“I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6
My dear reader, reflect a moment on who it was that made this confession and consider the many excellencies that he had (see chapter 31). Doubtless you will be ready to ask, “Why this self-abhorrence? What did this man mean?” Let me give the answer.
Before Job obtained that discovery of God which produced the expressions just cited, he had a far less perfect knowledge of himself, and therefore was not sufficiently abased in his own esteem. We all need to grow in humility, and nothing tends to promote humility more than a clear view of the Divine perfections.
Elihu charged Job with an undue opinion of his own righteousness — but it was not until God spoke that Job exclaimed, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” The whole narrative should serve to convince us that man cannot, of himself, “be just with God”! In this view, it is preparatory to the gospel and a striking comment upon those words of Paul and the Psalmist, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “In Your sight no one living is righteous.” “
God be merciful to me a sinner” is a prayer easy to be said — but hard to be felt. It can be felt by those only who view themselves in the light that shines from Your holy law, and are influenced by the grace that flows through Your holy gospel.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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