Faith means seeing life in a different way, having a different perspective - Job 42:5.

Source: Clarion, 2008. 2 pages.

Job 42:5 - Believing is Seeing

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Job 42:5

At first a believer may have a problem not only with this meditation’s title, but even with the text that accompanies it. We ask, “Is it not so that the Bible never favours seeing over hearing?” Why, the Lord Jesus Himself rebuked his disciple Thomas for not wanting to believe without first seeing! And believers throughout the centuries have memorized Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Job, that suffering servant of God, certainly lived by faith. God Himself testified that he was “blameless and upright,” a man who “feared God and shunned evil” (1:1). He gave evidence of that faith, though confronted with his adversary Satan and the accusations of his “friends.” He maintained his integrity, rooted in faith in his God, despite prolonged wrestling to understand why God sent him so much suffering.

It is also clear that the Lord was pleased with Job’s confession of faith (42:7). After all, Job’s faith had not been a matter of words only, but was borne out by his exemplary conduct (Job 29)

And yet Job says, “My ears had heard ... now my eyes have seen you.” In the same breath, Job humbles himself and repents “in dust and ashes” (42:6). This was no feigned humility. On the contrary, he said it in response to the revelation of God, the God who had taken Job into the “classroom” to speak to him there. This was the “classroom” of God’s sovereignty and of his creative genius; his almighty power and providence.

In doing so, He’d directed Job’s heart, soul, and mind so that this frail, mortal, upright-yet-sinful soldier might rest in the knowledge that God is in heaven and we are on earth. Job’s quest for answers might be satisfied – satisfied in the way of God’s self-revelation, the knowledge that “Father knows best.”

In those powerful lessons of what we might call “divine science” – a peek into God’s “blueprints” and “engineering” of the earth’s foundations, stars, planets, and the host of creatures large and small – God had first caused Job to put a hand over his mouth (40:4). Yet while there is a time and a place for everything, this was not a time for silence. When God displays a panorama of his faithfulness, surely man’s mouth must be open! No, not to find fault with God his Creator. Certainly not to argue with God as if man was his equal (a sin of which Job was guilty). But God reveals his glory, so that Job and all sufferers, young and old, might confess,

I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.Job 42:2

Job came to see this. He came to know and trust this God. For him, believing was seeing! Yes, prior to his confession in chapter 42, he already had an intimate knowledge of his God and Saviour. Though on a rubbish heap, he’d spoken those remarkable words: “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes” (19:25-27).

But it appears that Job had lost sight of this redeemer in whom he trusted. No wonder he had, for the powers of evil persuaders were constantly trying to claim Job for their own. Yet even then, God Almighty, “strong to save,” was on the road: on the road of fulfilling his promise to crush the serpent’s head while gathering to Himself a church chosen to everlasting life.

That church is still called to faith in her Triune God. And that faith must have eyes, the eyes of a heart that is not only right with God, but rightly knows, trusts, and loves Him! Hearts that do not cling to outward things, not even to the symbols of bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper table. Rather, with “seeing faith” we look upwards and onwards:

We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.Hebrews 2:9

Then one day, when all our “cataracts” are removed, we, together with Job and the church of all ages, will see the face of Christ Jesus (Revelation 22:4). Let us then take Him at his Word – that indispensable Word of truth to which the Holy Spirit has bound Himself – that hearing it, we might see!

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