I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.…
We need not all be as Job in the depths of affliction and self-renunciation. There was an intensity about his case which was peculiar to it. But in our measure, and according to our position as members of the body of Christ, we should be able to sympathise with Job.
I. JOB'S EARLIER AND SUPERFICIAL EXPERIENCE. "I have heard of Thee with the hearing of the ear." I have heard of Him as the God of creation, the God of providence, the God of Israel, the God of the universe, the God who, in Christ, was incarnate for my salvation. But not what we hear is the thing, but what we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.
II. JOB'S PRESENT VIVID REALISATION. "Now mine eye seeth Thee." Note the emphasis of this short phrase; what awe, what closeness, what personality, what a majestic presence they imply. There is no escape, no evasion, not an attempt at it. He stands or lies before God, "naked and open."
III. THE GRACIOUS CONSEQUENCES. "I abhor myself, and repent." Those are gracious consequences. The unconverted may shrink from them, but the people of God covet them. Job had been entertaining a vast amount of self-complacency, which generated pride and a refined idolatry. He had been petulant, impatient, imperious. This is what he alludes to when he says, "I abhor myself." Now I perceive myself to be loathsome, corrupt, brutish, guilty, miserable. Was not that a gracious consequence of his vivid realisation of God? Then he adds, "I repent." He repented of his self-sufficiency, of his charging God foolishly, of his irritation under His rebukes, of his exalting himself above his fellows, of his hastiness in speech with them, etc. The regenerate amongst you will not limit your repentance to your grievous offences, you will mourn over what defiles the white linen within, our sinful aims, motives, desires, our opposition to God, reproaches of God, murmurings against God.
(J. Bolton, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.