The Voice of Job

O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.

— Job 14: 13-15

Job had his desire: he saw the face of God—and abhorred himself in dust and ashes. He sought justification; he found self-abhorrence. Was this punishment? The farthest from it possible. It was the best thing that the God could do for him. Blessedest gift is self-contempt, when the giver of it is the visible glory of the Living One. To be able to behold that glory is to live; to run from self is to begin to be pure of heart. By very means of the sufferings against which he had cried out, the living one came near to him, and he was silent. God had laid all these troubles upon him that He might through them draw nigh to him, and enable Job to know him.

Any man may, like Job, plead his cause with God: he gives us liberty to speak, and will hear with absolute fairness. But, blessed be God, the one result for all who so draw nigh to him will be to see him plainly, the perfect Savior, the profoundest refuge even from the wrongs of their own being; so seeing him, they will abhor themselves, and rejoice in him. When we turn from ourselves to him, becoming true, that is, being to God and to ourselves what we are, he will turn again our captivity; they that have sown in tears shall reap in joy; they shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them. Then will the waters that rise from God’s fountains run in God’s channels.