“Now My Eye Sees You”

All Job could see was day upon day of his suffering from head-to-toe boils and “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2) so he wanted to talk to God (Part 1 link below).  But he slipped into contending with God and even accusing God, and challenged Him to answer (Part 2).  Careful, we might get what we ask for!

The Word blew in like a whirlwind on His portable throne (Ezk. 1:4) and commanded Job’s attention! (Job 38:1).  He shows up to help Job think straight before restoring him to health and service.

“Who is this who darkens counsel without  knowledge?   Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”  Who is this spouting in ignorance, presumption and arrogance!  Resulting in darkness when we’re supposed to be a light to others!

The Word zings out pointed questions to help Job realize He didn’t have the wisdom—or the right—to question His awesome great Creator.

“Now God speaks  to Job, but not to give Job the justification he had been demanding…. he reminds Job that the wisdom that directs the Creator’s ways is beyond the reach of human understanding” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible).   None of us is even close to being in God’s league!

God was not there to browbeat Job.  For three chapters (38-41) He gently chides Job like a loving parent comforting a hurting, confused child.  The unrivaled Creator explains His great care and concern for all of His creation.   As Paul would later explain, we must find contentment in whatever circumstances we find ourselves  (Php.  4:10-12).

“Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?   He who rebukes God, let him answer it” (Job 40:2).  Are you going to tell me what to do or complain about what I’ve done?

What say you

the one who would “fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:4)?  Hah!

Here’s all Job could muster:  “Behold,  I am vile; What shall I answer You?  I lay my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4).

Because Job was  humbling himself, the Word could give him some further correction:  “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question  you, and you shall answer me:  Would you indeed annul my judgment?  Would you condemn me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:7-8).

The Word challenges Job to be God for a day if he thinks he can do a better job.  Why would I need your advice in running the universe?  Should I change my plans at the whim of every peevish complainer?

God doesn’t attack Job as being self-righteous, but “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6) and are not self-perpetuating (Rom. 10:2-3).

Repentance and Restoration

Job responds with what God has taught him and what he has learned:

“I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you.  You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’  Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know….

“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2-6).

What he understood of God was based on what he had been taught by others.  Now he is able to really see God for himself.  Job abhors what he has foolishly uttered in ignorance and repents in total humility.  His relationship with God took on a deeper, more humble bond.

He sounds like David after his egregious sins with Bathsheba and Uriah:
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight—that you may be found just when you speak, and blameless when you judge” (Psa. 51:4).

The purpose for all our trials may not be known in this life.   God knows exactly what He is doing in all circumstances even when we don’t.

God dealt with Job in this special way to teach him something he needed in order to be in the Family & Kingdom.  And thank God

We will see too!

We can pray.  We can listen to God.  We walk by faith—relaxed trust in God in any trial that comes our way.

It would be great to talk with God face to face and that’s going to happen for us and Job:  “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him,  for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Part 1:  Would You Like to Talk to God Face to Face?

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Not a Good Idea to Contend with God!

In part 1 (link below) Job wanted to talk with God, as we should even up to three times a day in prayer (Psa. 55:17, Dan. 6:10) and actually without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).

But the festering boils and the annoying friends wore him down for “months of futility and wearisome nights” (Job 7:3).

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (v. 11).

complaint deptJob is openly honest with God, baring his anguish, tears and doubts.  He is complaining to the right person!   God is so patient, gentle and kind with Job—as with us!

“What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often?  For you examine us every morning and test us every moment.  Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow!   If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity?  Why make me your target?  Am I a burden to you?  Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt?” (7:17-20, New Living Translation).  Maybe Job was musing:  If trials are such a blessing, God must really love me!

So Job starts thinking about wanting to

“Contend with Him”

Bring legal case.  “Answer Him” in court under cross-examination (9:3-4).  Funny that Job realized a being of clay “could not answer him one time out of a thousand… Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?”

This is the God of the Universe who has seen it all!  This is not Judge Judy!  And I wouldn’t take her on either!

Growing more contentious, Job says, “But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to  reason with God” (13:3).   Great, God invites “Come let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18).  He’s interested in our opinions!

As his suffering continues and mounts, Job comes perilously close to accusing God!   People suffering often blurt out words they don’t mean.  God of perfect compassion understands.

Job rests his case

“I would present my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:4).

Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast … my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live” (27:5-6).

“Look, I will sign my name to my defense.  Let the Almighty answer  me” (31:35, NLT).

Be careful, you may get what you ask for.

Part 3:  “Now My Eye Sees You”
Part 1:  Would You Like to Talk to God Face to Face?

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Would You Like to Talk to God Face to Face?

No, just in prayer will be good enough!

God knows all the bad about me!  I don’t know if I could take what He might say.  Like saying hi to a boss in the hall, but what if he called me into his office!  Would he dump on me or even fire me!

Did anybody else besides me

think this way as a quick first reaction?

Well, yeah, God knows all the bad about me but I’m forgiven.  I’m His son and I want to please Him.   I want to do His will.  I already ask Him daily to correct me in His mercy and He does.

So yeah, I would like to talk to Him face to face 

But I don’t expect that to happen until the resurrection (1 John 3:1-2).

For now, we can learn from Job’s experience in relating and talking to God.

We should take into account that Job—and his three friends—did not know what God said about him to Satan:  “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?  And he still holds fast to his integrity” (Job 2:3).

Like me and I’m guessing you too, Job had never received

A direct evaluation from God

He had only heard of God and been taught of God (Job 42:5).   He sacrificed after each of his kids’ parties just in case they had somehow sinned (Job 1:5).  It would have been natural for him to judge his spiritual status with God by his physical blessings.

Job seems to be contemporary of the patriarchs of the pre-Mosaic age because there’s no mention of the law, tabernacle or temple.  Job offered burnt offerings rather than priests.   It looks like he was King Jobab, son of Chief Zerah (Gen. 36:17) of the Edomite city of Bozrah, making Job a great grandson of Esau!   Job probably lived sometime while Israel was in slavery in Egypt (1682-1443 BC).   God called Job “the finest man alive on the earth” (New Living Translation)—apparently tucked in between Abraham and Moses.

Total surprise:  Such a righteous man is Edomite not Israelite!

The book of Job, considered a literary classic, is ideal for self-examination, which is good all year long but Paul said necessary before Passover (March 29 this year) (1 Cor. 11:28).

“The ethical content  of Job’s confession, with its emphasis on inward motivation … and  attitude … is unique and unparalleled until Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount—Nelson Study Bible.

God allowed Satan to inflict painful boils from Job’s head to foot!  As John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible describes it, Satan spared only his mouth, lips and teeth—instruments of speech—so that Job would curse God! (Job 19:20).   Thanks to that, we get to hear Job’s thoughts and words!

In Job 6:24, he wisely states, “Teach me … Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.”

Job boilsBut as Job’s boils festered on for “months of futility and wearisome nights (Job 7:3), and his friends compounded their accusations and condescending discouragement, Job wanted to talk to God.

People commonly say Job’s problem was self-righteousness (Job 32:1), but the Bible sums up in James 5:11

The two biggest lessons for us to learn from Job

about relating to God and talking to God:   “You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

Jesus said He appreciates that we believe even though we haven’t seen (John 20:29).  For now, prayer is good enough!

We must persevere in prayer (Luke 18:1-8) and be grateful for His compassion and mercy.  He talks back to us through Bible study, wise counsel and experiences.  He is decidedly not an unjust judge.

We must not decide to contend with God, as we’ll see Job foolishly did.

Part 2:  Not a Good Idea to Contend with God!

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