“You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
– Job in Job 42:3-6 (MSG)
How do we get to this point? The point where we finally admit that our whole lives have been lived off of “crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumour.” Or, if you wish to be more divinely sound and use a more widely-accepted translation: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” (Job 42:5 , NKJV).
My faith is seemingly based on hearing over seeing. In fact, my faith is based almost entirely on my upbringing; namely, hearing lessons in Sunday School, hearing the prayers before meals, hearing the pastor’s sermon on Sunday. I mean, Job is confronting (and seeing (!)) GOD in Chapter 42. Full-on conversation! God is asking the questions, demanding answers: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth, Job? Why are you trying to argue your case with me? See Leviathan over there? I MADE him! All this to say, God is calling Job out on his house of cards.
I wonder whether the faith of most Christians is based on “rumour?” Is that heretical? Christians uphold the doctrine that faith is “… being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Is Job toeing the line with not being “sure” enough and “certain” enough? He seems to recant only once he sees, with his eyes. I wouldn’t want to be classified as a doubting Thomas, not believing until I see, but then is Job just a special case? Why is his story in the Bible? I can hear Jesus saying, “Blessed are those who don’t see and still believe,” but is a blessing all we get? Do I not know what I really believe until I get tested?