Jump Start # 2782
Job 42:5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eyes see You.”
Job has learned some lessons. Throughout the book of Job, he has been talkative. Long, long speeches. Arguing with his friends. Back and forth verbal jabs, trying to figure out the “whys” of life. Then God speaks. Two chapters filled with questions. God doesn’t explain Himself. He doesn’t tell Job about Satan. He doesn’t promise him that things will turn around and get better. Just questions. And, not deep moral questions, but questions about nature. God is showing Job something with these questions. If you don’t understand these things, how can you understand the deeper things such as Satan’s power, suffering or allowing the wicked to thrive.
By the final chapter of this long book, Job wants to put his hand over his mouth. He’s talked too much and now he is beginning to see things. We are not in the position to question God. He knows what He is doing. He is always right. A lesson our generation would do well to learn. Blaming God, shouting “Why” to God, accusing God comes from hearts that do not understand the Lord. A walk through those two chapters of questions would make most of us be quiet.
All of this leads to our verse today, “I have heard of You by learning…but now my eye sees You.” In many ways, Job is expressing the path of faith that we all take. We begin by being taught things about the Lord and His way. We sit in children’s Bible classes and learn things. We can sing songs that list the books of the Bible and the apostles. We hear sermons about the goodness of God. This is an intellectual faith. It is a faith based upon the word of God. But there’s more.
For some, that is as far as their faith ever gets. And, when challenged, especially in college, that intellectual faith butts up against intellectual skepticism. For many, what faith they had crumbles. They leave the university with a diploma in their hand and no faith in their heart. Their choices and path in life no longer includes God. They outgrew God and left Him in those simple children’s Bible classes long ago.
However, with Job, what he heard and learned, that intellectual faith, transitioned into a personal faith. Now, it was no longer what I had been taught, but what I see. I have heard, but now I know. And, when faith gets to this deeper level, it’s hard to move it, shake it or destroy it.
Job declared, “Now my eye sees You.” Did Job actually see God? Possible, but more likely, having gone through all of those questions God asked him, his eyes opened up. He realized that he was not on equal ground with God. He was no longer talking to one of his friends. He was talking to the Lord. And, through those questions he saw that God was the creator. He saw God’s power in how things came to be. He saw the Lord’s nurture and care for the animals. He saw how God has the whole world in His hands. Job saw nature like he had never seen it before.
And, for you and I this is the journey our faith must travel as well. Unless our faith becomes real and personal, it will remain facts on a page and that page can look a lot like a dictionary, encyclopedia or other book of information. True as they are, but not changing us much. It is when we see with our eyes that faith becomes genuine, real, alive and personal. How does that happen? God is not going to ask us a series of questions.
First, we see God through answered prayers. You have prayed and prayed hard for something and the Lord blessed you with answered prayers. God heard. God answered. God is real. You can sit through a whole quarter of Bible classes studying the ins and the outs of prayer, but nothing beats what you have seen in your own life. You have heard, but now you see with your eyes.
Second, we see God through changed lives. It begins with our own life. Look over the past few years and you’ll see changes. Just as the mirror shows us outward changes, our character reveals inward changes. More patient. More kind. More loving. More thoughtful. More spiritual. Less chasing the rabbits of success and popularity as you once did. Worship has become more meaningful to you. Those hymns seem to touch the very cords of your heart.
But it’s not just in you, it’s in others who are walking with the Lord. You see it in your children. Those selfish, fussing kids have grown up to be spiritual giants in their own way. You see kindness and the heart of a servant in them. Sure you had a hand in molding them, but it was the Lord’s way. You see this in others. Through the years you notice some people opening their hearts and being less stingy and grumpy and complaining. You see the Lord’s hand in all these things. Oh, you’ve heard dozens of sermons about the heart of a Christian, but seeing them with your own eyes makes you know that all of this is true. You have heard, but now you have seen.
Third, and likely, the greatest way you have seen God is when you see two people who have hurt each other, hugging and forgiving each other. The tears flow. What was said and what was done has been laid aside and now together, unity, joy and fellowship is restored. You’ve seen God when you witness that broken prodigal coming back. Years he has been away from the Lord. He has made some terrible mistakes in his life, but now he seeks the love and grace of the Lord. He’s back. He’s forgiven. He wants to do better and be better. And, the church celebrates with great joy and happiness. A sinner has returned home to God.
Yes, like Job, you and I have heard many things about the Lord. But, it is when we have seen things with our own eyes that we have seen God. It is then that our faith becomes more than intellectual. It becomes personal. We know, because we have seen.
My eyes have seen the glory of the Lord…