Although you say you shall not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust you in him.
Job had often expressed a deep desire to meet with God. He had longed for an opportunity of making his case clear, and having it tried by his great Judge. He had felt like a prisoner languishing in gaol without a trial, greatly wishing for an habeas corpus; and he had despaired of ever being brought face to face with his Accuser, who, as he thought, was also his Judge. Now Elihu tells him that God is already attending to his case, and therefore that he should have faith.
I. THE SUFFERER'S DESPAIR. Job despairs of seeing God. He has indeed expressed a confident assurance that he will behold his Redeemer with his own eyes; he himself, and not another (Job 19:25-27). We need not be startled at the contradiction. In such darkness as that of Job's faith ebbs and flows. For a moment the clouds break and a gleam of sunshine falls on the sufferer's path, and at the sight of it he leaps up triumphant; but soon the blackness closes in again, and then the despair is as deep as ever.
1. God is not seen by the bodily eye. We may sweep the heavens with the most powerful telescope, but we shall never discover their King seated on his throne among the stars.
2. God does not give an immediate solution of our difficulties. We ask him to decide our case, to justify the right, and to destroy the false. Yet he does not seem to be interfering; for the confusion and the injustice remain. Then the weary waiting leads us to think that he will never appear. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," and in its sickness it loses its hope.
II. THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO FAITH.
1. God is not neglecting us. Elihu assures Job that his case is already before his Judge. It is neither forgotten nor postponed. It is now being tried. Elihu was quite justified in making this statement, as we know from the prologue (Job 1:8-12). Job was being tried before God throughout; and so also were his friends, as the conclusion of the book shows (Job 42:7-9). Perhaps one lesson to be taught by this great poem is that God is watching man, and dealing justly with him, even when no indication of Divine interest or activity is vouchsafed to him. The verdict is not yet given nor the judgment pronounced; but the case is proceeding, and the Judge is carefully attending to it. That is what this book teaches concerning the great problem of life.
2. We should learn to trust God. We cannot see cur Judge as yet. We must wait for the verdict. All is dark to the eye of sense. But if we know that God is watching over us and considering our condition, we ought to be assured that we cannot suffer from neglect. The special region for faith is this present scene of darkness, and we are to expect the darkness to continue as long as the faith is to be exercised. But this will not be for ever. Job was right when, in a moment of strange elation, he leaped to the assurance that his Redeemer lived, and that he would see him at the latter day. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.