I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.…
What is suggested through the ear does, of necessity, affect the heart more languidly than what is presented to the faithful eye. What was the change in Job's impression of his own moral character and condition produced by his being placed in the immediate presence of the Almighty, and how the alteration in his circumstances was fitted to produce the alteration in his feelings. Job had conducted his part of the controversy in a spirit which prompted him to palliate and diminish the sins which he confessed, to exalt and magnify the virtues which he claimed. It carried him so far as once and again to implore, to demand, of the Sovereign Judge that He would vouchsafe to him the opportunity of arguing the whole cause before Him. The Almighty had granted his request. Jehovah's own voice came forth upon the patriarch's ear, challenging, indeed, and reproving the proud presumption with which a mortal man had ventured to dispute, as it were, on terms of equality with Him of whose infinite grandeur and absolute perfection all this wondrous universe is one vast type. But what a change has been effected on the spirit and demeanour of that presumptuous challenger of the Almighty, by the simple fact of the Almighty presenting Himself to abide the challenge, the answer, the appeal. There is no more palliation of his own sins, — no more boasting of his own excellencies. What was there in the uttered perceptions of Jehovah now enjoyed by Job to produce and to account for the altered emotions with which he now contemplated himself? He was placed in personal contact with the Father-spirit of the universe, and the effect was to impart a sudden accession of force and vividness to all those impressions of the holiness of God which, while God Himself was absent, had been comparatively faint and languid and ineffective. The impression of adoring reverence and awe which the contemplation of Jehovah's wondrous works in the kingdoms of nature and providence is fitted to produce mingles well and naturally with that of lowly self-abhorrence of which the comparison of His moral character with ours is the parent and the source. And the physical greatness of the Deity affords to the overwhelmed and prostrate soul a ready and a most impressive standard by which to estimate His moral excellence.
1. How strong a resemblance there is between the estimate which Job formed of his own character before the vision and the voice of God had met him, and that which the multitude of men are wont to entertain and to express regarding themselves.
2. All that I implore of you, in prospect of that solemn entrance which awaits us all into the sphere of Jehovah's more peculiar residence, and on the consciousness of a more present Deity, is to judge from the recorded example of Job what will be the effect on all your conceptions of Jehovah's awful holiness, and of your own contrasted sinfulness.
(J. B. Patterson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.