Your Knowledge of God
Job 42:5 “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee:”
Is your knowledge of God, by hearing about Him and His great works, only?
Or have you met Him in the circumstances of your daily life, and known His authority there?
Jonah met God in the belly of the great fish….(Jonah 2:1, 9)
Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus….(Acts 9:3-6)
The Philippians Jailer met Him when he was about to commit suicide….(Acts 16:27-31)
Where, or under what circumstances you meet the Lord, is not important. What is important is,….that you do.
(Job is a book on several levels….God lets us see into His Universal Rule: for it is a book showing us how God rules and overrules for us.
In this book, God show us how our adversary, the devil, is always accusing us before God…..but God shows us how He deals with His whole universe….letting the devil hurt or harm only so far….in a measured way. Job 1:12, 2:6 After these two terrible trials…God allowed no more harm to come Job from the devil.
In this book, God shows us how He feels about obedient servants….and how He hedges us about…..often. (Job 1:8-10)
In this book, God shows us how He uses our trials to bring us to a more wonderful knowledge of Him,….and draws us to a closer walk with Him.)
I want to explain here, that Job was a righteous man. His attitude toward God was amazing (in my opinion)….at the loss of his wealth and children…
(there have been many times when things have gone wrong, that I wished my attitude was as his.)
Job 1:20-21 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
And at the loss of his health,….his attitude toward God did not waver:
Job 2:9-10 “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
As I said, Job was a good and righteous man.
The trials of the devil were ended, but the trials from others were not:
After these terrible things happened, three “friends” came to comfort him, in his grief.
But instead of comfort, they came and told him….”something must be wrong with you, for God to have let these things come upon you”.
Job 4:7 “Remember, I pray thee, whoever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off?”
They thought maybe his children had sinned, or he had:
Job 8:4, 6 “If thy children have sinned against Him, and He have cast them away for their transgression;
If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.”
They were trying to help Job, or so they thought……. but he had not sinned, as they thought.
What they said was right, if Job had sinned or turned aside from following the Lord. But that was not what was happening here….
Job had walked quite a ways with God. Job had knowledge of God and believed and worshipped the Lord……that was true…..as far as it went…..
But God wanted Job to know more of Him, in a different way, then just a provider and caretaker.
(Every trial that comes to us, is to open our eyes to His provision for us. To bring us closer to God.
They are measured trials….some relatively easy….others extremely difficult…and others, impossible.
But they are all sent, to bring us closer to God, that we might know Him in a new way, for our lives….what He will do for us, in the trial; and how He will bring us through it….for He will.)
Frankly, Job had stalled out. He was a good man, doing charitable works….happy in his experience with God….but he was not going further in the knowledge of God…he was just coasting along…..but he did not know it.
It wasn’t the trials which he passed through that showed Job how he was…..but his “friends”.
When his “friends” came,…then his reputation came to be on the line….and Job bristled under the charge that he had sinned.
Job felt his friends were treating him badly….they should have realized that God tries the faithful….and he wanted God to show that he was pure.
But was he?
Job 10:2-3, 7 “I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; show me wherefore Thou contendest with me.
Is it good unto Thee that Thou shouldest oppress, that Thou shouldest despise the work of Thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of Thine hand.”
Job knew that God was allowing this; but he began to be angry, when God was not defending him as he thought He should.
But wasn’t that part of the trial?
(I want to put in here, that we can not see all, of what God is doing…most times. We may see part….and for some, it is a great part, but not all.
We must trust that when we come through the trial we will be “as silver is tried” Psalm 66:10-12, and be “brought out into a wealthy [satisfying] place”)
Job continues,….only this time he begins to spout off about what he would say before God, Himself!
Job 23:3-6 “Oh that I knew where I might find Him! That I might come even to His seat!
I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say unto me.
Will He plead against me with His great power? No; but He would put strength in me.”
(How bold we get in defending ourselves!)
I must admit, Job’s friends were being harsh in their words….they would not hear what he was saying…..God does try the faith of the righteous to bring out more faith….
Actually, what they said was true…..if, Job had sinned, like they thought.
But their knowledge of God, did not cover a righteous man being tried, to bring him closer to God.
They thought that blessings, and only blessings were the way that you should know God.
(And how many of us think the same?)
If you were righteous…..God blessed you.
If you were wicked….God cursed you.
That was the extent of their experience, and knowledge of God.
But God was trying to teach them all, more of Him.
Job then proceeds to explain to them his righteousness……he had been righteous, in reverence to God,…..all his days.
And he begs God to show how he really is….
“Oh that One would hear me! Behold, my desire is that the Almighty would answer me,…” (Job 31:35)
Interesting request….for God does:
Job 38:1-2 “And the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Who is this that darkened counsel by words without knowledge?”
God answers Job from a whirlwind….Job had wanted God to do something mighty, and powerful, and He does….but not to the friends,….but to him.
The Lord then shows Job how little he knows of Him:
Job had spoken as though his righteousness had added something to God.
As though, Job’s knowledge of God and his obedience, had earned him God’s respect.
No, Job, it does not. God loves us, and the greatest thing He does for us….is bring us closer to Him, in experience….for that is true knowledge.
Job 40:2, 8 “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? Wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?”
“So you are going to walk right up to Me, Job and tell Me off because I am doing My Will, so you will be brought closer to Me?
Is that righteousness, Job?”
“You say you are righteous….declaring it to all…
If your righteousness is so great, Job,….
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency;….look on everyone that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place… (verses 10, 12)
I have everything in control, Job….the wind, snow, elements….the animals; the largest to the smallest, I have given direction to….are you able to do this?”
Job, awed,…..and humbled,…answered, laying his hand upon his mouth, which is a sign of contrition where his words are concerned. (Job 40:4)
Then Job answered God,….rightly
Job 42:2-3, 5-6 “I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be witholden from Thee.
Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee:
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
You see, God is interested in us….and the trials which come to us are all under His hand.
Are we gaining knowledge of Him, everyday?
Or are we at a stand-still, rather proud of how far we have come?
Well, Job was….but he did not know it.
Until the Lord, through trials of loss, and through trials of friends made him speak all that was in his heart….
Then God showed him all that was in his heart, and he repented of his pride.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
The Lord also corrected his friends, and had Job pray for them. (Job 42:7-9)
Job 42:10, 12 “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:…”
Blessed in scripture means twice happy.
God blessed Job,…..and if we could ask Job, I think he would have said that the greatest blessing, was his greater knowledge of the Most High.
What is your knowledge of God? Is it continuing….or have you stalled in your growth in grace?