"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;Job 42:5(NASB)
The book of Job has been an inspiration and encouragement to many saints down through the ages who themselves have had to go through some terrible trials and horrific persecutions, as well as enduring the day to day problems that all humanity has to face in a fallen world where God has been rejected by the vast majority of mankind. Valuable lessons can be learned from Job's trials, even though the mystery of suffering is not totally fully understood by any of us. However, we do discover that it often results in a deeper knowledge of God and a more secure foundation of faith in our Heavenly Father's faithfulness.
We learn from Job that suffering is not always a result of sin, nor that the righteous are exempt from tribulations and trials. We also see clearly that God sets protective parameters around those that trust in Him, and we understand that Satan is the cause of many sufferings and hardships. We learn that this evil enemy influences the actions of the wicked against the righteous, but the devil's actions are always subject to God's permissive will Who, in His goodness and grace, uses all things, including our own personal suffering, to work together for the good to those that love and trust Him - and for His eternal glory. We also learn that God is not obliged to tell us why we suffer, nor to remove our sorrow and grief. We also see how human reasoning misunderstands suffering and pain, while God alone offers comfort and succour to those that are suffering. Indeed, suffering develops the spiritual fruit of patient endurance, which produces a crop of godly righteousness and peace in the lives of those who have been trained or exercised by it.
We who have access to the whole counsel of God, have a fuller understanding that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, and we recognise the futility of questioning God's authority or challenging God's power when we are compassed about by evil. We discover from the Scriptures that His grace is sufficient no matter what we have to face, and that if we trust Him through all the difficulties and dangers of life, we are granted an ever deepening knowledge of His Person and an expanded insight into His gracious character, His eternal faithfulness, His amazing grace, and His unsurpassed glory.
Despite his complaining and challenges to God, and although he spoke inadvisably to the Lord, Job never denounced God nor cursed His name which is what that slippery serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, boasted would happen in His initial challenge to God. Thus, Job is identified as a man who glorified God even when his life became unimaginably difficult, proving Satan's challenge to God to be false. And as a result, Job's understanding of the magnificence and goodness of God was increased and intensified. He finally repented of his foolish complaining, his foolhardy challenges, and his ill-considered words, for through it Job has come to a deeper and more intimate knowledge and understanding of God and so he confesses to the Lord: "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You."
Satanic accusations against the goodness and grace of God are still being whispered into the ears of believers today as we, like Job, continue to be compassed about by many forms of suffering and misfortune, persecution and pain, destitution and danger, heart-aches and affliction, the sword and a martyrs death. But in His strength, we must stand firm on the solid truth of Scripture, trusting without wavering on the inerrant Word of God, rejecting the enemy's ploys that cause us to doubt God's precious promises, while rejecting anything contrary to the glorious truth of the gospel of grace.
In Christ, we too can prove the wicked allegations against the goodness of God to be fictitious and false so that like Job we can bring honour to His name and be able to declare: "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my spiritual eye of understanding sees You and praises You."
Heavenly Father, thank You for this amazing insight into Your person and character. Help me, in the power of Your Spirit, to stand fast in the evil day, resist the wiles of the enemy, and the accusations of Satan. Help me stand firm on the unchangeable Word of truth, to hear You speak to me from Your Word, and to see You more clearly as I search the Scriptures. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.