Very early in man's existence he took notice of the fact that the stars were not randomly scattered across the heavens. (see Rom.1:20) As Job surveyed the night sky above him he could plainly see the order which the LORD had set in the stars as each one occupied the exact place where HE had ordered that it be. Here he speaks of formations of stars which we call constellations. We are not sure when men began to notice this orderly and constant placement of the stars nor when they were given the names which various constellations are known by.
Job had some understanding of GOD, but his knowledge of the LORD was primarily limited to things which could be observed by the natural eye. Later in Job's life the LORD was pleased to reveal HIMSELF to Job and then Job was made to confess that all that he thought he knew was worth nothing. (see chap 42) Men in their natural state imagine that they can have some acquaintance with GOD and often seek to impress themselves and one another with their devotion to their ideas about what HE is like. They devise religions and other superstitions in order to define and give order to their philosophies about HIM and HIS dealings with men. Most often these concepts are centered in how they can influence HIM into bestowing HIS blessings on them, usually by performing some sort of service or making some type of sacrifice with which they are sure HE would be pleased. Cain was one of the very first men to demonstrate these traits. He devised an offering for the LORD which he thought was surely worthy of HIS notice. He soon found out that the LORD is the ONE who defines how and with what that men are allowed to approach unto HIM.
As is often the case with religious men, he grew angry when he discovered that his offering was rejected by the LORD. (see Gen.4:3-5) Ultimately, he slew the one who was approved by GOD. This has always been the pattern of natural men as they slew the prophets (see Mat.23:31, Luke 11:47) and finally rejected the ONE sent into the world by HIM to be the REDEEMER. (see Acts 2:23) Even now this same pattern is played out time and again and shall be even to the very end of the world as we know it.
It is interesting that the LORD made reference to these same constellations that Job had mentioned, when HE was upbraiding Job in Job 38:31,32; "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" Job was content in recognizing the handiwork of GOD in creating and placing these stars but the LORD would remind HIM that he had no real understanding of the way of the LORD even as Isaiah said, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa 55:8-9) Just after that HE says that HIS word will not return unto HIM empty but will accomplish exactly what HE intends to do with it.
The glorious truth is that the LORD has determined to bring HIS people to HIMSELF by a"way which they knew not" (see Isa.42:16). Just as surely as HE has set the stars in their places and called them all by name, HE has determined to call HIS people, the sheep of HIS pasture and the apple of HIS eye, unto HIMSELF at a time appointed by HIM.
We can proclaim the certainty of this even as Job spoke of GOD's handiwork in setting the stars in place, but this does not make us acquainted with the ONE who sets the stars in place. Men often like to boast in their doctrine and even set up tests to determine who the children of GOD are by whether or not they adhere to their definition of certain doctrines. Yet it is not by perfect doctrinal knowledge that one is made acquainted with the ONE who is the REDEEMER but it is by the calling and operation of HIS SPIRIT, quite apart from the works of the flesh, that a man is enabled to know HIM.
Paul said "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."(Col 1:27) He also said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." (Phi 3:10) This "knowledge" is not that which can be taught by men nor can it be conferred by one man to another. This "knowledge" is that whereof the prophet wrote, "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer 31:34)
This is a grand and magnificent truth, as David said, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." (Psa 139:6) David knew as Paul did that GOD alone could bring a man into a place of rejoicing and understanding in a place of fellowship or communion with the GOD who inhabits eternity in reality and not in the imagination of men. Men imagine all sorts of vain things (see Ps.2:1) and assume that by their deeds and devotion that such blessedness comes. One only has to look at the confession of those in Matthew 7:21-23 as they said "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Mat 7:22) to see that. HE said they would be cast away because HE did not know them.
Some assume that because they are faithful proclaimers of GOD's word that they must be included in the number of those who are known to HIM. Multitudes are convinced that their doctrinal scheme is the absolute truth which if they embrace tightly enough they too must be included along with their families as members of a covenant people. Yet the scripture plainly reveals that the promises were made not to "seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal 3:16) All of the promises of GOD are yea and amen in CHRIST and to all of those who are in HIM. (see Eph.1:4)
Simply put HE is pleased to dwell with HIS elect and to call them out of the darkness and into HIS glorious light according to HIS design even as surely as we can survey the heavens and see the unchanging placement of the stars which HE has set forth. Yet the comfort of GOD's children is not found in surveying the skies, their righteous deeds, nor even in their creeds and confessions but as Isaac Watts wrote:
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the PRINCE of glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
See from HIS head, HIS hands, HIS feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet or thorns compose so rich a crown?
#439 Gadsby's Hymns
Can there ever be any greater place of comfort and rejoicing for the sons of GOD than in the SPIRIT led contemplation of the substitutionary atonement which the LORD JESUS CHRIST made for them?
Can I survey this scene of woe Where mingling grief and wonder flow?
And yet my heart unmoved remain, Insensible to love or pain?
Come, dearest Lord, thy power impart,To warm this cold and stupid heart;
Till all its powers and feelings move In melting grief and ardent love.
#1123 Gadsby's Hymns