Summary: A study of the attributes of God—seeing God as He is—is a life-transforming experience. Seeing God in His greatness and glory has transformed lives. Knowing God as fully as possible was the goal of the great men and women of God in the Bible. The great me
1.Job, by God’s assessment, was “a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8).
God allowed a series of disasters to afflict Job through the agency of Satan. Job was “counseled” by three friends, which only added further to his suffering. Job was weakening under the weight of his afflictions when God personally rebuked him. God did not explain to Job why He had allowed suffering to disrupt his life. He did not inform Job of Satan’s involvement or of His own purpose for all that had taken place.
God simply reminded Job that He was God and of some of His attributes as God (Job 38-41). He reminded Job of his finite nature and his fallibility. Job repented. He no longer asked to know why God was working as He was in his life. He no longer needed to know. All He needed to know was that what was happening was God’s work, and that God, as God, would and could do what was best. The attributes of God put Job back on track, spiritually speaking, and assured him that if he knew God, he knew enough. His suffering was never explained, because it ultimately came from the hand of God. Notice these words, at the end of the Book of Job:
Job 42:7 And it came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has”
These words indicate something very important, for they reveal that God distinguished between Job and his response to his affliction and his three friends with their response to his affliction. Job’s friends were wrong! They needed to repent. Their error? They did not speak what was right about God. Job had spoken rightly about God, but when? I think Job spoke rightly about God at the beginning of his troubles (Job 1:21-22) and then at the end of them when he repented:
Job 42:1-6.1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” 4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me.’ 5 “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee; 6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes”
Job is saying: “Before my suffering, I knew about You. But, now, after my suffering and after your words of rebuke (reminding me about your attributes), I have now come to know You.” Job “heard of God” by the hearing of the ear, but now Job “has seen God.” Job came to know God more fully. Job’s suffering served the higher purposes of God of which Job was still ignorant. But they also served God’s purpose for Job, which was to cause him to more fully know and appreciate God’s attributes, and thus to more fully know God. The attributes of God caused Job to think rightly about God and to thus respond rightly to his suffering.
1. Moses was likewise radically changed as a result of his increasing knowledge of the attributes of God. Consider the sequence of events in Moses’ life which revealed to him the attributes of God and in turn brought about increasing intimacy with God. Moses’ first encounter with God is described in Exodus 3:6, 11-15)
Moses’ first encounter with God revealed several important attributes of God, even if he failed to grasp or believe them. First, Moses was instructed that the God of Israel is an eternal God. The burning bush did not “burn up;” it simply “burned on.” The flaming bush was a symbolic manifestation of God, who is eternal. He, like the fire, does not end. And so, in this same encounter, God told Moses one of His names. God is the great and eternal “I AM” (verse 14). Moses would come to appreciate the eternality of God in the years to come. Is it any wonder the one psalm (90) Moses penned was a psalm reflecting on the eternality of God?
Second, Moses was assured of God’s continual presence with him as he went to Egypt to carry out his divinely given task (see verse 12). This never-ending presence is celebrated by David in Psalm 139 and is assured the disciples by our Lord in His giving of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; see also Hebrews 13:5). Moses would soon be appealing to God to do as He had promised (see Exodus 33:12-16; 34:8-9).