Job Replies: Where Is God?

Job 23

1 Then Job answered and said:

2 "Today also my r complaint is bitter; 1
my s hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
3 Oh, t that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his u seat!
4 I would v lay my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know what he would answer me
and understand what he would say to me.
6 Would he w contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; he would pay attention to me.
7 There an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

8 "Behold, x I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he y knows z the way that I a take;
when he has b tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot c has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have d not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have e treasured the words of his mouth more than my f portion of food.
13 But he is unchangeable, 2 and g who can turn him back?
What he h desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he i appoints for me,
and many such things are j in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my k heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
17 yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face.

Job 24

1 "Why are l not times of judgment m kept by the Almighty,
and why do those who know him never see his n days?
2 Some move o landmarks;
they seize flocks and pasture them.
3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
they p take the widow's ox for a pledge.
4 They q thrust the poor off the road;
the poor of the earth r all hide themselves.
5 Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
the poor 3 s go out to their toil, t seeking game;
the wasteland yields food for their children.
6 They gather their 4 fodder in the field,
and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
7 They u lie all night naked, without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the rain of the mountains
and v cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
9 (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
and they take a pledge against the poor.)
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
hungry, they w carry the sheaves;
11 among the olive rows of the wicked 5 they make oil;
they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying groan,
and the soul of x the wounded cries for help;
yet God charges no one with y wrong.

13 "There are those who rebel z against the light,
who are not acquainted with its ways,
and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises before it is light,
that he a may kill the poor and needy,
and in the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for b the twilight,
saying, 'No c eye will see me';
and he veils his face.
16 In the dark they d dig through houses;
by day they shut themselves up;
they do not know the light.
17 For e deep darkness is morning to all of them;
for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18 "You say, f 'Swift are they on the face of the waters;
their portion is cursed in the land;
no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
so does g Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
the worm finds them sweet;
they are h no longer remembered,
so wickedness is broken like i a tree.'

21 "They wrong the barren, childless woman,
and do no good to the widow.
22 Yet God 6 prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported,
and his j eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted k a little while, and then l are gone;
they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
they are m cut off like the heads of grain.
25 If it is n not so, who will prove me a liar
and show that there is nothing in what I say?"

  1. Cross References
    Job 10:1
    I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
    Job 21:4
    As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient?
  2. Cross References
    Psalms 32:4
    For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
  3. Cross References
    Job 13:3
    But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.
    Job 16:21
    That he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbor.
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 9:7 - 8
    But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice.
    Isaiah 57:15 - 16
    For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
  5. Cross References
    Job 33:5
    Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand.
  6. Cross References
    Job 9:34
    Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.
    Job 13:21
    Withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me.
  7. Cross References
    Job 9:11
    Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
    Job 35:14
    How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 139:1 - 3
    O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
  9. Cross References
    Psalms 139:24
    And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
  10. Cross References
    Job 9:35
    Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 17:3
    You have tried my heart, you have visited me by...
    Psalms 26:2
    Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and...
    Psalms 66:10
    For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried ...
    Psalms 139:23
    Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and...
    Zechariah 13:9
    And I will put this third into the fire, and re...
    Malachi 3:3
    He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...
    1 Peter 1:7
    So that the tested genuineness of your faith - ...
    Revelation 3:18
    I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fi...
    James 1:12
    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under ...
  12. Cross References
    Psalms 17:5
    My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
    Psalms 44:18
    Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way.
  13. Cross References
    Psalms 125:5
    But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!
  14. Cross References
    Psalms 119:11
    I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
  15. Cross References
    Psalms 119:103
    How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    John 4:32
    But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about.
    John 4:34
    Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
  16. Cross References
    Job 9:12
    Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, 'What are you doing?
    Job 12:14
    If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
  17. Cross References
    Psalms 115:3
    Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
  18. Cross References
    1 Thessalonians 3:3
    That no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.
  19. Cross References
    Job 10:13
    Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose.
    Job 27:11
    I will teach you concerning the hand of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
  20. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 20:3
    And shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them.
    Psalms 22:14
    I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.
  21. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 9:12
    For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
    Isaiah 13:22
    Hyenas will cry in its towers, and jackals in the pleasant palaces; its time is close at hand and its days will not be prolonged.
    Jeremiah 27:7
    All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.
    Ezekiel 22:3
    You shall say, Thus says the Lord God : A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself!
    Ezekiel 30:3
    For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.
  22. Cross References
    Job 15:20
    The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
  23. Cross References
    Isaiah 2:12
    For the Lord of hosts has a day against all tha...
    Isaiah 13:6
    Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destr...
    Isaiah 13:9
    Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with ...
    Joel 1:15
    Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is ne...
    Joel 2:1
    Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my ho...
    Amos 5:18
    Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why ...
    Job 18:20
    They of the west are appalled at his day, and h...
  24. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 19:14
    You shall not move your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
  25. Cross References
    Job 22:6
    For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing.
  26. Cross References
    Amos 2:7
    Those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned.
    Amos 5:12
    For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins - you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.
    Malachi 3:5
    Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
  27. Cross References
    Proverbs 28:28
    When the wicked rise, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.
    Job 30:5 - 6
    They are driven out from human company; they shout after them as after a thief.
  28. Cross References
    Psalms 104:23
    Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
  29. Cross References
    Psalms 104:21
    The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
  30. Cross References
    Exodus 22:26 - 27
    If ever you take your neighbor's cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down.
    Deuteronomy 24:12 - 13
    And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge.
  31. Cross References
    Lamentations 4:5
    Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple embrace ash heaps.
  32. Cross References
    2 Timothy 2:6
    It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
    James 5:4
    Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
  33. Cross References
    Jeremiah 51:52
    Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will execute judgment upon her images, and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
    Ezekiel 30:24
    And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a man mortally wounded.
  34. Cross References
    Job 1:22
    In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
  35. Cross References
    John 3:19 - 20
    And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
  36. Cross References
    Psalms 10:8
    He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless.
  37. Cross References
    Proverbs 7:9
    In the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
  38. Cross References
    Psalms 10:11
    He says in his heart, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.
  39. Cross References
    Exodus 22:2
    If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him.
    Matthew 6:20
    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
    Job 31:9
    If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door.
  40. Cross References
    Job 3:5
    Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
  41. Cross References
    Job 9:26
    They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.
    Hosea 10:7
    Samaria's king shall perish like a twig on the face of the waters.
  42. Cross References
    Job 21:13
    They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol.
  43. Cross References
    Proverbs 10:7
    The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
  44. Cross References
    Job 18:16
    His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above.
  45. Cross References
    Psalms 11:4
    The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord 's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
    Proverbs 15:3
    The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
  46. Cross References
    Psalms 37:10
    In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
  47. Cross References
    Job 27:19
    He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
  48. Cross References
    Job 14:2
    He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.
  49. Cross References
    Job 9:24
    The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges - if it is not he, who then is it?
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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