Job 42:5-6

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“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

The second way, says Boston, that we embrace true humility is that we must learn to have a sense of our own worthlessness before Him. Talk about the opposite of today’s self-esteem culture with its self-help, self-care, and self-affirmation mantras! Not too many years ago even the secular culture poked fun at what is called essential self-esteem-boosting meditations. Saturday Night Live had an ongoing skit with fictional self-help guru Stuart Smalley whose tagline was always, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

The other ditch, however, is to think Boston is calling for a self-loathing pity party that envisions Christians as depressed Eeyore’s. True humility understands self-worthlessness before Him. Job has spent 40 chapters or so maintaining his innocence before his very unhelpful friends when God answers him. But when God answers Job, He doesn’t explain to him the reasons why Job was called to his suffering. Instead, he comes in a whirlwind, mighty and glorious. God asks Job (my paraphrase), “Where were you when I set the stars in their place? Did I consult you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” In other words, I’m God and you are not. You don’t have all the data nor can you understand it.

Job’s response is correct. When he comes into the presence of our mighty, holy God in chapter 40 he says, “Behold, I am vile. What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.” The abhorring Job feels is his sense of worthlessness before God’s glorious perfection. In our trials, there is a temptation to give in to the desire to focus on how wronged we have been and how good we are. We run Stuart Smalley’s mantra through our heads. But this is the path to pride and a heart that rises up against the providence of God, says Boston. True humility is understanding God’s glory, perfection, and our worthlessness.

Ironically, it is when we understand our worthlessness, our inability, and our helplessness before Him that we can truly begin to understand His grace, His love, and the great mercy He has toward His chosen. It’s not a pity party; its rejoicing, boasting in what God has done and in who He is. True humility is the path to peace and joy.

His mercy endures forever!
Pastor Flynn