I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.…
Job, though the most patient of men, had been betrayed, under the pressure of his severe sufferings, into some unreasonable and rebellious murmurs. He had acknowledged the providence and the power of God, but not with a full submission of heart. On the occasion now before us, he is brought to a juster sense of his own unworthiness, and the omnipotence and omniscience of Jehovah. His meaning in what he says may be this: that he had before obtained some knowledge of God from various opportunities afforded him; from education, from instruction, from his own researches, and the conference of his friends; but a scene, which he had lately witnessed, had made such discoveries to him of the Divine glory, and had so deeply affected his heart, that all he ever felt or knew before was nothing as compared with his present perception and knowledge. This fuller knowledge had produced, as it is always calculated to do, the fruit of humility in the heart. As a humble penitent, he desired to lie low in self-condemnation, and in the frame of his spirit before God, casting himself wholly on His mercy, and submitting unreservedly to His will...Far indeed should we be from supposing that religion consists in feelings and experiences; a more false and delusive standard than this cannot be proposed to mankind; the true faith and the true principle must always be measured by the fruit. Yet still there may have been a fair appearance of fruit without the full establishment of the principle; there may have been a considerable and hopeful profession without a vital communion with God in the Gospel. Though our guilt is washed away by the regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit, yet this does not prevent the necessity of our afterwards feeling a deep and distressful sense of sin, as often as it is committed, together with the dreadfulness of its consequence; we still need the profoundest humiliation at the foot of the throne of mercy, a thorough abasement of soul. in the presence of a just and holy God. Not only must there be a habit of sincere repentance on all occasions of actual transgression, but a positive abhorrence of all evil, in thought, and word, and deed, must be rooted in the heart; accompanied, as it surely will be, with a constant unfailing love of our God and Redeemer, such as will incline our hearts to keep His law in all its holiness and integrity. Wherever this change has taken place, this enlightenment been vouchsafed, this true view of the Gospel been formed, this life of God in the soul established, there will have been a result and experience similar to the case of the patriarch of old. "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." I perceive the wretchedness of my condition by nature; and though my profession was fair, and my conduct not immoral, my heart was not spiritual, my affections not purified, nay will not brought into a self-denying and total subjection to the Divine law. This conviction and confession would doubtless lead to a deep repentance "in dust and ashes." Leave two questions with you.
1. Are there any here who have never needed such an alteration in their views, and principles, and conduct? Let them pour out their hearts in grateful thanksgiving for this singular benefit and mercy.
2. The other questions relate to those who are conscious that there was a period at which their hearts were not right with God. Have they now turned to God in sincerity and truth? Do they now see God in the fulness of His grace and power and blessing? To find ourselves lodged in the ark of His salvation is a consolation for all ills, a constraining motive to all duty, the sweetest food for the immortal soul, and a "joy unspeakable and full of glory."
(J. Slade, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.