Encountering God

Key Verse: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
—Job 42:5,6, New International Version

Selected Scriptures:
Job 38:1-7;
40:7-9; 42:1-6

HOW OFTEN HAS THE desire to be heard been answered by mother, father, or some human? Like a father, when a child cries to be heard, the father has said, “Stand up! Brace yourself like a man.” Now comes the Heavenly Father’s voice to Job, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you.”—Job 38:3, NIV

In today’s lesson we find Job being questioned by God. The Heavenly Father does not chide him, neither does he ask that he bow down in humility, but simply says, stand, listen, and answer me. God asks Job to tell him where he (Job) was when he (God) made the earth, and asks him, “Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” (40:8, NIV) This went to the heart of Job. God continues, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.”—vs. 2

Job finally comes to realize whom he is dealing with. The question may be asked, “Do we know with whom we are dealing?” The Prophet Isaiah, speaking for God, says, “Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? (Isa. 40:13) Going on he says, “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?”—vss. 15,18

Mankind has pictured God as vengeful, while the Scriptures describe him as a God of love, mercy, and justice. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:8,10) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16

God is “rich in mercy.” (Eph. 2:4) “The Lord is … of tender mercy.” (James 5:11) God is a “just” God (Deut. 32:4), “a just God and a Saviour.”—Isa. 45:21

A marvelous testimony was given by Jesus when he said, “Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”—Luke 6:35

Job knew he had misjudged God and he asks God to forgive him. “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” (Job. 42:2,5) It was now by the eye of faith that Job saw God as one would face-to-face. The eyes of his understanding were opened. (Eph. 1:18) Job was humbled when God asked him to “gird up” his loins “like a man.” (Job 40:7) Job and all mankind must know as Jeremiah the prophet has written, “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”—Jer. 9:24

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