Key Verse: “Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” (Job 22:21)
In Job 22:21-29, which section of scripture is introduced by our key verse, we are told of the good, the blessing, the benefits which will come to us if we really know God. Of course, there is a great difference between knowing God and simply knowing about Him. Millions of people know about Him who do not really know Him. There is a theoretical and an experiential knowledge of God, and it is the experiential knowledge of Him which is so vital.
How do we know God? The words “return” and “receive”, in verses 22 and 23 in the Authorised Version, give us the answer. Notice that we return once – that is a crisis; but we go on receiving continually – that is a process.
(1) RETURN – (verse 23). We have wandered from Him (Isaiah 53:6; Luke 15:13), and by nature we are “far off”; therefore our first need is to return and be reconciled to Him, to be “brought near” (Ephesians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:25). There is only one way back to God – look up Isaiah 55:6-7.
(2) RECEIVE – (verse 22). Having returned to the Lord we must then receive Him and trust Him as our personal Saviour (John 14:6; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 3:20). Then we must receive His law and obey His commandments (Joshua 1:8; John 14:15, 21). Only thus shall we really get to know Him, not only as our Saviour but as our Friend (John 15:14-15); our Sanctifier (1 Corinthians 1:30); our Supplier (Philippians 4:19); and our Keeper (Jude 24) – that is, we shall get to know Him as our all in all (Colossians 3:11).
There are degrees of knowing God. Compare John 14:9 with what Paul said thirty years later – look up Acts 9:4-6 and Philippians 3:10. The measure in which we know God is determined by the measure we receive from Him. The more we receive (hear, obey, “live out”) His Word, the more we shall know Him. What, then, is the good that comes by knowing God? What are the benefits of knowing God?
1. WE SHALL BE BUILT UP
Verse 23 tells us this. In other words, by knowing Him we become spiritually strong, virile, robust men and women – look up Ephesians 6:10. Have you returned to God by receiving Christ as your own personal Saviour? – then look up Colossians 2:6-7 and 2 Peter 3:18. There is no need to be a weak, anaemic Christian. Be the Daniel 11:32 kind!
2. WE SHALL DEAL DRASTICALLY WITH SIN
Verse 23 tells us this. Our bodies are the temples (tabernacles) of God (1 Corinthians 6:19), and when and as we really know God we shall share His hatred of sin and we shall deal with it – look up 2 Corinthians 7:1. A Christian who has light views of sin certainly does not know God very intimately. But, “your tent” may refer not only to the body but to the home and the business. Have we dealt drastically with all sin and every doubtful thing in these “tents”? – look up 2 Chronicles 29:16-17, and compare Psalm 51:6.
3. WE SHALL BE GREATLY ENRICHED
Verses 24 and 25 tell us this. Notice verse 25, “…then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you”, so to know Him is to become enriched indeed – gold and silver in abundance – look up Colossians 2:9, and verse 10! If you are a true believer, you are an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). Possess your possession (Obadiah 17), and you will experience perfect peace (John 14:27); fulness of joy (John 15:11); power to witness (Acts 1:8); and grace sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
4. WE SHALL DELIGHT IN THE LORD HIMSELF
Verse 26 tells us this. This means that we shall be weaned away from earthly and temporal things, for which we may be very grateful but which will always disappoint, and we shall find our true satisfaction in the Lord Himself, who never changes and who will never disappoint (Hebrews 13:8). As we get to know God, our delight increases in His gifts, His service, His house, but most of all, in Himself! Also, we begin to find a new desire for the things which give Him pleasure – look up Psalm 37:4.
5. WE SHALL RECEIVE ANSWERS TO PRAYER
Verse 27 tells us this. Prayer is the great privilege of every Christian, even the youngest; but the testimony of the whole Bible and of experience proves that it is the people who really know God intimately who receive answers to their prayers – look up 1 John 3:22 and 5:14-15.
6. WE SHALL HAVE A FRUITFUL TESTIMONY
Verses 28 and 29 tell us this. The people who are effective witnesses for the Lord, by life or by lip, are the people who really know Him.
(1) Look at verse 28. If we really know God and are working according to His gracious will, none of our work will be lost – look up Mark 14:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:58; and Galatians 6:9.
(2) Look at verse 29. What a glorious promise of “results” in our work! – look up Psalm 107:2 and John 3:14-15.
7. WE SHALL HAVE GOD’S SMILE UPON OUR LIFE
Verse 28 tells us this: “and light will shine on your ways”. That speaks of His good pleasure, of His guidance, of His blessing – look up Numbers 6:24-26; Psalm 90:17; Proverbs 4:18 and 10:22. How wonderful!