Job's Eighth Speech
Job responds to Eliphaz - "Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me and understand what He would say to me" (Job 23:3-5). Job wants to know where he can find God. He believes that if he could just reason with Him, then he would be delivered. He wants to talk and listen to God. If Job was wicked, would he really want to reason his case before the Almighty?
"Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:8-12).

Job wants to talk with God, but where is He? Job feels that God is playing hide-and-seek with him, so to speak. He is confident God knows he is just. In a fair trial, Job believes he would shine like refined gold. Job is certain he has kept the Lord's ways. God's words are his treasure, after all (cf. Matt. 4:4).

Job understands that God is sovereign ("unique") and no one can make Him do anything. "Whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed, and many such things are with Him" (Job 23:13,14). With this thought in mind, Job admits that being in the presence of such a powerful God is intimidating.

Back in chapter 21, Job's speech was entirely devoted to proving that the wicked do prosper. Now, in chapter 24, Job is going to address the other side of the same argument: the righteous do suffer! Job knows there are many examples of injustice inflicted upon the righteous that God apparently does nothing to stop (e.g., the righteous suffer at the hands of thieves, murderers, etc.). If Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were correct, then God would have to do something to respond to those who are being oppressed! Job sarcastically implies that God must not be paying attention (since he doesn't charge the wicked with wrong in the cases he mentions; cf. 24:12). Job doesn't believe this, but rather he is pointing out the foolish implication of the arguments of his friends.

Job then expands his argument to show that the wicked are not restrained in their evil plans. They commit their evil when they think no one will see (i.e., under the cover of darkness). Job is asking his friends here: Why doesn't God punish them?

The treatment of mankind seems unpredictable in Job's eyes, as he explains in 24:22-24 - "God draws the mighty [i.e., the wicked] away with His power; he rises up, but no man is sure of life. He gives them security, and they rely on it; yet His eyes are on their ways. They are exalted for a little while, then they are gone. They are brought low; they are taken out of the way like all others; they dry out like the heads of grain." Job is showing that he has a balanced view concerning the wicked. Job has never contended that the wicked go without punishment. He has, however, tried to point out the seeming inconsistencies in the treatment of the wicked. Ultimately, Job knows God will punish the wicked (cf. 24:19). Job concludes this speech by challenging his critics to show him where he is mistaken.