Job: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).
Here was the most righteous man of his day, steadfastly withstanding the condemnation of his three close and misguided friends. These friends came to Job in his misery and waited with him in silence for seven days. Then they began their escalating (in directness) and diminishing (in effectiveness) arguments against Job, trying to show him that wickedness produces suffering. And Job was right to fight this argument by maintaining His innocence. God was not bringing suffering on Job because of his wickedness.
But then Elihu came to Job, and he spoke of God’s purpose in suffering, to bring sinners to repentance. “If they are bound in chains and caught in the cords of affliction, then he declares to them their work and their transgressions…he opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity” (Job 36:8-10). And Job realized that, despite his righteousness, he was still a sinner before a holy God.
There is a kind of hearing of God that produces pride in man. And there is a kind of seeing God that reduces a man to his knees in repentance. Don’t just hear of God, or think of God, or consider God. See, and behold, and delight in Him, that He is a God who is good, and just, and sovereign, and loving, and full of mercy, all for His great glory and our great joy!
Question: Do you ever find yourself hearing of God without seeing Him?