I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand--from my own eyes and ears!
I'm sorry--forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise!
I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor. (Job 42:5-6)
I confess, today I was tempted to write about Job's daughters, and his before-his-time treatment of them. (Check out Job 42:12-15)But after following Job all the way through this dramatic confrontation, we must look at the end. And Job does not disappoint.
An interesting note: Job starts with God's challenge to Satan. We don't get to see the scene in heaven when Job comes through with flying colors. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. Maybe Satan didn't show up in heaven that day. He went to lick his wounds in private. He's more likely to go brag when high-profile Christians like Jimmy Swagart or Mel Gibson make big mistakes.
But we do get to see the change in Job. And like so much else through this book, his words challenge and inspire me.
Throughout the book, Job challenges God in a way that suggests they were close. Dare I say he was angry with God? And as they say, anger (hate, actually) is the other side of love. If he didn't trust God with every fiber of his being, he wouldn't feel so betrayed.
God shows up and blows Job away. I am so much more than you are. I am your friend. I am your redeemer. But I am also your creator and sustainer. Without me, you would not exist.
Job got his trial with God. He expected to be exonerated, cleared of suspicion of sin. Instead, God schooled Job with His resume.
We never receive the answer to the age-old question, why does a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?
What I have seen over and over again in these past few chapters, is God's desire to reveal Himself. He reveals Himself through nature, through life (and especially trials)--and now it appears God drove Job to the edge to show him more about God Himself.
That glimpse of God Unveiled backed Job into a corner. This man, who knew God better than any of his friends, says, I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.
Is that me today? Is most of what I know of God hearsay, rumor? Things I know about God without knowing God Himself?
I can't quote you proof texts, although I think the Redemption story implies these truths
God made man for fellowship. He wants man to love Him voluntarily. By faith. To obey Him and seek Him because we want to. He wants this so much that He gave us free will. Before Adam and Eve chose against Him, God had already planned for our redemption. He seeks us, wooing us, calling us.
One of my favorite quotes from the old TV show, Touched By An Angel, one angel says, "The angels don't have faith. They know. Only people have faith, and that's why I love working with them."
Not everything about that show was right, but a lot of things were. That statement is one of the best.
As we seek God, let us not rely on hearsay, on rumors. If we are brave enough, like Job, let us seek an encounter with God Himself.