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

Something more was needed to be wrought in Job's heart. A great work had been wrought there, when he was brought to exclaim, "Behold, I am vile." But still he must descend a step lower. The valley of humiliation is very deep, and the sufferer must go down to its very lowest point. This Job did when he spoke the words of the text. But how do these words show more humiliation than the preceding ones, "Behold, I am vile"? It is a question which may well be asked. Something was still wanting in him. And as the last confession was the end of his trial, we may still further conclude that what was wanting before was then attained. It must strike us that the last is in every respect a more full expression — a manifest expansion of the former. In that Job acknowledged his exceeding sinfulness, and was silent before God. But in this be confesses what he had overlooked before, the power and omniscience of God, and he enters into a more detailed acknowledgment of his sins. Look a little, first, into the progress of Job's inner life. His former knowledge he compares to the hearing of the ear, his latter experience to the sight of the eye. Job does not mean to express that, before this affliction, he was entirely destitute of all saving knowledge of God. The words, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear," taken by themselves, and without reference to Job's history, might mean this. His words must be understood in a comparative, not in an absolute sense. Job means to describe his progress in the knowledge of God, and this he does by comparing it to the two senses of hearing and sight. And this comparison is very instructive; for the ear, as compared with the eye, is a very imperfect medium of knowledge. Do you see, then, the difference between the two degrees of knowledge? in the first there may be tolerably clear apprehensions of God, accompanied by some fear and love. The characteristic of the second is that God's presence impresses the heart. It is the precious knowledge of God in Christ which those have who walk by living faith — who enjoy constant communion with God, who live on Jesus. Some there are who, through grace, walk in this blessed vision of God; God is near them, and they realise His nearness. To see God, remember that you must behold Him in Christ Jesus. But the increase of light, in Job's case, was followed by a depth of humiliation. Job was a believer, and therefore a penitent man long before this. It was a repentance for sins committed after he knew God — for sins of self-righteousness, of impatience, of murmuring. It is not enough to repent once only, when we are first brought to God. We need Constant repentance.

(George Wagner.)

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.

Hearsay and Conviction
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