Job 33:26 He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.
This passage (14-30) is one of my favorites in the whole Book of Job. I have written about the many different ways God speaks to people, and that His purpose is always redemption. Right now I want to focus on the joy of fellowship with God. Elihu is a unique character in Job, because he is not one of the original three friends and he is not included in God’s strong words about them in the last chapter. That leaves open the interpretation that his words are fully accurate, and indeed, some have postulated that he is a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. Here he is speaking of the blessings of redemption, and they are indeed magnificent. The following verses make it clear that there has been genuine, humble repentance, but this verse hones in on the joy of re-connection to God. We do not see God’s face physically in this life, but He does grant awareness of Him that can be absolutely overwhelming. “Shouting for joy” isn’t the half of it! That’s a major reason the devil tries so hard to keep people from discovering genuine praise and worship. We certainly need the foundation of taking in the Bible regularly and frequently, and we need the freedom of opening our hearts to God in prayer, but the clearest awareness of His presence generally comes through praise and worship. The danger in that is that focusing on the feelings eventually leaves us empty and open to deceit. I cannot say enough that we need the foundation of God’s Word in our hearts and lives, and a hunger for more of Him through His Word. On top of that, failure to pray betrays a failure to believe. A prayerless life is certainly a powerless life. With those elements in place, God indeed reveals Himself to us, both tenderly and gloriously. Our physical bodies can’t take a full revelation of Him, (Exodus 33:20) but He shows us as much as we can handle, and nothing on this earth can compare. I really think that may be why God allowed the addictive response in us when He created us, because we certainly need to be addicted to His presence!
As I have written many times, I grew up loving Jesus, but I didn’t experience Him in glory until after I had repented of my spiritual pride. Even then it took time for me to learn the joys of praise and worship. At this point I can say that I have had moments of being more sure that God was real than that I myself was real. I have shouted for joy, I have danced in ecstasy, and I have wept in total awe. It’s exactly as the song, I Can Only Imagine expresses it. At the same time, I will confess that in this life, those things fade. We cannot live on that sort of peak in our physical state. Even having tasted God like that, I have sinned again, repented again, and been restored again. God’s grace is beyond amazing! That’s why I have such a sharp anticipation of heaven, where we will be freed from the very presence of sin and nothing will get in the way of our total fellowship with our Creator and Lord. Meanwhile, it is a joy to introduce others to such a gracious God. As a pastor I seek to encourage all of the believers to lay the foundation of Scripture, pray without ceasing, and delight in the fellowship that stems from that, in praise, worship, and obedience.
Father, thank You for this clear reminder. Help me indeed walk with You consistently, drawing many to join me, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!