Acquaint now yourself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to you.
These are strange words to be addressed to a man renowned for piety and integrity! Job and the Almighty were by no means strangers to each other. How comes it, then, that Eliphaz says to Job, "Acquaint now thyself with Him"? God appears to have given him over to Satan for the time being, because that evil spirit had alleged that the piety of Job was maintained only for selfish ends. Dr. Stanley Leathes says: "It may be presumed that Satan challenged the Almighty in the case of Job, and that the Almighty accepted his challenge. It must, however, be carefully noted that the reader only, and not the several characters in this discussion, is supposed to be acquainted with this fact: for had it appeared openly at any point of the argument, there would at once have been an end to the discussion, The several speakers were shooting arrows in the dark; the reader only occupies a vantage-ground, in the light afforded by a knowledge of the secret."
I. THE FACT OF ESTRANGEMENT.
1. The witness of conscience. That there is more unrest in the world than there is of peace and contentment, few would deny. What is the cause of the dissatisfaction? The popular replies are, "We work at such high pressure. There is so much competition in commercial life that daily toil becomes a daily struggle. There is too much worry, and too little recreation"; etc., etc. But are these replies satisfactory? As a matter of experience, does recreation make for contentment? Do our worries cease as our possessions increase? One thing we know, that humanity is adrift from its God. Unacquaintance with Him explains much of the joylessness and impotence in human life today.
2. The witness of the world. To the questions, "Why should there be so much mutual suspicion in men's hearts? Why so much strife?" The world itself bears witness that it has turned away from its Creator and its King.
3. The witness of God Himself. If God calls, there is a need for the call; and He, with lament and sorrow, says to the children of men, "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?"
II. THE ESTRANGEMENT MAY END. "Acquaint now thyself with Him." But what things are necessary to a reconciliation that shall be both just and abiding? There are two ways in which sin may be dealt with. First, to condone it; secondly, to forgive it. The Almighty, being a God of Justice, cannot do the former. We see then that —
(1) Reconciliation is based on Divine pardon.
(2) Pardon is assured through the atonement of Christ.
III. THE ESTRANGEMENT MAY END NOW. "Acquaint now thyself with Him." But on certain conditions. And they are —
2. The forsaking of sin.
Parallel VersesKJV: Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.