JOB 42:1-6: “Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: How big is God? This may seem like a strange question to ask. He is the Creator of the Universe. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. Yet, how big is God in my understanding? When I walk through times of difficulty, how big is God then?
The book of Job could be subtitled – “A journey of discovery in understanding the nature of God.” As the story unfolds we find Job, his family, and his friends, all living in a community of faith and all limited in their understanding of the nature of God. There is no concept that we have a literal enemy of our souls. Everything that happens is attributed either to God or to man’s actions.
This is the pitfall of a life of faith. We begin our life of faith completely surrendered to the mercy and grace of God. Then, something happens. As we begin to live out our faith we are tempted to transfer God’s work of mercy and grace to our actions of overt obedience. In other words, we view everything in life from a cause-and-effect scenario. Such was the case of Job and his three friends.
Job was steadfast in defending his innocence. He looked over his life and knew that he had not transgressed the law of God in such a way as to deserve the suffering he was in. On the other hand, his three friends worked diligently to pinpoint Job’s sin. They listed every overt sin they could think of. They accused Job of wickedness and pride. They called on Job to repent of his sin while Job continued to defend his honor.
In that moment both Job and his three friends began to shrink their concept of God. They fully missed God’s true nature and relegated Him to some cosmic judge who simply waits to punish the wicked or make one’s life miserable for no apparent reason. And, as they continued their incessant arguing God became smaller and smaller in their understanding.
They tried to put God in a box!
I have found in my life that we never can fully understand the greatness and majesty of God. We can never grasp the depth of His love, mercy, and grace. When we try to put God in a small box of our understanding we limit His power and begin to move further and further away from His provision. I am reminded of Jesus’ visit to his hometown of Nazareth. His friends and family could only think of Him as the carpenter. They could not see Immanuel, God with us. And, as a result,
- “…He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58 NKJV
Job, chapters 39-41, are a revelation of God’s majesty and glory. He begins with this question to Job.
- “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” Job 38:2-4 NKJV
“Where were you…”. This is the question the Lord asked Job over and over again. With each question, and with each revelation of the Lord’s power and glory, Job’s nearsighted understanding of God began to clear up. The Creator of the Universe cannot be contained in our limited understanding of His nature and workings. He is not a man that we should argue with Him. He is the Lord Jehovah! He is the Holy One!
God did not rebuke Job for any overt sin. God rebuked Job for misunderstanding His nature. Job had made God small in his eyes. God had to readjust Job’s thinking. And, when Job received this revelation from the Lord he cried,
- “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
What other response is there when you stand before the Holy God, the Almighty, the Creator of all things? When your spiritual eyes are opened the only response is humility and repentance. God revealed Himself to Job and rebuked his three friends for their unwise counsel and worthless comfort in Job’s time of suffering. Job humbled himself, and the Lord called the three friends to humble themselves before Job. As the Apostle Paul states in the book of Romans,
- “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12 NKJV
Left to ourselves, we will all miss the one true God. The only way we can know God is through the revelation of His nature. This is a work of His mercy and grace and is received through faith. When our spiritual eyes are opened we realize how big God is and how small we are. Our only response is humility, repentance, and worship! As Job received his spiritual sight, as he received God’s mercy and grace, he was able to look past his hurt and reach out in kind to his three miserable comforters.
- “So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job. And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:9-10 NKJV
God not only restored Job, but He also restored his three friends. When we see how big God is we cannot reserve His mercy and grace for ourselves. We are compelled to share it with others. Job did this as he prayed for his friends. Job’s eyes were opened. He had received such great mercy, grace, and forgiveness, that he could not withhold it from even the three friends who had made his suffering so much worse.
When we find it hard to forgive others it is because we have once again made God small and have forgotten the greatness of God’s mercy and grace!
Lord, I am convicted this morning as I read this closing chapter of the book of Job. I too have heard of You with the hearing of the ear – but my eyes long to see You. Open up my spiritual eyes this morning so that I can behold Your greatness, Your glory, and Your grace. Like Job, transform my life so that I can freely extend Your mercy and grace to all.
This morning, open my eyes Lord, I need to see Jesus!
In Jesus’ Name!