Wednesday, December 27, 2023

I Abhor Myself! (Job 42:5-6)

“Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).

Unless people confess how vile they are because of their sin, they cannot be truly repentant. Shame and self-abasement over one’s sin, however, must not be confused with shame over someone else’s sin. When someone sins against us, we are not to be ashamed of ourselves because of his or her sin. Only the person who sins should be ashamed. Calling people to be humiliated because of their sin is not to be confused with encouraging someone to be ashamed of something for which they have no reason to be ashamed.

The Scriptures are clear, however, that when one is truly repentant, one is humbled by the vileness of sin. Unless that happens to one degree or another, repentance is still far off. “It concerns us to be deeply humbled for the sins we are convinced of, and not to rest in a slight superficial displeasure against ourselves for them,” Henry wrote. “Even good people, that have no gross enormities to repent of, must be greatly afflicted in soul for the workings and breakings out of pride, passion, peevishness, and discontent, and all their hasty unadvised speeches; for these we must be pricked to the heart and be in bitterness. Till the enemy be effectually humbled, the peace will be insecure.”

Unless you be convinced of the vileness of sin and feel the shame of it, you will not be motivated to battle against it and put it to death every day of your life. As long as you find anything attractive about sin, you will not totally overcome it. “We must not only be angry at ourselves for the wrong and damage we have by sin done to our own souls, but must abhor ourselves, as having by sin made ourselves odious to the pure and holy God, who cannot endure to look upon iniquity,” Henry wrote. “If sin be truly an abomination to us, sin in ourselves will especially be so; the nearer it is to us the more loathsome it will be. The more we see of the glory and majesty of God, and the more we see of the vileness and odiousness of sin and of ourselves because of sin, the more we shall abase and abhor ourselves for it.” May each of us come to the point Job came to, that we might continue to see the filth of our sin and be humbled by it.

Read Job 42:5–6 and Isaiah 6:1–5. What caused Job and Isaiah to be humbled? Why did seeing God evoke the reaction that it did in these two men? The way we come into God’s presence is through His Word. There we can see Him. As you read Scripture this week, see yourself in light of God’s glory and be humbled for your sin.