Job 42:5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
My buddy Job is an interesting character. Job loves God. He is seemingly a successful father with grown children. He is successful business man with great wealth. In a very short period of time it’s all taken away from him. Come to find out it had nothing to do with him. No, this was a discussion between the God he served and Satan. Satan was accusing God that people only served him because of his blessings.
The image of God that plays regularly in my head is a large, gentle, strong, wise, all knowing and very patient image. I envision God pondering Satan’s words, nodding his head a few times as he contemplates and then simply says, “Have you considered my servant Job?
Satan’s ears perk up, he snarls a bit and rolls his slimy hands in anticipation. “You can do whatever you want, but you can’t take his life,” God says. REALLY? What the…?
Satan wastes no time. Job gets the word that all his land has been destroyed, his children killed and all his wealth vanishes; at least he has his health – right, that goes too. I used to think that God knew Job’s character and knew that in the end he would not crumble. I now believe that it had nothing to do with Job. God knew that there was nothing He couldn’t redeem.
Job’s wife and friends do their best to console him. They actually have some good things to say. God allows their discussion to go on and on, almost 40 chapters of it. Then God begins to talk. His words are loud and clear: He is God and there is none His equal.
It is at the end when Job says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” There is a great gulf between knowing God and seeing him. Those who know God typically speak of him as a judging, condemning, righteous figure. Those who see him, see him in the midst of calamity, disaster and suffering. They see a God who loves and who in spite of all the evil and wrong in the world is there.
Do you see him? Do you see him in the midst of your suffering and heartache? Do you see him in the midst of your loss and abuse? He is there, waiting patiently for you to allow him to redeem it all and work it out for your good.
There’s a PS to this story. Job did get everything back and he got it back double. BUT it didn’t just appear one morning, it came back naturally. God didn’t drop six grown children in his lap, his didn’t wake up to find his fields completely restored and producing. Barns didn’t just appear filled with herds of animals. I believe that for the rest of Jobs life he experienced God’s rebuilding. Not a bad retirement.