Stinking Pride

Job 41:11 “Who has given to Me that I should repay him?”

Observation: The great conclusion to the book of Job comes as God focuses on just one of His created things, Leviathan, and points out how absolutely futile would be Job’s attempts to catch it, tame it, even survive an encounter with it. He then challenged Job: if you can’t even stand before this one small example of My creation, “Who then is he that can stand before Me?” (Job 41:10). God went on to say that He owed Job nothing: ”Who has given to Me that I should repay him?” Then, in Chapter 42, Job showed that he finally understood. He said that he had heard of God before this, “but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (verses 5-6).

Application: After forty-one long chapters, the simplicity and the sufficiency of Job’s repentance are striking. In one verse, Job said all that needed to be said, thus closing the ordeal of his questioning that he had been going through. At the time of his repentance, none of his outward circumstances had changed; his skin still oozed, and his loss of family, fortune, and respect were still profound. But he had been given a glimpse of his own pride, and knew he had to lay it down in order to have intimate fellowship with God. He had reached the point in his life where fellowship with God was sufficient, and he regained that fellowship through one simple sentence of repentance. He gained the whole world when he finally accepted the idea that God’s purpose was to wring out of him every last vestige of self and pride. 

Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” I, too, must finally confess that God owes me nothing. The entirety of my journey is once and for all to be done with stinking pride. It was pride that caused Lucifer to be cast from heaven, and pride that entered my DNA in Adam. And at the end, my invitation to the wedding banquet hinges upon my response to God’s question, “Who has given to Me that I should repay him?” My answer to that single question determines my eternity. All the rest, as they say, is mere detail.

Prayer: O Lord, I remember so well the moment I finally knew I had broken through in husbanding my dying wife. For so many years I had cared for her as dutifully as I could, yet as long as my heart yearned for release, I could never get beyond duty and pride to advance to pure love. But there came a day, a moment, when I knew You had finished needed heart surgery, when I became eager to serve her every need. Lord, I want to be in that place in every circumstance of my life. Fill me with Your love, Lord; it is enough.

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