Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 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 42:1-6)
The Humble Man
Reading the book of Job helps to understand the courage of facing great trials in life with the right focus and purpose in life. Job was a remarkable man on many levels. He had everything in life but his greatest treasure was the relationship shared with his heavenly Father. When the calamities fell upon his family and his self, Job struggled with trying to gain a clear view of the reasons such sorrow was coming upon him. His friends were making it harder to keep that vision. The book of Job is a discussion of man’s worthless character, the judgment of the Lord against wickedness and the suggestion Job was responsible for everything that happened. Job himself struggled deep within his soul to find the answers. At the end of the story, a fourth person is introduced that rebukes the four older men for how they failed to see the true character of God in the plight of Job. Finally, the Lord himself addressed Job with a blistering charge of disputes Job could not answer.
The end of the story is where the great lesson of Job is revealed. Of all the terrible things that happened to Job, the bad counsel of three friends, doubts on Job’s part of where God was in the scheme of things; Job was a man of humble character that loved his God with all his heart, soul and mind. He had suffered almost beyond human imagination. He had not regained anything yet. His children were still dead, his possessions gone and his health destroyed. He heard the voice of the Lord God and he humbled himself. He admits he said things that he was at a loss to fully grasp. His questioning God was in distress but he knew he had wronged God. Hearing the word of truth from the lips of Elihu and then from the whirlwind of the Lord’s wrath, Job bowed himself before his God and repented.
Few men have suffered as Job and fewer have retained a faith in God. What is so beautiful about Job is how he reacts at the end. He still did not have any answers and it is doubtful he received any answers why the calamity befell him. It did not matter. Job knew that life was not about the here and now but about the blessings of serving a loving God. He was ashamed of the way he had acted and how he had questioned God. Humility is the strength of character to know that God is righteousness and His ways just. Man must unrobe himself of his own will and accept the will of the Father. When Nathan came to David charging him with the sinful acts with Bathsheba, David bowed himself before God recognizing he was the one to blame.
Humility is such a strong character. It is not weakness when it is nailed to a cross at Calvary. Jesus fulfilled the plan of His Father when He illustrated to all men to greatness of humility. Job loved God and this opened the door for a humble heart. Love is the garden where a humble heart grows. It begins by allowing the grace of the great Creator to fill the heart accepting the will of God no matter what happens in life.
Humility is the great ornament and jewel of a Christian religion. (Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, 1650)