Week 3 – Lessons from Job Cont’d
Day 3 – Job’s Reasoning (Part 2): Job 42:5,6
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job’s second reason for such commitment is a little less honorable than the first. He is attempting to justify himself. He is looking at himself through self-righteous eyes. This is both pointed out to him by Elihu, the fourth of Job’s “comforters”, and then reaffirmed by God Himself. It is an easy trap to fall into. Caring for the fatherless or children from troubled homes; for widows or strangers does not makes us righteous. It does not bring our salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9) This work has several purposes, none of which are self-justification.
It is important for us to keep the right heart perspective in this work. There is no room for self-righteousness. That will only destroy the work. The Lord makes this very clear to Job when, at last, He answers him. God brings the attention to Himself. In the end, all Job can do is to say,
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5,6)
This is the attitude that God was seeking: humility and repentance. We find the words of the psalmist to be true here. Surely, the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart he will not despise. Job’s friends did not see this. They did not come to the point of humility before God on their own, and thus their only hope of avoiding the Lord dealing with them after their folly was for them to bring a burnt offering to the Lord to offer it before Job. Job was to pray for them, for, God said, “Him shall I accept.”
What is your attitude toward this ministry? Is it to make a name for yourself? Is it to prove your spirituality? Is it to make yourself acceptable to God? God’s desire is that we have no selfish pretenses for being involved in any ministry.
The same questions can be asked about reticence toward starting such a ministry. Are you afraid of what others will say? Afraid it will somehow damage the name you have been building? Are you afraid you will be considered less spiritual by involving yourself in the physical needs of others, even if the goal IS to reach their hearts and even if the example is set in the Scriptures? The fear of man is a poor excuse for disobedience. All is to be in obedience to Him for His glory, for He is worthy.
Up Next: Day 4: God’s Purposes – Review
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