Acquaint now yourself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to you.
Eliphaz has here stumbled on a great truth, which even his wrong-headedness cannot pervert, which is indeed a flash of Divine inspiration. Our unrest springs from our ignorance of God. If we did but know him, we should be at peace.
I. HOW PEACE SPRINGS FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
1. From the characteristics of knowledge. There is a restfulness about all knowledge. Vague apprehensions and surprising alarms dog the footsteps of ignorance. We cannot walk tranquilly in a dark night through regions of unknown dangers. Even the knowledge of painful truths is less disturbing than uncertainty about them. When we know the worst the fever of anxiety is allayed, although the lethargy of despair may have taken its place. The higher knowledge induces patience, calmness, strength.
2. From the nature of God. Here is the wonderful truth that comes to the troubled soul like a gospel of peace. Our hard thoughts of God are erroneous. They spring from a complete misconception as to his nature. We have thought him indifferent, or stern, or vindictive. These ideas were born of our own ignorance. If we had but known him we could not have held such views Of his nature. The more we do know him the more we see that his true name is Love. His purposes are gracious. Afar off they appear hard; on a near acquaintance the beauty and goodness of them is made evident to us.
3. From the needs of our soul. We cannot be at peace till we know God. The severance from God is a great cause of unrest. The knowledge of God is life eternal, and we are cut off from that life while we hold aloof from God.
II. HOW THE PEACE-GIVING KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS ACQUIRED.
1. By some effort. We have to acquaint ourselves with God. We do not know God in our condition of sin and sorrow. The world iS in ignorance of God. A deep gloom hangs over a large part of heathendom through mistaken beliefs about malignant deities. Christians need to escape from hard thoughts of God. Our despondency, our limited views, our weakness, our consciousness of sin, all make it hard for us to know God in his perfect goodness.
2. Through revelation. In acquainting ourselves with God we have not to feel after him if haply we may find him. He has spoken to us. The Scriptures enlighten us and dispel needless fears as they make known the mercy of the Lord that endureth for ever. The greatest distress is sometimes felt by people dwelling too much in the region of subjective religion. Thus they imagine hard things about God that are contrary to his revelation of himself.
3. In Christ. He is the supreme Revelation of God, and he has come to bring "peace on earth." To see Christ is to know God as favourable to us. He is "our Peace."
4. By means of reconciliation. This further thought is implied in the notion of acquainting ourselves with God. We are estranged by sin, which hides from us the vision of the love of God. We must turn to God submissively, and make practical acquaintance of him by yielding ourselves to his will. Then the intimacy of spiritual communion will be "the peace of God that passeth all understanding." - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.