“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” (Job 42:5)
It took a lot of heartache, pain, and tears for Job to get to this point. It could be argued that through most of the book he claims unique, first hand knowledge of God, while his “friends” are vehemently insisting that the opposite is true. As it turns out, they were all wrong. One reason we know Job’s claim in verse five was now true is that God says so in verse seven. Another reason is found in verse six, where Job says, “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” We can be sure Job was now truly seeing God, because he was now truly seeing himself.
Faith comes by hearing the witness of the Word (Rom.10:17) and in most cases, the witness of men (10:14); but seeing requires the witness of the Holy Spirit (Eph.1:16-18). This is why to quench, grieve, or lie to the Holy Spirit is to put blinders on our spiritual eyes. When Christians and non-Christians alike say, “I just don’t see it,” when a plain Biblical mandate is laid out before them, they’re right. They don’t see. They hear; but they can’t see, usually because there is something between them and the Holy Spirit that is blocking their view.
Because we can find no other overt sin in the life of Job, it is probably safe to assume that spiritual pride was his great failing, which more often than not requires drastic measures to uncover. Still, God knew Job would pass the test of Satan’s sifting and be the better for it (Job 42:12a). What could be better than seeing God? For my money, nothing. Does this mean you and I must suffer to the extent that Job did in order to experience such reality? Not necessarily, though I do think there are places in the soul that only suffering can reach.
What I do know is that we all have things in our lives that have the potential for hiding the face of God. Some are common to us all, clear and plain in the Word of God. Others are as individual as our individual relationships with Him. And only those who truly seek the face of God will submit to the search light of His Word.
When I am willing to see myself as I truly am, I will see God as He truly is. And in both cases, it’s a real eye-opener.