Are we ‘WORTHLESS’ or ‘UNWORTHY’?
June 1 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 25-27
"How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, and the stars are not pure in His sight, how much less man, who is a maggot, and a son of man, who is a worm?" (Job 25:4-6)
Bildad’s brief speech (the shortest in the book) emphasized the greatness of God (vv.1–3) and the nothingness of man (vv.4–6). He responds to Job’s argument by praising God and harshly debasing humanity, and his brief parting shot is a summation in which he celebrated the loftiness of God (vv.1–3) and acknowledged the lowliness of humanity (vv.4–6). God is the all-powerful, omnipresent Sovereign of the universe; whereas humans are sinners of such impurity that God in His holiness cannot look on them. When even the moon and the stars are not pure in God’s sight, what hope is there for man, a mere maggot and worm?
It is important to notice that Bildad was making a statement about people’s moral standing before God (v. 4) rather than their relative worth as creatures. Scripture supports Bildad’s assertion that no one is pure who is “born of a woman.” Sin pollutes every one of us, so that from our earliest days our lives are corrupted by evil (Gen. 8:21; Psalms 51:5; Romans 5:12). Even our faltering attempts at righteousness are nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Our fallen condition makes us unworthy to stand before a holy God (Isaiah 53:6; Rom. 3:10, 23).
Yet though we are unworthy, we are not worthless! We have been created by God in His own image (Gen. 1:26–27; Psalms 8:5; 139:13–16), which establishes our inherent worth and gives us dignity. Moreover, God so loved us that despite our rebellion and hostility, He sent Jesus to rescue us from sin and retrieve our humanity from corruption (Romans 5:8). And when we turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin, we become children of God and fellow-heirs of Christ’s glory (Romans 8:14–17; Eph. 1:11–12).
As humans, we are not trash, but we are in trouble because we are captive to sin. However, God has provided a way of escape from this problem. Through Christ He promises to make us into the people He created us to be (see John 3:16–21).
The true knowledge of God should lead to humility, which is the refusal to trust oneself for fulfillment of needs but instead turning to God for help. We should understand that our own righteousness is a vain hope. Instead, we need to believe that only Christ’s imputed righteousness can allow us to stand before God!
"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4)