Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?…
Job thinks that if it may not be always possible to see God, there may at least be certain times when he can be found. If he cannot be always giving an audience to his people, can he not be like a judge on circuit, allowing a day for those who would seek his aid at each part of his dominions?
I. THERE ARE TIMES OF SPECIAL DIVINE MANIFESTATION. God does give, in some manner, what Job is asking for. There is the" day of the Lord," when he breaks through the settled order of the world, and sets his court as the Judge of all men. Such a day was often spoken of by. the Hebrew prophets. It came in Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem, and again in the later overthrow of the city by Titus and the Roman legions. . It is predicted in the great final judgment of the world. So also there is a "day of the Lord" for individual men, when God breaks up the normal condition of life, and in the upheaval and confusion a Divine coming to judgment may be recognized. But God also has gracious seasons of visitation, "times of refreshing from the Lord." Then the soul perceives his nearness, and enters into the joy and light of his presence.
II. GOD IS PRESENT WHEN HE DOES NOT MANIFEST HIMSELF. Although when thus simply stated this is a truism, it is certainly not commonly recognized in the world. Nobody denies it; yet many ignore it. God's presence being invisible, and not generally evidenced by startling signs, men come to pass it by in their full absorption in secular pursuits. The practical question then arises - How may the constant unseen presence of God come to be more fully recognized? It is absolutely necessary that we should learn to withdraw ourselves more from the things that are seen and temporal. If the pressure of worldly pursuits is allowed to crowd the thought of God out of the soul, the result must be a perfect deadness in regard to his presence - a practical atheism, a living as though there were no God. When the desolation and dreariness of this life is perceived, we may well start back in horror from such a condition of spiritual decay.
III. IT IS FOOLISH TO WAIT FOR A NEW MANIFESTATION OF GOD. Job seemed to need this because his position was peculiar, and he was set to work out new problems of providence. But we have, what he had not, the fuller revelation of God in Christ. What we now need is not a fresh revelation, but eyes to read and hearts to perceive the Christian revelation. External, visible manifestations of God are not to be looked for now. Miracles were useful in the childhood of the race and in the infancy of the Church, but we have no right to expect miracles to make God better known to us. With us the need is of an interior illumination. So long as our spiritual sympathies are blind to God, no external manifestation will satisfy our needs. At the same time, we may well pray for God's hand to be stretched forth in action. There are huge wrongs in the world and sorrowful miseries. The Church cries out for the fuller coming of Christ in his kingdom. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?