Who am I to stand before God? The answer, of course, is no one. And yet…
This passage is spoken by one of Job’s friends, who has had a dream. The dream has put the fear of the Lord into him and given him a sense of his own nothingness before God’s greatness. This is not a new message. This truth is expressed countless times in the Bible. We are called upon to reflect on this often.
Who am I to stand before God? The answer, of course, is no one. And yet. And yet! We know by faith that we are loved unconditionally and personally by God. This is the great mystery that our faith reveals to us. We are nothing before God. We are not pure. We are sinners. It is through the grace of humble wisdom that we realize this. It is in humility, too, that we come to recognize our love for God. It is in this knowledge that we are moved to give him thanks. All that we have that is good, and all that is good in the world, is pure gift from God.
It is in this knowledge of faith that we willingly and humbly bend our knees to him. We submit our wills to the Will of God knowing that the Will of God is perfect in its goodness, its truth, and its beauty. It is true that I am nothing before God. I have life only because he holds me in the palm of his hand and has personal concern for me at every moment. Even when I sin, he does not abandon me. When, in humble contrition, I turn to him, he gives my soul new life with his loving forgiveness. This can come from no other source. Here, then, is the great paradox of our faith: Though we are nothing in comparison to God, each one of us is of unimaginable worth in his eyes. The Incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof of this.
The godless know no humility. They claim a freedom to themselves that does not exist in reality. They recognize nothing but their own desires. Like the devil in the Book of Job, they foolishly think that they can defeat the wisdom and the power of God. But it is Job’s faith, tested as it is, that humbly recognizes that God is God, and he is not. God’s greatness is beyond our understanding, and though it is beyond our comprehension, our humble faith tells us that we are, nontheless, loved intimately by him. We are dependant upon him and his love for everything. And his love is the fullness of fidelity.
Lord, we thank you for the gift of faith, and for your unconditional and personal love for us. In you alone do we put our trust. Increase this faith in our hearts. Give us the faith and the courage of Job in our daily lives, for we are surrounded on all sides by the proud, the decietful, and the godless. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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