See this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know you it for your good.
Thus closed a forcible speech by Eliphaz the Temanite; it may be called his "summing up." He virtually says, "What I have testified in the name of my friends is no dream of theirs. Upon this matter we are specialists; and bear witness to truth which we have made the subject of research and experience. Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good." By this declaration he sets forth his teaching with authority, and presses it home. He persuades Job to consider what he had said, for it was no hasty opinion, but the ripe fruit of experience. I shall not follow Eliphaz; I am only going to borrow his closing words, and use them in reference to Gospel testimony; which is to us a thing known and searched out.
I. To begin with, these words may well describe THE QUALIFICATION OF THE TEACHER. He will be poorly furnished if he cannot run in the line which Eliphaz draws in the words of our text.
1. He should have an intimate knowledge of his subject. How can he teach what he does not know? When we come to talk about God, and the soul, and sin, and the precious blood of Jesus, and the new birth, and holiness and eternal fife, the speaker who knows nothing about these things personally must be a poor driveller. A blind man, who is teaching others about colour and vision? A preacher of an unknown God? A dead man sent with messages of life? You are in a strange position.
2. I must add that he should have a personal experience of it, so that he can say, "Lo this, we have searched it, so it is." It is unseemly that an ignorant man should keep a school. It is not meet that a dumb man should teach singing. Shall an impenitent man preach repentance? Shall an unbelieving man preach faith? Shall an unholy man preach obedience to the Divine will? He who would learn to plough, must not be apprenticed to one who never turned a furrow. We must know the Lord, or we cannot teach His way.
3. What is wanted in a successful teacher is a firm conviction of the truth of these things, growing out of his having tested them for himself. He must say, with emphasis, "So it is." The Lord's Word must be true. Why do you "hope" about it? Believe it and enjoy it. But people will go hoping and hoping and limping; as if to be lame were the proper thing. A ministry of hesitation must be ruinous to souls. When Divine truth is held fast, then let it be held forth, and not till then.
4. Once more a needful qualification for a teacher of the Word is earnestness and goodwill to the hearer. We must implore each one of our hearers to give earnest heed. We must cry to him with our whole heart, "Hear it, and know thou it for thy good." Without love, there can be no real eloquence. The great Saviour's heart is love, and those who are to be saviours for Him must be of a loving spirit. True love will do the work when everything else has failed. Knowledge of our subject avails not without love to our hearers. There are three ways of knowing, but only one sort is truly worth the having. Many labour to know, merely that they may know. These are like misers, who gather gold that they may count it, and hide it away in holes and corners. This is the avarice of knowledge. Such knowledge turns stagnant, like water shut up in a close pond — above mantled with rank weed, and below putrid, or full of loathsome fife. A second class aspire to know that others may know that they know. To be reputed wise is the heaven of most mortals. One does not eat merely that others may know that you have had your dinner, and one should not know merely to have it known that you know. The third kind of knowledge is the one worth having. Learn to know that you may make other people know. This is not the avarice but the commerce of knowledge. Acquire knowledge that you may distribute it. Light the candle, but put it not under a bushel. Be taught that you may teach. This trading is gainful to all who engage in it.
II. THE ARGUMENT FOR THE HEARER. "Lo this, we have searched it, so it is." The argument directed to the hearer is the experience of many, confirming the statement of one. "We have searched it, so it is." I should like to bear my own personal witness to a few things about which I am fully persuaded. "Lo this, we have searched it, so it is."
1. And my first witness is that sin is an evil and a bitter thing. I think I may speak for you and say, "We have searched this out, and we know that it is so." We have seen sin prove injurious to our fellow men.
2. I wish to testify to the fact that repentance of sin, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, bring a wonderful rest to the heart, and work a marvellous change in the whole life and character.
3. Next, we beg to bear our witness to the fact that prayer is heard of God. God does hear prayer. We bear our witness to that fact with all our strength, and therefore we say about it, "Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good."
4. Another testimony we would like to bear, namely, that obedience to the Lord, though it may involve present loss, is sure to be the most profitable course for the believing man to take.
5. We beg to say that the old-fashioned Gospel is able to save men, and to arouse enthusiasm in their souls.
III. We have here THE EXHORTATION TO THE INQUIRER.
1. "This, we have searched it, so it is; hear it." But oh, if you wish to be saved, hear the Gospel! Let nothing keep you away from God's sanctuary, where the real Gospel is proclaimed. Hear it! If it is not preached exactly in the style which you would prefer, nevertheless, hear it. "Faith cometh by hearing."
2. The next thing that he says is, "Know it." Hear it and know it; go on hearing it until you know it. To know Christ is life eternal.
3. Our text means — know it in a particular way. "Know thou it for thy good." The devil knows a great deal. He knows more than the most intelligent of us; but he knows nothing for his good. All that he knows sours into evil within his rebellious nature.
(1) How is a man to know anything for his good? This knowledge must first be a practical knowledge. Does the Word say "Repent"? If you want to know what repentance means, repent at once. If you want to know what faith is, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and when you have believed, you will know what believing is. The best way to know a virtue is to practise it.
(2) To know a thing for our good is to know it for ourselves. "Know it for thy good." I find that one rendering is, "Know it for thyself." Another man's God is no God to me; he must be "my Lord and my God."(3) I must add that we only know things for our good when we know them believingly. To a sinner a promise is as dark as a threatening, if he does not believe it.
( C. H. Spurgeon.).
Parallel VersesKJV: Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.