We live in a culture in the west, where the famous are scrutinised and exposed to the media. We can switch on the telly, pick up a paper or scroll through our newsfeed and find some sort of gossip about the latest star. It is so easy to think that we know the person because we have all sorts of details about them. But how much of that is really true and is that who they are? It is one thing to get to know someone through what we are presented with and something completely different when you get to sit, live and share your life with them.
This is what it was like for Job. He had heard of GOD, but now he saw Him.
Then Job replied to the Lord:
2 ‘I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, “Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?”
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 ‘You said, “Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.”
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you. Job 41:1-5
Job realises that he spoke too quickly about things that he did not understand. The voice of GOD and the questions that GOD asked, showed Job a reality of GOD that he had not had before. Job saw GOD for himself. His experience wasn’t one of just knowledge but was of first hand encounter. His life had been shaken up by this new experience.
There is nothing wrong with finding out about GOD and having knowledge of Him … unless that is all you do. If you stop in that place you would have missed out on the true nature of who GOD wants to be to you. I don’t want to be someone who has just heard of GOD!
It was only when Job had encountered GOD that he was changed.
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.’ Job 41:5-6
Seeing GOD changes us. Seeing GOD changed Job. Before he was blameless and upright, but lived his life out according to what he had heard of GOD. Don’t get me wrong, I think to live upright and blameless just out of what he had heard was an incredible feat. His life was, however, never to be the same after his encounter with, and seeing GOD.
This encounter was one of invitation through exploration. GOD invited Job to not just hear about Him but to explore Him, to see Him and encounter Him. The questions GOD lays out before Job open his eyes to the majesty, otherness, authority, power and glory of GOD. Job steps from his own light and allows the light of GOD to shine on him. Job was revealed in this light and he saw what he looked like … and it was not a pretty sight. He saw his shortcomings and his pride. His response was repentance.
The repentance led to extravagant blessing and restoration far beyond what Job had before. But I think is was more than just restoration, it seems to be me that Job stepped into the reality of GOD’s lavish destiny for his life. Maybe, before the suffering, Job just wasn’t quite getting the point. Maybe, he did do all he could to make sure he was blameless and upright but missed that GOD was calling him to: relationship. GOD wanted Job to know Him. This seems to make sense of GOD pointing Job out to Satan in the first place. GOD “used” the enemy to His plan and highlighted Job’s heart to Job. GOD was instrumental in drawing Job to a place of really knowing Him, to a place that He had set apart for Job.
GOD’s desire for us is to have relationship with Him, not just know of Him or know about Him but to actually know Him. And what happens when we know Him and allow Him to know us? Extravagant blessing! I’m not saying that you will all of a sudden be the keeper of 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels … that you will get stuff from GOD. For some people, that is how GOD chooses to show their relationship to the world (Abraham, Isaac, David, Solomon) but not everyone. For some, GOD gives power and authority. He did this for Job too … you can read that the friends were to go to Job for him to pray for them because GOD would hear Job’s prayer. Extravagant blessing looks different for different people, it could include things like; influence, business opportunities, friends, open doors, mission, wealth, peace, change, provision, vision, talents, supernatural gifts, health … what areas in your life are you seeing GOD’s extravagance? What I do know is that being in relationship with GOD is the most valuable thing you will ever have, you will never lack anything and you will be the wealthiest person on the planet. GOD is not a “just enough” GOD … He is more than enough.
My bold prayer … Lord, speak and question, shine your light so that I can see you. Bring me into encounters with you. Let my heart be changed and turned towards because of what I see. Let me discover more of your extravagance. Amen