I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.…
In the confession that now lies before us, Job acknowledges God's boundless power. He sees his own folly, Notwithstanding, the man of God proceeds to draw near unto the Lord, before whom he bows himself. Foolish as he confesses himself, he does not therefore fly from the supreme wisdom.
I. WE HAVE SOMETIMES VERY VIVID IMPRESSIONS OF GOD. Job had long before heard of God, and that is a great matter. If you have heard God in the secret of your soul, you are a spiritual man; for only a spirit can hear the Spirit of God. Now Job has a more vivid apprehension of Him. Notice that in order to this close vision of God affliction had overtaken him. In prosperity God is heard; in adversity God is seen, and that is a greater blessing. Possibly helpful also to this seeing God, was Job's desertion by his friends. Still, before Job could see the Lord, there was a special manifestation on God's part to him. God must really come and in a gracious way make a display of Himself to His servants, or else they will not see Him. Your afflictions will not of themselves reveal God to you. If the Lord does not Himself unveil His face, your sorrow may even blind and harden you, and make you rebellious.
II. WHEN WE HAVE THESE VIVID APPREHENSIONS OF GOD, WE HAVE LOWLIER VIEWS OF OURSELVES. Why are the wicked so proud? Because they forget God.
1. God Himself is the measure of rectitude, and hence, when we come to think of God, we soon discover our own shortcomings and transgressions. Too often we compare ourselves among ourselves, and are not wise. If thou wouldest be right, thou must measure thyself with the holiness of God. When I think of this, self-righteousness seems to me to be a wretched insanity. If you would know what God is, He sets Himself before us in the person of His own dear Son. In every respect in which we fall short of the perfect character of Jesus, in that respect we sin.
2. God Himself is the object of every transgression, and this sets sin in a terrible light. See then the impertinence of sin. How dare we transgress against God! The fact that sin is levelled at God makes us bow in lowliness. When God is seen with admiration, then of necessity we are filled with self-loathing. Do you know what self-loathing means?
III. SUCH A SIGHT FILLS THE HEART WITH TRUE REPENTANCE. What did Job repent of?
1. Of that tremendous curse which he had pronounced upon the day of his birth.
2. Of his desire to die.
3. Of all his complaints against God.
4. Of his despair.
5. Of his rash challenges of God.According to our text, repentance puts man into the lowest place. All real repentance is joined with holy sorrow and self-loathing. But repentance has comfort in it. The door of repentance opens into the halls of joy. Job's repentance in dust and ashes was the sign of his deliverance.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.