Hearsay and Conviction
Job 42:5-6
I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.…

This is the moral of the whole story. Job had maintained his innocence all along. He had indignantly protested against the supposition that his calamities were the direct result of his evil life. And he was regarded with the Divine approval. But Job's words at the last indicate that,, after all, he had not been altogether' right, and the arguments of his friends had not been altogether wrong. What produced this great change? It was that he no longer measured himself by human standards, that he no longer compared himself with other men, but with the perfect holiness of the law of God. "Now mine eye seeth Thee." How had this great sight been granted him? It was by bringing before him the blindness and ignorance of man, and the marvels of the universe, and the majesty of Him by whom the universe was governed. What did he know of that power, that government which he had been impugning? Job was summoned to consider the mysteries which lay round about him, the events and things in which he had been accustomed to think there was any mystery at all. He saw around him so much that he could not understand; he saw around him powers with which he could not contend; what must be the power which embraced and controlled them all? How foolish, how presumptuous, to make of his own weak sight, of his own insignificant case, the measure of the mighty whole! There was order, though he might not see it; there was law, though he might not understand it. This conclusion was come to simply because he saw more clearly what had always been visible. The volume of nature outspread before him revealed to him, wherever he turned, the infinite wisdom, and power, and righteousness. It was God whose presence and whose working he discerned in everything — nowhere could he look but God was visible. In seeing God he saw himself. When he looked from himself to God, when he saw the eternal holiness and purity, the new sight awoke within him a knowledge of himself which all his self-inspection had been unable to produce. The greatest earthly wisdom became as foolishness, the greatest earthly virtue became as vileness by the contrast. There are many who can bear witness to a change like that which took place in Job having taken place in themselves. They have passed from a belief which is the result of hearsay to a faith which is the result of personal conviction; and this experience in some form is needful for us everyone. The modes in which it may be attained are very various, but no one can be right till that vision has been granted to him, till the God of whom he has been taught becomes a reality, is seen and known by the eye of faith. There comes a crisis, a distinct period, in the lives of some, when God speaks to them out of the whirlwind, out of the storm of affliction which has broken over them, out of the storm of agitation by which their spirits are convulsed. It is the vision of Divine love and power and forgiveness which strikes our doubting dumb, which alone affords relief to the spirit longing to believe that all is well, that human hopes and aspirations are not a mockery and an illusion. But it is a vision which each must see for himself. One cannot communicate to another what he has seen. We must not rest content until spiritual things become realities.

(F. M'Adam Muir.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

WEB: I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.

God Known in Various Manners
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