“Now My Eyes Have Seen You”

I just finished reading Job today. Again I am overwhelmed by the powerful picture of God’s sovereignty and His goodness in this story. I am also a little bit frightened. Why? Because Job was a God-fearing man If anyone had a right to defend himself against the accusations of his so-called friends it was Job. At the end of the book God requires his friends to make offerings and have Job pray for them that they might be delivered from punishment for their terrible treatment of Job. God vindicates Job before his friends, and affirms that their accusations of Job’s own sin being the cause of his calamity were false.

But Job was not off the hook where God was concerned.  God did not cater to   Job’s attempts to put him on trial. Instead he turned the tables on Job with a thunderous line of questioning: Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid? Where were you when the stars were hung? God’s soliloquy is not a defense of himself, but a cross-examination of Job. The victim becomes the defendant. Job was right, and yet standing before a Holy God, he discovered his own wretchedness, and proclaimed, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

What I find astonishing is Job’s proclamation, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” In all of Job’s innocence he had never seen God; he had sacrificed to him; he had worshiped him; he had heard about him, without ever seeing him. But when his suffering drove him to the brink of destruction his own demands for justice brought him face to face with the Judge of all the earth! He declared, “Now I have seen you.” That led him to repentance from his own demands for an explanation and from his own annunciation of innocence.

Job served God before calamity struck. Job worshiped God and honored him. But he only recognized his own desperate neediness when his suffering brought him face to face with God.

What will it take for us to see God? What will it take for our hearts to repent in dust and ashes from the self-righteousness that so quickly clouds our judgement?

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