“He knows the way that I take”
Job 23 today is very thought provoking; it spells out Job’s conviction that God is with him despite all that has happened to him. Although the word ‘faith’ is not used, the chapter has many verses which can be described as Job’s ‘statement of faith’ in God.
Job says, “he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside” (verses 10,11). To this Job adds the declaration, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food” (verse 12). Do we do that? How many today make a ‘god’ of the food they eat!
What words from the mouth of God were available for Job to treasure? What was the era in which Job lived? The few indications that there are show it was early in history. Chapter 1 tells us the Sabeans and Chaldeans (verses 15,17) were involved in the tragedies that came upon Job’s family: it is reasonable to conclude he had access to the writings of Moses and he treasured these as God’s inspired word.
Job says, “God is unchangeable … what he desires, that he does” (verse 13), obviously having specific events, such as the deliverance from Egypt, in mind – but at the same time Job is able to declare that God “will complete what he has appointed for me” (verse 14), although “I am in dread of him … yet I am not silenced …” (verses 15,17).
The picture is plain. Job is absolutely certain he has a relationship with God and this will lead to some God ordained situation in the future, indeed he has already declared, “I know that my Redeemer lives … and after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God …” (19:25,26).
Job’s statement that God “knows the way that I take” is a challenge to us to have the same realisation once we have committed our lives to him through his son in the way made plain in the New Testament, taking on his name in baptism. Yet, we can personally testify, that it is only when one looks back over the pathway travelled does one see how God must have had a hand in “the way that” we took. Job may have etched the last two verses of Moses message recorded in Deuteronomy 30 in his mind. Job was certainly “obeying [God’s] voice and holding fast to him”, as Moses wrote here; let us do the same.