13th February 2017

Hearing and Seeing

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth…yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes…”
Job 19:25-27 (NIV UK)

In the opening chapter of the book of Job God gives Job a glowing accolade, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8 NIVUK)

Despite this accolade Job was overtaken by a series of calamities. When Job’s friends heard of his predicament they came to mourn with him and comfort him. In their subsequent discussions, centred on Job’s sufferings, Job is so certain that he can justify himself before God that he states, “let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless.” (Job 31:6)

In chapter 31 Job outlines the basis of his confidence—it is an extremely impressive testimony of his own moral integrity. Eventually God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind, out of the chaos of this world. This revelation transformed Job’s understanding of God and God’s relationship to him, and he said in Job 42:5-6, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Despite God’s initial accolade and his own confident moral testimony, Job now saw a need to repent in dust and ashes and no longer asked to be weighed on God’s scales. Included in God’s answer to Job was the simple statement, “Do you have an arm like God’s,…Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.” (Job 40: 9-14) As the opening scripture shows Job had an understanding that at the resurrection he would see God. But Job now glimpsed the bigger picture; he saw his own works in perspective and recognised that only God can save and that his own right hand, his own righteousness derived from his own works, could not save him when he stood before God at the resurrection.

Job makes a major distinction between hearing about God and seeing God. Today Christians hear about God from many sources, some more reliable and accurate than others, but we see God clearly only through Jesus Christ. As Jesus attested of himself, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. “ (John 14:9) What we hear needs to be calibrated against what we see in and through Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace that Jesus inspired through the Holy Spirit. This gospel includes the same message delivered to Job, that salvation comes from God and cannot be earned or maintained through our own right hand, our own works.

Prayer
Father in heaven, we thank you that your Son willingly gave up his power and glory to become a human being that and that through him by grace we receive salvation.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion, Sheffield
Please email for Meeting Place

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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