"Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him” (23:8). Job’s words describe the experience that ancient writers called “the dark night of the soul.” Job had not deliberately run away from God, yet he had lost the sense of God’s favor and presence. Eliphaz thought that Job had committed “abundant sin” (ch 22:5), but Job was innocent. He simply was enduring a very difficult time, without explanation.
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (23:10). Job remained faithful, though God seemed distant. He believed that God’s purposes for him would eventually appear “as gold.”