Half and Half Theology

How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight? (Job 25:6)

A friend of mine often jokes that he’s certain half of his theology is wrong; he just doesn’t know which half. That’s true with most of us, though we don’t always like to admit it. And it’s certainly the case with Job’s three friends.

At the lowest point in his life, Job had to suffer the advice of three armchair theologians—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They’d been watching his plight from a distance and were certain they had his problems figured out. They weighed his situation, put their heads together, and approached Job with their solution to his quandary. It’s not as if they didn’t mean well. Their concern was genuine. But somehow their advice missed the mark. And God wasn’t too impressed with what they had to say, even though most of their advice was true—at least technically.

“God is powerful and dreadful,” says Bildad the Shuhite. “He enforces peace in the heavens. Who is able to count his heavenly army? … How can a mere mortal stand before God and claim to be righteous? … God is so glorious that even the moon and stars scarcely shine compared to him. How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight?” (Job 25:2-6).

You have to admit that Bildad had a point. God is glorious and all-powerful, and compared to him we might as well be worms writhing around in the dirt. But there is a fuller picture of God in Scripture.

“He will rescue the poor when they cry out to him,” writes the psalmist. “He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him” (Psalm 72:12, 14). On the one hand, it is true that we are but maggots in comparison with God. On the other hand, didn’t he create us in his own image? He chose to breathe his Spirit into ours and bring us into his divine presence. We may be worms, but we’re not worms in God’s eyes. He sees us as precious children, and he loves us as he loves his own Son. Bildad may have only been half wrong, but the half that was wrong made all the difference.

Be careful when you decide to speak for God. Choose your words carefully when dishing out advice on behalf of the Savior. God doesn’t like it when we put words in his mouth.

Today’s Reading

Job 25:1-6

Reflection

How do you see yourself in the eyes of God? Is it comforting to know that you are precious in his sight?

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