For your consideration:
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you…” (Job 42:5)
Job is a favorite Bible character. He strength and character sustained through the darkest night. He lost his children all at once and lost almost all of his belongings at once. Only his wife and a few friends remained. His friends tried to convince Job of his own sin although he knew he had none. His wife advised that he “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). The God whom he feared had fallen silent. Day after day he called upon God to hear and answer. He was met with silence. His agony so deep, his pain so profound that he cursed the very day of his birth (Job 3:1).
Finally, after bad advice and counsel, Job heard from his maker. The Lord’s monologue begins, “Dress for action like a man” (Job 38:3). What follows is a withering rebuke of Job’s attempt to challenge God over his broken condition. Although Jehovah was not the cause of his suffering he had allowed it as part of his divine will. If Job can answer any of God’s questions then he might have reason to query the Lord. But as we would expect, Job is silent before the barrage of celestial questions.
In chapter 42 Job musters the strength to speak. He acknowledges God’s wisdom, his power and his divinely appointed plans. It is in this context that Job utters the words above. It was in his despair that Job really came to know God. It was in his want, not his abundance, that he truly came to know the Creator. The opening verse of Job describes him as “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). He was so righteous that God even pointed him out to Satan (Job 1:8; Job 2:3). Yet it is not until the end of his story that Job can say he has seen God.
Here is the really amazing part. Job came to know God better before God restored his family and belongings! It was at the lowest point of his life that Job could finally say he had seen God. His family was gone, his belongings in ruin, his wife in revolt, his friends in error and his God was rebuking him. Could anything have been worse? But in this darkness the brightness of God shone through.
Even today, our best moments with God are when we are hurting. The apostle Paul sums it up this way: “But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Have you seen God in your weaknesses? Would you share it with us?