In Job chapter 23, Job argues that his complaints are justified. While his friends insist that he is rebellious and accuse him of self-pity, Job says his groaning is far less dramatic than the cause of it.
Then Job answered and said:
2 “Today also my complaint is bitter;
my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. ~Job 23:1-2
Job knows God is there, he just cannot find him. So confident is he in his innocence and acquittal of these false charges, he says he knows and understands how justly and favorably God would answer him.
At first glance, the beginning of this discourse may strike its reader as self-righteous or arrogant, however, the more one learns about Job, his faithful past, and his character, the more he realizes Job’s sincerity. Job is not boasting in works or self-sufficiency. Job is trusting in a God of mercy and grace where he has erred and a God of justice where he has been falsely accused. It is not because of pride, but because his argument and truthful speech has gone unheard, disbelieved, and altogether disregarded for so very long that his diction becomes increasingly passionate. For those who study carefully, his rising level of adamance proves not a symptom of self-righteousness, but an evidence of faith!
Consider Job’s speech:
3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, ——- Job knows that God is alive.
that I might come even to his seat! —– Job knows that God would accept him (a flawed human) at his table.
4 I would lay my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments. ——– Job believes that God will listen.
5 I would know what he would answer me
and understand what he would say to me. ——– Job knows God would fully understand.
6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; he would pay attention to me. ——– Job trusts that God would not abuse his authority as men do; that he would condescend to him.
7 There an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge. ——- Job has faith that God would judge rightly.
Job is not haughty as some might accuse. Job simply has full confidence in the God he cannot see or hear presently. Where his friends seek to burden him with unfounded blame, he seeks to maintain his innocence and search tirelessly for the only one who can confirm it.
If Job errs, he errs by his boldness to demand justice from a just God in whom he fully trusts, rather than simply asking for or waiting upon it. Job’s guilt had to do with his insatiable, impatient hunger and thirst for righteousness, not wicked scheming or covert sin as he was charged. Someone should have told Job’s friends how fiercely misdiagnosis will both frustrate and destroy progress.
Children often act anxiously when awaiting the best gifts of their parents. Unfortunately, when children begin to become so impatient that they demand what they know Daddy’s bringing, they forfeit both their joy as well as his pleasure in giving it.
How tempting it is for even the best men to grow impatient with the world’s injustice, evil, and suffering! We long to see wrong righted, pain alleviated, and truth prevailing. Then again, we ought to remember that Jesus did, too, and for those very reasons, he was willing to suffer greatly. Am I?