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Did Job Believe God Cannot See through Clouds?

By Hugh Ross - January 22, 2021
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Question of the week: Job 22 says that God hides in the clouds and that God cannot see through the clouds. What does this mean? I find it hard to believe that God who created everything cannot see through clouds.

My answer: There is no biblical contradiction or error here. The relevant text is Job 22:13–14. It states: “Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness? Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.'”

Here, Eliphaz is speaking, not God or Job. Eliphaz is accusing Job of believing a false statement: that God cannot see Job’s sins. Eliphaz is rebuking Job for believing that the clouds prevent God from seeing all the evil Job is committing. It becomes clear in the later chapters of the book of Job that Eliphaz’s accusations are not true. Job really does believe that God sees everything he does (see Job 23:10; 24:23; 28:23–24; 31:4). Job recognizes that he is a sinner and in need of redemption.1 Job is not guilty of the specific evils that Eliphaz insisted Job committed.

Endnotes
  1. Hugh Ross, “Job’s Discernment of God’s Redemptive Plan,” in Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 206–07, https://shop.reasons.org/category/format/books/hidden-treasures-in-the-book-of-job.

Category
  • Bible Difficulties
Tags
  • Job
  • God's omniscience
  • Eliphaz
  • book of job
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