8 ¶ Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: 10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Job does not see God. We don't see God in the flesh. We have His Book, the Bible, which, for all practical purposes is God in written form.
God, like human beings and the higher animals, is composed of three parts. He is not three persons with independent wills and agendas, or even three persons in agreement. He is one God with three distinct parts, as man is shown to have here;
1Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s body, soul, and spirit are expressed in the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
2Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the physical manifestation of God.
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
An angel is an appearance of something or someone.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
Acts 12:13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 14 And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
The angel of the Lord or the angel of God is an appearance of God in almost every case, the visible image of God, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. Note the use of the word, even, here, as elsewhere in the Bible linking two words which are the same thing.
Genesis 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Now, note this verse.
Galatians 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
And what Paul says, linking it with Judges 13:21,22 below.
Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
We don’t see God physically in the Church Age after the last apostle died. He doesn’t walk with us and talk with us in any garden physically. Adam had a relationship like that with Christ, the visible image of the invisible God, long before He walked on earth in Palestine.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Jacob encountered Christ physically.
Genesis 32:24 ¶ And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Moses physically saw Christ.
Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
As did Gideon.
Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
As did Samson’s parents.
Judges 13:20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. 21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
And for a short time in human history God walked on the earth daily with those who followed Him.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Job, however, has not physically seen God, nor has he seen the appearance or angel of God, which is the pre-incarnate Christ. When God does intervene here He speaks from out of a whirlwind.
Job continues to insist upon his own righteousness as justifying himself before God, as many Christians reading this will do. With a smug self-superior attitude they think of themselves as highly as Job thinks of himself. Their faith is quenched when a time of devastation comes in their life because their thoughts tend to, “if there was a God He would not allow such a terrible thing to happen to someone as faithful and perfect as I am.”
Clearly, from verse 12 and from Eliphaz’s statement in 22:22, Job and the people of His time had a record of God either from prophets of God or in writing that God did not see fit to preserve for us today. Remember that Job wishes in 19:23 that his own words were written in a book.