Evening, November 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“O that I knew where I might find him!” — Job 23:3
In Job’s most extreme plight he cried after the Lord. The longing desire of an stricken child of God is once more to see his Father’s face. His first prayer is not “O that I might be healed of the disease which now festers in every part of my body!” Nor is it even “O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my property once more brought from the hand of the enemy!” The first and chief cry is, “O that I knew where I might find Him, who is my God, and that I might come even to his throne!” God’s children run home when the storm comes on. It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to seek shelter beneath the wings of Jehovah from all evils. “He that has made his refuge God,” might serve as the title of a true believer. A hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the affliction, and, like a slave, would run from the Master who has tormented him; but not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which struck him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the embrace of the God who frowned upon him. Job’s desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure of all other sources of comfort. The patriarch turned away from his wretched friends, and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveler turns from his empty water bottle, and drives himself with all speed to the well. He bids farewell to earth-born hopes, and cries, “O that I knew where I might find my God!” Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all else besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from earth’s beehives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we should first seek to realize God’s presence with us. Only let us enjoy his smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for his dear sake.