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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Job 22

 

 

Verse 21

DISCOURSE: 473

ACQUAINTANCE WITH GOD

Job 22:21. Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.

IN estimating the characters and conduct of men, we must make great allowance for their prejudices and mistakes. Unless we take into our consideration the erroneous idea which Job’s friends had conceived respecting the dealings of Providence with men, we shall be ready to view them in a most unfavourable light. Even with this allowance we scarcely know how to account for the extreme uncharitableness of Eliphaz. He is not content with accusing Job of secret sins that could be known to God only, but he brings plain and positive charges against him of open visible crimes, no one of which could with even a shadow of truth be imputed to him. We regret to see such inconsistency in a man, whom yet we are constrained to consider as pious: and we turn from this painful view of him, to notice the excellent advice, which, though still under a mistaken apprehension of Job’s character, he gave him. To a person under any circumstances, an acquaintance with God is most desirable, but more especially under such a dark and afflictive dispensation as that which Job at this time experienced. That we may invite you all to seek it, we propose to shew,

I. Wherein an acquaintance with God consists—

[There is a knowledge of God which may be obtained from the works of creation: but this must of necessity be extremely partial and defective. They display his wisdom, and power, and goodness; but they exhibit no traces of that perfection which we so greatly need to be acquainted with, namely, his mercy in pardoning sin. It is from revelation only that we can learn his true character as “a just God and a Saviour:” and for a discovery of him in that endearing new, we must look at him as exhibited to us in the Gospel of his Son. It is in the face of Jesus Christ that all his glory shines [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:6.]. It is in the cross of Christ that all his perfections are made to unite and harmonize: it is there alone that we can see “mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissing each other.” This then it is which constitutes a true knowledge of God; it is an acquaintance with the great work of redemption; a view of “God in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” — — —]

II. What is that measure of acquaintance with him which we as sinners are privileged to enjoy—

[It is not a mere speculative knowledge of these things, but an actual participation of them in our own souls: it is not “an hearing of God with our ears, but a seeing of him with our eyes,” as Job speaks; I mean, with the eye of faith, which is privileged to “behold Him who is invisible [Note: Hebrews 11:27.].” By faith “we have a fellowship,” yea a most intimate and endearing fellowship, “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” God will come and manifest himself to us, as our God, our Father, and our Friend [Note: Genesis 5:21.]. “By his Spirit he will enable us to cry, Abba, Father.” “He will dwell in us, and walk with us:” Christ will live in us, even as his heavenly Father lived in him; insomuch that “he himself will be our life [Note: John 6:56-57. with Colossians 3:4.].” What nearer intimacy can be conceived? yet this it is our privilege to enjoy: this union with him, this committing of our souls to him, this receiving of all needful communications out of his fulness, this living entirely by faith in him as our Saviour and our God; this, I say, is that measure of acquaintance with him which we ought to seek, and may actually possess [Note: Galatians 2:20.] — — —]

III. The benefits resulting from it—

[Who can ever fully declare what is implied in peace with God? Verily it is “a peace that passeth all understanding” — — — But there is peculiar emphasis in the word “Now;” “acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace.” What was the estimate which Eliphaz had formed of Job’s character? He viewed Job as the vilest hypocrite upon earth, and considered him as punished by God with most signal vengeance: yet he said to him, “Acquaint now,” now, notwithstanding all thy vileness; now, in the midst of all these judgments; even now acquaint thyself with God; and “so shall good come unto thee.” This was indeed a just view of God, though an erroneous view of the poor afflicted saint. This is the view we should ever have of God in Christ Jesus: we should see him ready to bestow his richest mercies even on the chief of sinners, and as determined “never to cast out any who come unto him.” Be it known then, that, if only we will acquaint ourselves with God as he is revealed to us in the Gospel of his Son, there is not a good which God himself can bestow, which he will not richly communicate to us; nor is there a condition, either of sin or suffering, in which that acquaintance with him shall not be effectual for the restoration of our souls to peace. Were we the vilest of the human race, our iniquities should be blotted out — — — and were we in a condition a thousand times more deplorable than that of Job, it should turn all our sorrows into joy [Note: Song of Solomon 2:3.] — — —]

Address—

Acquaint now yourselves with God,

1. Ye who are in a state of sin—

[Seek him in reading, meditation, prayer, &c.]

2. Ye who are in a state of suffering—

[Doubt not his willingness or sufficiency.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Job 22:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/job-22.html. 1832.

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