October 23, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
As we get to chapters 23 and 24 of Job, we observe three calm, vulnerable responses from him. Take the time to read through these two chapters---they're magnificent! Job's first theme seems to be, "I am unable to locate the presence of God, but I trust You, Lord." I find that coming through loud and clear in the first twelve verses of chapter 23.
It seems that Job has a courtroom in mind. "I wish I knew the bench on which Almighty God sits. I wish I knew where I could locate Him. Some place---anyplace---on this earth that I could get to Him."
Hidden within these passionate words is found one of the great things about our God. When we come to Him as we are, we never hear Him shout, "Shame on you!" God hears our pleading, our feelings of need, and He is quick to respond, "I forgive you. I love you. I understand you. I'm here; I commend you for facing the truth."
Notice how Job refers to the Lord's response:
Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power?
No, surely He would pay attention to me.
There the upright would reason with Him;
And I would be delivered forever from my Judge. (Job 23:6--7)
All of God's people find here a valuable truth we can learn from our God. When people come, open and vulnerable with their confession, there is one appropriate three-word response: I forgive you. They don't need to be put on the spot or shamed because they failed. They need the assurance of forgiveness.
Job asks, "Would He contend with me?"
Then he answers himself, "He would not contend with me, even though He's much more powerful. He would pay attention to me. I could reason with Him, and I would be delivered forever from my Judge."
How wonderful is that?
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.