Job answers and says that he has a bitter complaint—God’s hand is heavy upon him. He wishes he knew where to find God, so he could go to God’s house and plead his case. Then God would listen to Job’s arguments and acquit him.
In his response to Eliphaz, Job no longer seems to care about answering his friends’ unjust accusations. At this point, he wishes he could confront God directly. He is so confident in his innocence that he believes God would acquit him—also an expression of Job’s faith in God’s just character.
However, no matter where Job goes—forward or backward, left or right—he cannot find God. At the same time, God knows Job’s path, and Job knows that when God has tested him, he will emerge “like gold.” Job has never abandoned God’s commandments and treasures God’s word in his heart.
Job doesn’t believe that he could literally find God in a physical location, but he speaks poetically of the fact that God seems totally beyond Job’s reach. And yet, at the same time, Job trusts that even though he can’t find God, God knows where he is and will treat Job justly. He understands that God is testing him in order to purify him.
At the same time, Job knows that God does whatever he wants. Accordingly, God will also fulfill his plans for Job. When Job thinks about this, it scares him. He wishes he could vanish into thick darkness so he could hide from God.
Even though Job has faith in God, that doesn’t mean the implications of trusting God aren’t scary. As a small, limited human being, Job doesn’t know what God intends for him, and the uncertainty and fear still make him wary of God.