by Ted Kyle
No question about it, Job was a good man. He was also a man who knew God, and let it be known on every hand. Not only did Job know God, he knew he was known by God, who caused him to prosper and "hedged" his way from grief and ill-fortune.
Yet, as we understand from reading Job's story, there was something a little too complacent about Job's relationship with the Almighty. He had come to accept his favored status as his due. He was God's man, and God took good care of him, and that seemed only right and fair.
Thus, when troubles mounted up like massive dark thunderheads, and Job's life came undone-when God allowed Satan to rain torrents of terrible things upon Job, reducing him to worse than nothingness, because he still clung to life, but in utter torment-Job was convinced God was picking on him unfairly. God had turned against him without cause-or so Job thought.
Even his friends were convinced he must have been hiding some terrible sin, for which God was chastising him.
Then the "youngster," Elihu, turned the "great debate" away from being Job-
centered and focused instead upon the greatness of God. And this set the stage for God Himself to speak-which He did in almost the final chapters of the book.
Then, in the very last chapter, Job stands crestfallen and humbled before his Maker and confessed that he simply had not "got it" until that very moment. He says to Jehovah God: "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: But now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Job did not actually, physically see God, for no man may see God and live (Ex. 33:20). But he did experience a cataclysmic revelation of God that shook him to his roots. The scales fell from his inner eyes, and he understood at last both the awesome, majestic greatness of God Almighty, and his own utter insignificance by comparison.
In the brief epilogue, with his lesson firmly learned, Job's story turns back to prosperity.
But what of us? Can we "see" God, as Job did? Have we seen Him? Have we learned the all-important lesson God had for Job? God had to break Job down almost to nothingness before His beloved servant could understand the real relationship between himself and God. Must He do that to us also? Would we want Him to, if that is what it takes?
These are tough questions-but also vital ones, if we would genuinely see our God as He is, indeed-not the genial Big Guy in the sky who showers His love down on everybody, and is grateful for every crumb of respect we send back in return.
Our God is a mighty God, and it is worth everything to see Him as He is.
Ted Kyle is managing editor of Pulpit Helps.