“Hear now, and I will speak; I will ask You and You will instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” – Job 42:4-5
As human beings, we know things. The earth is round (contrary to the cries of the Flat Earth Society). Water is wet, John A. McDonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister, and so on.
Furthermore, we don’t just know cold facts. We also know that a kind word is often received better than a harsh word. Singing can do things inside a person that plain talk cannot. You get the idea.
From our skill in tying our shoe to our competence in driving a car, people possess a lot of knowledge and various types.
As Christians, we profess to know God. Now things get a little murkier here. The basis for which we know that the earth is round relates to evidence or proof that it is actually round.
For this brief discussion, I would say this: proof leads to facts. If a few thousand scientists say the earth is round, then we say it is. If they show pictures of a round globe from space, we have no reason to doubt them when they tell us that that is the earth.
But there was a time when those who qualified as scientists back in the day asserted that the earth was flat. As you looked into the distance, the earth had an edge called the horizon. If you traveled far enough, you hit a large body of water that led to an abyss from which no person could ever return. Again, proof leads to facts. In this case, the proof said that the earth was flat, and so the fact was that it was flat.
The point I really want to make is that facts often change when new proof becomes available.
Truth, however, is something entirely different. Truth is that which is. Take a moment and dwell on that. Whether there is proof that life exists elsewhere in the universe or not, IF there is life out there, it doesn’t need evidence to exist. If your finger truly is made of flesh, bone, tendons, blood, cartilage, etc., it doesn’t need proof for it to be the case. It simply is the truth that it is.
That’s how it is with God. Hebrews 13:8 says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Also, if God exists, He is in no need of proof to substantiate that He exists. The only thing proof leads to are facts. There is plenty of proof that God might exist (arguably more than not), which means that one could say that it is a fact that God exists. But the reality of the situation is that there is also a sizable collection of proofs that suggest He might not exist. Therefore, it is easier to say that the existence of God is a truth than it is to say that the existence of God is a fact.
Why do I take you down such a philosophical rabbit hole today? Because the world of science, logic, and reason (when they’re being honest with us), would admit that they are not in the truth business, they are in the fact business. They collect proof and then assert something as fact, recognizing that with time, such facts may change.
If truth is not their business, then whose business is it? Our ability to connect with truth can only happen when we choose to believe that something is true (or not true). We might come to that belief based on what qualifies as fact, but we might also come to that belief in the complete absence of fact. Faith is often about choosing to believe something when there is nothing to go on other than belief itself.
The verse at the top addresses this. God reveals himself to Job in a way that has Job saying, “I had heard of you and understood you based on what I had heard, but now I truly see you.”
The point being that Job knew God in a partial way before his ordeal. And he chose to continue believing in God and His goodness even when his family members died, his health deteriorated, and all his possessions were washed away. The proof suggested that God was either a) non-existent, or b) cruel. Job rejected both possibilities and refused to deny God before others.
THEN, God revealed Himself to Job because he spoke right about Him (Job 42:7).
What I want you to come away with after this lofty rant is this: God is truth, and no so-called facts will ever change that. Your willingness to believe that is all on you. It is a belief that can be based in part on the available evidence, but it can also be based on your heart and even your spirit. This is where God connected with Job, where he went from a partial knowledge of God to a much deeper, richer knowledge of Him.
You also, can have that richer knowledge of Him. Never discount the power of belief in your life.