“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
What does it mean to be pure in heart? And what is the value in seeing God? I’m not asking lame questions here. What I believe about these words will determine how I act. What I believe about these words will determine my faith or lack of faith. I can’t just believe; I must know what I believe.
Today’s thoughts are taking me back to Job. Because that idea of “seeing God” has really caught me. And I looked up the exact phrase “see God” in the King James version and the only other exact phrase like that was spoken by Job. And I think that Job is a very good and very human example for me to look at. Job wasn’t perfect by how we think of perfect, but he was described as perfect according to God’s idea of perfect. He was a man after God’s own heart. And Satan new Job’s heart for the Lord and that You, Lord, were so pleased with his relationship with You, with how his whole life was about living Your way, that You had been showering Your blessings upon him. But Satan doesn’t get that whole relationship idea. He figured that if you take the blessings away, you take the relationship away; that when you take the blessings away, you take the obedience away. Not if the relationship is the most important thing.
So Satan challenges You to let him rake Job over the coals to see if his heart will remain pure for You. You knew Job’s heart because You know all our hearts. Satan doesn’t, he only knows his own. So You allowed Satan to persecute Job. Job had no idea what was coming. And come like a Tsunami it did!
First the Sabeans attack and take his donkeys and oxen and slaughter all but one of those servants. While that is being told, fire from heaven falls and burns up the sheep and servants and only one escapes to tell. Before he was finished being told that news, he was being told that a great wind had come and ripped apart the house where his children were celebrating and every one of them had died. The messenger alone had escaped. Tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy. Job’s world was crashing down around him. What would he do?
He rose up, tore his robe, shaved his head, fell on the ground, and…and…and…WORHIPPED! Can you believe that! He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” And Scripture continues by saying, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” How could any person respond like that? They would have to understand and trust totally the sovereignty, the power, the goodness, the mercy of God, the One they worship.
But God regards the secret depths of our hearts. After all this, He tells Satan to consider Job. “There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God, and turns away from evil. He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without reason.” Did you notice that? God said, “He’s still holding fast his integrity, although you incited ME [that’s GOD] against him to destroy him without reason.” Sorry for this aside, but that just tells us that Satan is never in control of our situations; God always is, even here with Job. He always has a purpose greater than ours and greater than Satan’s.
So what was God honoring in Job that he called integrity? Was Job being honest? Was he being moral? What is this integrity? Solomon thought about this word. In Proverbs 10:9 he states, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” What does that mean?
The word is “tamam” or “tummah”. It’s all about completeness. Other related words are “healthy, sound, full, true, upright, perfect. Blameless captures the Hebrew idea well. Think of Rahab who lied to the spies to honor the will of God. Yet she was blessed. God was pleased. Think of the midwives who lied to the Egyptians to save the babies. Yet they were blessed. God was pleased.
Being blameless isn’t man’s evaluation of man; it’s “God’s evaluation of our behavior.” How close do we really walk with God and with His word? When You look, Lord, would You decide that I was meeting Your standards? Because that’s what this is about. You looked and Job was walking through his life meeting Your standards. He was loving Your standards. He was living them. Why? Because he loved You and honored You above all. As he walked with You, he had security in You. It wasn’t ever in his wealth or in his family. It was only and always in You. What about me? Where is my security? Who’s standards do I love and follow and walk in? Am I walking in trust like Job? Am I walking in confidence in You like Job? Am I walking in reliance upon You like Job? Because I am only complete and perfect in Your completeness and perfectness. I have none of my own. You alone are trustworthy and faithful. You will keep Your promises to all those who abide in Your ways. It will always work out because it is always under Your control. My end is secure because my past, present, and future have already been secured in You.
So Satan thinks that if you hurt Job himself, attack his own flesh, that he will fall apart and forsake You. So God let’s Satan torment Job’s flesh with sores, terrible sores. All of this happening just like that. And now Job is afflicted. In those days, that made Job look like the guilty one, like God was cursing him. But isn’t it funny, that God wasn’t cursing him at all. God was honoring him as the blessed one on all the earth before him. He was being honored to suffer in order to show the glory of his God. And isn’t that idea paralleled in 1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”
How committed, Lord, am I to following in Your steps? I’m called to be as committed as Job. Even more, I’m called to be as committed as Christ. So how committed was Job?
His wife wasn’t handling this as well. I think she might have been pretty upset with Job. Maybe even really upset with God. I can’t tell you there, but these are her words to her husband, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” Wow! “Are you still going to follow God’s ways after He does all this to you? Are you still going to follow Him? What kind of fool are you? Curse Him and just die and get it over with.” But listen to his answer. “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” And he refused to sin with his lips. He honored God, though he was not feeling honored himself. He continued to walk in trust and exhibit that faith he had held on to in the good times. His God had not changed. His God was still God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Here are Job’s words that drew me to him today. “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! [my goodness, do you realize that they are! That we are reading them today, for eternity? That God even honors our “silly”, insignificant requests like that in the midst of immense tragedy?] Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:23-27) That is faith. I KNOW. I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES. He will stand. YET IN MY FLESH, yes, even after it has been destroyed, I SHALL SEE GOD. I SHALL SEE HIM FOR MYSELF. MY EYES SHALL SEE HIM. This is what my heart faints about. Not all this tragic stuff that’s coming on me. My heart faints because of who I look forward to seeing. I will never stop walking toward that sight. Never! No matter what, I am walking toward my Redeemer!
“Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him…” (Job 13:15) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:7) Contentment, joy, happiness, bliss, peace, comfort, perseverance, you name it, it’s only found in You, God. You are the only place we will ever find those things. And the blameless ones, the pure ones, the pure in heart, are those who seek You alone for all that completeness. They are the ones who are found blameless and pure in heart in You because they abide in You, they are found in You, they walk in You and talk in You and live in You and their whole lives are wrapped up in You. And good or bad, they’re so wrapped up in You that there is no unwrapping them. They are Yours until the end, until the time You come to take them fully home. And they will see You because they have already started to see You and they’ll recognize You when You come. Job would see You in Your wholeness one day, because You had already opened His eyes to see You in his life now. It’s the same with us.
Lord, I am so thankful that You give us eyes to see You and one day to see You fully as You are. May I live like Job, truly knowing that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. I’m just like Job. Sometimes I utter what I don’t understand, because there are things about You too wonderful for me, which I don’t know. Sometimes, like Job, I hear of You by the hearing of my ears, but I need to see You with my eyes, and when I do start to see, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes like Job. But that’s the kind of heart You honor.
So the book of Job ends with, “So Job died, being old and full of days.” God restored everything that had been taken and restored it in abundance. And I can’t help think about that “full of days.” Does that really parallel being old? Or does it point to his satisfaction in God. He was full, satiated, satisfied fully by God and in God. His needs and his apetites were filled by God because his main craving was for God Himself. Lord, may I live a life full of You all my days. I pray that You would be what I crave most and that my desire would be to walk in You, in Your will all the days of my life. And I pray that You would take care of me closely and intimately as You took care of Job and that I would love You just as passionately no matter the circumstances. And I pray that I would know, really know, that You are in control, and You are my God, in every trial in my life. May I walk pure in heart that I may continually see You and one day see You fully.
You are in control, and You are my God, in every trial in my life. May I walk pure in heart that I may continually see You and one day see You fully.