I Had Heard, But Now I See!

(Job 42:1-6 ESV) 1 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Many years ago, there was a commercial on TV that used the tagline, “Try Kelloggs Cornflakes again for the very first time!” It was an intelligent way to entice individuals to reevaluate a well known and very popular breakfast cereal. It worked. The commercial was well received and it accomplished its goal of increasing the sales of the product.

The book of Job is a laborious read. It is an extremely important document that reveals theology unlike any other book in the Bible. Job is not a book that can be quickly read and understood. It takes time, and scholarly commentary is often helpful. With that said, there are many obvious points of interest that can be understood even by a child!

Without rehearsing the whole storyline, let’s agree that Job’s experience with God was one that took him from the height of prosperity, to the depth of dispair, and back again to blessing. He was very rich. He had impressive flocks. A loving wife. Great kids. He was well known, greatly respected, and righteous in the eyes of the Lord. He lost it all. Even his health.

But the wonderful thing about this historical account is that through it all, Job remained faithful; he maintained his integrity. After this lengthy, and difficult trial Job declares that his former knowledge of God was based more on what he had been told rather than personal experience. He said, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear…”  In other words,… Daddy told me. Momma told me. The preacher said it was so. My Sunday School teacher reinforced it. Ooh, I heard through grapevine…

I have good news and bad news. Bad news first… Are you ready? God will allow you to be tested, sometimes severely, so you can know him as never before. There is some knowledge you can only obtain by experiencing difficulty. You must taste the bitterness of tears before you can enjoy the sweetness fo victory. That’s just the way life is. But the good news is, God reveals his strength during our weakness. And when we come through the hard times, we will have a new and exciting knowledge of God’s power.

Job finishes his thought by saying, “but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job now has first hand knowledge of God’s mercy. We often acknowledge that Job was blessed in his last days even more than in his younger years. But, I would suggest that the greatest blessing was the new revelation of God that came through overcoming his terrible circumstances. As faithful as Job was, God proved to be even more faithful.

PRAYER: I’ve been through many difficult things in my short lifetime. But you have always proven yourself faithful. With each victory I have experienced a new level of spiritual understanding. Thank you that I have seen you at your best! amen.

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