Perhaps he sat in a fire pit, which during the night provided heat and now was cool as the sun began to bake the desert around him. He says to G-d, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” I am reminded of a phrase from the Anglican burial service, referring to total finality of life, “Ashes to ashes; dust to dust,” which is based upon scriptures “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19), and “I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:18). Perhaps Job felt he was so totally wrong in his actions that it was time to die. At one point Job’s wife had told him to just end his own physical suffering by cursing G-d and dying. He did not do so. In his self-righteousness, he continued on. Now Job is ready to accept his fate, understanding his sin of presuming to know G-d, of presuming to be righteous on his own accord.
Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 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 42:1-6 (emphasis added)
Repent. This the Jewish season for repentance. If we follow Job’s example we loath ourselves and repent. If we truly loath ourselves, we will see ourselves as unworthy of saving. In the view of the world, we will have low self-esteem. However, as Job came to understand, we must see ourselves as G-d sees and loath the un-naturalness that is within us. Calvary Chapel’s statement of belief (point number eight) puts it this way: “We believe that all people are sinners by nature and, therefore, are under condemnation; that God regenerates based upon faith by the Holy Spirit, those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. (Acts 8:15-17; Titus 3:5)” So it isn’t that we loath the self that G-d created, but the sin nature that is within it. We loath and repent of what we have done, the things we’ve left undone. Sins of commission. Sins of omission.
G-d loves the person that He created us to be. If we want to be that person, we must turn from the person our sin nature wants us to be. We cannot have salvation without repentance. We must acknowledge that we have a nature, we often refer to as the flesh, that is against G-d. We must turn away from this nature. But that isn’t enough. On a television show recently, a man sits across from a police detective after confessing to murdering three people. The murderer says, “I’m really sorry. I really am!” Another man in the room says, “Your sorry. Okay, that makes it all right then. You can go now,” then turns away, shaking his head and walks out of the room.
We can come to know our sin, that we have a sin nature that is capable of all sorts of horrid things. We must understand this fact. And there is no payment we can make, except to forfeit our lives. We must die for our sins, those we committed and those we are capable of committing. Unless there is someone willing to take upon himself the penalty we owe.
That’s what Y’shuaJesus, Son of G-d, Son of Man, did for us. For it is through Y’shuaJesus that the penalty for our sin is paid in full. Thank You, Lord! G-d then seals us with His mark, and sees us as pure through His own Son’s action of dying for us.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon you today and each day as we await the coming of the King to His reign. AMEN.