When God Hides
Job 23:8, 9 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
Intro: The wicked hide from God…
- Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
- Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
…and they like to think that God hides from them.
- 4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
- 11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
But for a Christian, when God hides, it should be a big deal.
When God hides, it should be a serious thing.
The first mention of God hiding from man was mentioned by Cain after he murdered his brother.
- Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
We need to understand something – God does not really hide.
Job detailed his feelings of desertion in verse 8, 9
- 8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
- 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
QUOTE: God’s sovereign omnipresence is not limited by your sensory observations.
- Just because you cannot hear Him does not mean He is not there.
- Just because you cannot feel Him does not mean He is not there.
- Just because you cannot pray does not mean He is not there.
- Just because you cannot sense His presence does not mean that He is not there.
We need establish one key fact – God’s presence is unquestionable.
Notice the Psalmist David’s assurance of this fact:
- 7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
- 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
- 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
- 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
- 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
- 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
However, we discover in our text that in Job’s mind, God had vanished.
But Job was looking for God for all the wrong reasons.
It was in that mindset – one of bitter complaint (vs. 1) and heavy groaning (vs. 1) that God hid from Job.
I. God’s Purpose was Understandable
VERSE 3 – Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
- Job’s reasons for seeking God was not to worship Him.
- Job’s reasons for seeking God was not to pray to Him.
- Job’s reasons for seeking God was not to praise Him.
- Job’s reasons for seeking God was for personal gratification and justification.
Notice Job’s intentions upon meeting up with God:
- to order his cause before him – vs. 4a
- to fill his mouth with arguments – vs. 4b
- to know the words which God would answer – vs. 5a
- to understand what He would say unto me – vs. 5b
- to plead against God – vs. 6a
- to demand strength from God – vs. 6b
- to dispute with God – vs. 7a
- to be delivered forever from his judge – vs. 7b
- Job reasons were motivated by Demands.
- Job’s reasons were Disputing.
- Job’s reasons were for Deliverance.
In this case, God was hiding from Job until…
- he got the right motives
- he got the right mindset
- he got the right message
II. God’s Precedence was Unmistakable – vs. 10-12
Never doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light.
When you cannot see or hear God, that is when you operate by FAITH.
He didn’t know where God was, but Job knew where God had been.
God had established enough of a precedence in Job’s life to help carry him through the darkness.
It was during this time that Job forsook his FEELINGS and walked by FAITH.
- Job did not know where God WAS, but he knew that God was WATCHING him. – vs. 10a
- Job did not know where God WAS, but he knew that God was TRYING him. – vs. 10b
- Job did not know where God WAS, but he knew that God was PURIFYING him. – vs. 10c
- Job did not know where God WAS, but he knew that God was LEADING him. – vs. 11
- Job did not know where God WAS, but he knew that God was SPEAKING to him. – vs. 12
III. God’s Performance was Unstoppable – vs. 13, 14
- Job was convinced that God was unstoppable in HIS MIND. (But he is in one mind…)
- Job was convinced that God was unstoppable in HIS MANDATE. (…what his soul desireth…)
- Job was convinced that God was unstoppable in HIS MOTIVATION. (…appointed for me…)
IV. God’s Presence was Unforgettable – vs. 15-17
- It is a Troubling Experience – vs. 15, 16b
- It is a Terrifying Experience – vs. 16
- It is a Tenderizing Experience – vs. 16a