 1-30)

Job 23 Commentary

(23:1) Job Seeks Answers - Job continued his questioning, saying that his suffering would be more bearable if only he knew why it was happening. If there was sin for which he could repent, he would! He knew about the wicked and the fact that they would be punished; he knew God could vindicate him if he so chose. In all his examples of the wicked in the world, his overriding desire was for God to clear his name, prove his righteousness, and explain why he was chosen to receive all this calamity. Job tried to make his friends see that questions about God, life, and justice are not as simple as they assumed.

(23:9) We Can Count on the Lord - Job was saying that God appeared to be avoiding him or hiding from him. However, he also expressed confidence that God knew every detail about his journey and would come to his rescue (23:10). Sometimes our experience of God in this life leads us to doubt his constant presence or that he cares for us. We need to realize that sometimes our feelings lead us astray; we can always count on God's help and presence, even when we can't feel it.

(23:10) Job Trusts the Lord - In Job 22, Eliphaz had tried to condemn Job by identifying some secret sin that he may have committed. Here Job declares his confidence in his integrity and God's justice. We are always likely to have hidden sin in our lives, sin we don't even know about because God's standards are so high and as fallen humans we cannot attain them on our own. If we are true believers, however, all our sins are forgiven because of what Christ did on the cross on our behalf (Romans 5:1; 8:1). The Bible also teaches that even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings (1 John 3:20). His forgiveness and cleansing are sufficient; they override our nagging doubts. The Holy Spirit in us proves that we are forgiven in God's eyes even though we may feel guilty. If we, like Job, are truly seeking God, we can stand up to others' accusations as well as our own nagging doubts. God has forgiven and accepted us, so we are forgiven indeed

(23:14-17) Blaming God - Job wavered back and forth, first proclaiming loyalty to God and then complaining at being abandoned by him. His friends' words and his own suspicions were undermining his confidence in God. When adversity and suffering come, it is a natural response to blame God and to think our suffering must be divine punishment. But we must not assume that God is being hostile to us or has rejected us. His purposes go deeper than our ability to grasp all that is really happening. While this could sound like a pat answer, it is the same answer God gave Job in Job 38-41. We shouldn't expect to always know why certain calamities happen to us. Often we cannot or are not meant to know--at least in the short term. Whether later in life or in eternity when everything will at last make sense, we will gain a much better perspective on the difficulties we have faced on this earth.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Stay Faithful

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Job with Chapter 23. In our text today we see Job replying to the third round of discussions with his questioning of God because he did not understand God's plan. In making application we too can be as Job questioning God because we don't know or understand His plan for our lives. Ours is not to understand but to obey God and stay faithful through the journey.  When we look back as God's plan unfolds we will see how He worked in our lives. How about you? Do you get discouraged when you don't see or understand what God is doing? Let us learn from todays text and the life of Job to remember to stay faithful even when we don't see or understand God's plan for our lives. 


Job 23

Job 23

 1Then Job answered and said,

 2Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.

 3Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

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

 5I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.

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

 7There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

 8Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

 9On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

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

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

 12Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

 13But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

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

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

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

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