|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-7 Job appeals from his friends to the just judgement of God. He wants to have his cause tried quickly. Blessed be God, we may know where to find him. He is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; and upon a mercy-seat, waiting to be gracious. Thither the sinner may go; and there the believer may order his cause before Him, with arguments taken from his promises, his covenant, and his glory. A patient waiting for death and judgment is our wisdom and duty, and it cannot be without a holy fear and trembling. A passionate wishing for death or judgement is our sin and folly, and ill becomes us, as it did Job.
Verse 3. - Oh that I knew where I might find him! This is the cry of the desolate human soul, feeling its need of God, and yet not knowing how to approach him. God seems to be very far removed from us. He is in heaven, and we are on earth; nay, he is in the highest heaven, or outside it, walking on its circumference (Job 22:14). How are we to approach near to him, so near as to be sure that he can hear us? How are we to "find" him? So, in all ages, has the human heart gone out to God, aspiring towards him, seeking after him, but, for the most part, baffled and disappointed. Job, like most other men in the olden times, though he has faith in God, though he serves him and prays to him, has yet the feeling that he is remote, distant, well-nigh inaccessible. It needed revelation to let man know that God is not far off, but very near to each one of us; that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). That I might come even to his seat! Job's idea of bridging the distance between himself and God is that he should rise to the region where God is, not that God should condescend to come down to him. He wishes to "come to God's seat" - to that awful throne in the heaven of heavens, where God sitteth, surrounded by his hosts of angels, dealing out justice and judgment to mortal men (comp. Psalm 9:4, 7; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 6:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O that I knew where I might find him,.... That is, God, who is understood, though not expressed, a relative without an antecedent, as in Psalm 87:1; Jarchi supplies, and interprets it, "my Judge", from Job 23:7; and certain it is Job did desire to find God as a judge sitting on his throne, doing right, that he might have justice done to him: indeed he might be under the hidings of God's face, which added to his affliction, and made it the heavier; in which case, the people of God are at a loss to know where he is, and "how" to find him, as Mr. Broughton renders the words here; they know that he is everywhere, and fills heaven and earth with his presence; that their God is in the heavens, his throne is there, yea, the heaven is his throne; that he is in his church, and among his people, where they are gathered together in his name, to wait upon him, and to worship him; and that he is to be found in Christ, as a God gracious and merciful; all which Job knew, but might, as they in such circumstances are, be at a loss how to come at sensible communion with him; for, when he hides his face, who can behold him? yet they cannot content themselves without seeking after him, and making use of all means of finding him, as Job did, Job 23:8; see Sol 3:1;
that I might come even to his seat; either his mercy seat, from whence he communes with his people, the throne of his grace, where he sits as the God of grace, dispensing his grace to his people, to help them in time of need; the way to which is Christ, and in which all believers may come to it with boldness, in his name, through his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; they may come up even to it, in the exercise of faith and hope, though the distance is great, as between heaven and earth, yet by faith they can come into the holiest of all, and by hope enter within the vail; and though the difficulties and discouragements are many, arising from their sins and transgressions: or else his judgment seat, at which no man can appear and stand, without a righteousness, or without a better than his own, by which none can be justified in the sight of God; who, if strict to mark iniquity, the best of men cannot stand before him, at his bar of justice; indeed, in the righteousness of Christ, a believer may come up to the judgment seat of God, and to him as Judge of all, and not be afraid, but stand before him with confidence, since that is sufficient to answer for him, and fully acquit him: but Job here seems to have a peculiar respect to his case, in controversy between him and his friends, and is so fully assured of the justness of his cause, and relying on his innocence, he wishes for nothing more than that he could find God sitting on a throne of justice, before whom his cause might be brought and heard, not doubting in the least but that he should be acquitted; so far was he from hiding himself from God, or pleasing himself with the thoughts that God was in the height of heaven, and knew nothing of him and his conduct, and could not judge through the dark clouds, which were a covering to him, that he could not see him; that he was not afraid to appear before him, and come up even to his seat, if he knew but where and how he could; see Job 22:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. The same wish as in Job 13:3 (compare Heb 10:19-22).
Seat—The idea in the Hebrew is a well-prepared throne (Ps 9:7).
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