Job 42:5 - Job's Encounter with God.
Job 42:5 (NLT) I had only heard about you before, but now I have
seen you with my own eyes.
The most important lesson of the book of Job is found in this
text. In this statement Job reveals the transition from a religious
experience shaped by tradition to an experience based on personal communion
with God. According to the tradition in which he had been reared, the
righteous were not supposed to suffer. From his youth up Job had heard
that God would deliver the righteous from all evil in this present
life. But when he met suffering he was thrown into confusion, because
it was contrary to what he had heard about God. His confusion was
augmented by the attitude of his friends. Now Job has seen God. He knows
that God possesses infinite power and graciousness, and he also knows
that, even though he may suffer, he is God's child. God has made no
attempt to explain to him why he suffers, but he is convinced that,
whatever the reason, he need have no misgivings.
Job's experience has taught him the meaning of faith. His vision
of God has enabled him to surrender to the divine will. His
commitment to God is now unaffected by his circumstances. He no longer
expects temporal blessings as an evidence of Heaven's favor. His
relationship to God is now on a firmer, more dependable basis than before.
Job finds a solution to his problems when he discovers that God is
not limited by the traditions men have developed concerning Him.
This broader understanding that Job reveals when he says, "Now mine
eye seeth thee," is akin to the experience of faith that is
emphasized so strongly throughout the Scriptures, especially in the Gospel
of John and the epistles to the Romans and the Galatians (John
1:12-17; Rom. 8:1-8; Gal. 4:3-7). [SDA Bible Commentary]
In his time, Job was the most righteous person on earth. He was
so godly that the Lord took pleasure in pointing him out to Satan
(Job 1:8). Yet, despite his love for God and his diligent obedience
to His commands, even Job had not fully come to know God. The
blessings God had given to Job had not revealed everything about God's
character. There were characteristics that Job would come to realize only
through adversity. So the Lord allowed Satan to test Job through
Although Job lost everything he had, even his seven children,
Job discovered that God was still with him. Though he faced the most
difficult and bewildering tribulations imaginable, Job came to understand
that God was infinitely wiser than he (Job 42:1-4). As Job endured
the insensitivity of his friends, he learned that God is the only
One who is absolutely trustworthy. Job learned much about God
through his anguish. Finally, he confessed that at first he had only
heard about God, but now, through his suffering, he had come to see
God (Job 42:5).
When you are in the midst of your trials, your Lord will reveal
His character to you in ways you never knew. You will experience His
strong and comforting presence. Like Job, you will learn that your Lord
will remain, even when everyone else abandons you. You will see God
more clearly as He takes you through the dark times. Then you will
experience God in ways you had previously only heard about from others.
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby]