“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” – Isaiah 64:4 (ESV)
Our verse today is “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” – Isaiah 64:4 (ESV)one that we have visited several times. Its promise is rich. In the beginning God created the universe and then He created people. Since that time people have worshiped other things and forces as if they are gods. But, they have been mistaken. No matter how they try, no one can see and no one can hear from any God besides the Creator God. There is only one true God and He is a personal God who takes a personal interest in His creation and the people He created. Our verse today teaches us that our God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. He responds to us who look to Him for help. He has declared that He is the one who helps us and He does things for us which we are unable to do for ourselves. Let’s be thankful to our God for taking a personal interest in us and for taking action in our behalf when we look to Him. Let’s thank Him as the prophet Isaiah did by confessing that there is no other god that we can hear or see besides our true God.
“And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’” – John 4:41-42 (ESV)
Imagine, this woman in our verse was a woman of ill-repute who came to the water well at a time when she would not have to encounter any other people. But one day, she did encounter another person, a man. Not just a man but a Jew and she was a Samaritan. In the day, the two did not meet, did not speak, had nothing to do with each other. Jews despised Samaritans because the latter were mixed race, not pure. Part Jew and part Assyrian. Jesus of Nazareth had purposed to be there at that appointed time. He knew everything about the woman. He wanted her to know that He was the promised Messiah. Jesus reveals who He is to this woman who had been married five times and was now living with a man she was not married to. He promises eternal life to her if she will believe. She does and she spreads the news. Many believed first because of her testimony and then because of what Jesus told them. He stayed two days in their town and they believed He was the Savior of the world. He still is and will be forever.
(Read the context in John 4:7-42)
“For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; ” – Ephesians 1:15-16 (NASB)
In the letters which were written by the Apostle Paul and sent to the believers in the churches he had planted, we find awesome prayers. Often what Paul wrote is translated into very long sentences. The prayers of the Apostle Paul, which he offered on behalf of the believers in the churches he planted, are packed with such great truth. We can notice that Paul’s reason was his receiving news about their faith and their love for all the saints. Love for other believers evidences their saving faith and is a cause of thanksgiving. In today’s selected verses Paul tells the Ephesians how he does not cease to give thanks and includes them when he prays. Paul must have had a very long prayer list and long prayers sessions. In the verses that follow, (Ephesians 1:18-23) Paul prays listing the specifics. Some of what he prayed for us to have knowledge and experience of are: a spirit of wisdom, knowledge of Him, enlightened eyes (vision or sight), the hope of His calling, riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, surpassing greatness of His power toward believers, the strength of His might.
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—” – 1 John 1:1 (NASB)
Each of us who by faith believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Word of Life has a beginning point of faith in Him. The Apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John, uses the phrase “from the beginning” here in a different way than he used it in the Gospel, “in the beginning.” In the Gospel, John wrote he was referencing eternity past, even before the creation of the world and where there is no first point. In this letter, written some years later, John is saying “from” the beginning referring to the beginnings of preaching the gospel. A time when his readers first heard about Jesus. Within the context of verses 1-4* (see below) the phrase promises and emphasizes the stability of the gospel message; its contents do not change but remain stable from the very beginning; it is not subject to change based on fads or philosophical ideas. John affirms his testimony with the words, “we have heard…we have seen…we have had physical contact with Jesus. We can trust John’s witness.
*…the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:2-4 (ESV)
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;” – Job 42:5 (ESV)
It is one of the key lessons about Job and about us that we find in this book. It’s deep and takes time to study. Some use the book of Job as evidence that God just gives us questions and no answers. But to believe that, we need to cut out the rest of the book of Job, for that’s not how Job heard it. All his life Job had been a good man. All his life he had believed in God, but in the storm Job saw God. If any passage in the book of Job, needs to be underlined, it is this verse: “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you” (Job 42:5). Job sees God—and that is enough. But it isn’t enough for God. The years to come find Job with his health, family, and wealth restored. His lap is once again full of children and grandchildren. A new beginning indeed. After it was all over, it is conceivable Job would do it all again if that’s what it would take to hear God’s voice and stand in his presence. For God gave Job more than Job ever dreamed. God gave Job himself.
The book of Job is not easy to read or to understand. When trying to grasp its truth as a whole, it seems nearly unreachable. Thanks to the daily devotional “All Up Words” by Max Lucado. Acknowledgement and thanks for some of these ideas is given to his words https://maxlucado.com/listen/more-than-job-ever-dreamed/