“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee,” Job 22:21.
The nature of the advice given by Eliphaz indicates the nature of the man. It is advice of the highest spiritual order. Yet the sprit in which he has spoken to Job serves to remind us of the curse of an evil temper. Eliphaz is very angry with Job. He accuses him of secret sins and open crimes, 5-11. He comes to this decision regarding Job from the afflictions that he suffers, 10.
There are some who tend to excuse ill-tempered words as if they will not be held responsible for that which they uttered while in a temper. It is a wrong view. Such words are sinful and ought to be repented of and apologised for., Eph 4:31, James 3:6, 4:11, I Pet 2:1.
In this portion we have another example of good medicine wrongly applied. However, if it did not suit Job's ailments it suits Ulster.
The heart of our text is peace and prosperity. It will be seen that such depend upon our being acquainted with someone—The Lord. That which is good advice for the individual is good advice for the nation. There is much crossing and re-crossing of the Atlantic by Ulster politicians and much shaking of American politicians' hands. That is believed to be the acquaintance that will help bring peace and prosperity to Ulster. The misery in which many Americans live ought to tell us that notion is wrong. Our text sets us straight.
I. TRUE PEACE IS DEPENDENT UPON AN ACQUAINTANCE WITH GOD
- What a privilege that we may be acquainted with God. It means make friends with God. What efforts are made to make friends of men. Few think of making a friend of God. Man needs to be reconciled to God for he is an enemy of His. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, Colossians 1:21. If God is our enemy it matters not who our friends are!
- To be acquainted with God we must come to Christ. Nature displays God's power and wisdom but there is more to knowing God than observing these two attributes. Christ is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, Hebrews 1:3. For a full discovery of God we must turn to the gospel of Christ and it will bring us to the cross where all His perfections shine forth, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, II Cor 5:19.
- The extent to which we may be acquainted with God. It is intimacy of the highest order. God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, Corinthians 6:16, GAL 2:20.
II. THE BLESSINGS THAT FOLLOW ON FROM SUCH AN ACQUAINTANCE.
Peace and prosperity.
- Note the word thereby. It is by knowing God that peace and good comes unto us. That truth is written up in the annuals of men and nations. Happy were the days when it might be said of this nation, God is known in her palaces for a refuge, Ps 48:3.
- The word good is that used in Gen 1:31 of God's creation. It is all the fullness of good. The new creation has begun when a man becomes acquainted with God. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ, Phils 1:6.
- It will come as a natural consequence. It is so ordered by God and cannot be stopped. It will search you out.
III. SUCH ACQUAINTANCE IS PROFFERED TO ALL.
- This blessing is for the worst of men. Eliphaz was pressing upon Job whom he considered a most sinful man under the judgment of God .
- It may be made immediately. He was pressing him to come now. What preparations men feel it necessary to make before meeting some dignitary. No preparation is need to Meet God for none can be made. We cannot clean ourselves up or make ourselves more presentable.
We must come as we are.