“God Knows Me In Action Or At Rest” ( Job 23: 10, NEB ) by Carley Evans

Job is in despair. He cries out, “If I go forward, [God] is not there; if backward, I cannot find Him; when I turn left, I do not descry Him; I face right, but I see Him not. But He knows me in action or at rest; when He tests me, I prove to be gold.” Essentially, Job is saying: “I may not be able to feel God’s presence; I may not be able to figure out His plans for me, but He knows me. Whether I am at work or at play, awake or asleep; God knows my going in and my coming out. He knows my motives. He knows that I am pure.” Yes, Job claims that when God tests him, he will “prove to be gold.” He even lists the sins he has not committed in a long tirade against God. (Job 31:2-37)

Bildad the Shulite tells his friend, Job, “How…can a man be justified in God’s sight, or one born of woman be innocent? If the circling moon is found wanting, and the stars are not innocent in His eyes, much more so man who is but a maggot, mortal man who is only a worm.” (Job 25:4-6)

Job is utterly frustrated by Bildad’s complete lack of support. He groans, “What help you have given to the man without resource, what deliverance you have brought to the powerless! What counsel you offer to a man at his wit’s end, what sound advice to the foolish!” (Job 26:2-3)

And though Job believes he will “prove to be gold,” he does recognize that “no man knows the way to [wisdom]” as “it is not found in the land of living men.” (Job 28:13) He asks, “Where then does wisdom come from, and where is the source of understanding? No creature on earth can see it… But God understands the way to it, He alone knows its source; for He can see to the ends of the earth and He surveys everything under heaven.” (Job 28:20-21,23-24)

Job comes close to understanding how lame it is to argue with God who “can see to the ends of the earth and…survey everything.” Job’s own perspective is so incredibly limited when compared to God’s. When God does finally speak to him, Job has the good sense to say, “What reply can I give Thee, I who carry no weight? I put my finger to my lips. I have spoken once and now will not answer again; twice I have spoken, and I will do so no more.” (Job 40:4-5)

In the end, in the face of God’s wisdom and His omniscience — there is little left to do except bow to His will. Thankfully, God’s will is perfect.

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