Worm Theology

Job 25
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
"God rules and he must be honored;
he set up order in his high heaven.
No one can count God's armies.
His light shines on all people.
So no one can be good in the presence of God,
and no one born to a woman can be pure.
Even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes.
People are much less! They are like insects.
They are only worms!"

READ Job 25:1--26:14

SITUATION The discussion between Job and his friends continued. Bildad replied to Job's claim of innocence. Job responded sarcastically to Bildad (26:2-4) because his advice lacked consolation.

OBSERVATION Man cannot be compared with God. God's immensity cannot be measured.

INSPIRATION Ever get a song on your mind? ....It happened to me last week .... I found myself listening to what Watts wrote over two centuries ago.

Alas! and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

I frowned at that last line faded away. "A worm"? Does God see people as "worms"? When Christ died did he "devote that sacred head " for worms? Now, obviously, Watts wanted to portray a vivid illustration of sinful mankind --lost, undeserving, spiritually worthless, wicked within. Dipping his brush in Job 25 and Isaiah 41, the hymnist painted such a picture using the very term Scripture uses --worm. He was biblical and therefore justified his choice of terms for the text. Frankly, we were worm-like when our righteous God found us--lowly, wandering, dirty, unattractive, grubby creatures.

But that doesn't mean we work hard at making ourselves into worms now. A child of God is not a worm. If God had wanted you to be a worm, He could have very easily made you one! ...When Watts wrote of worms he was merely using a word picture. Many others however, have framed it as a model to follow, calling it humility. This "worm theology" creates enormous problems.

It wears many faces--all sad. It crawls out from between the mattress and springs in the morning, telling itself, "I'm nothing, I'm a worm. Woe, woe. I can't do anything and even if I appear to be doing something, it's not really me. Woe! I must annihilate self-respect..crucify all motivation and ambition...I'm a worm. Good for nothing except crawling very slowly, drowning in mud puddles, or getting stepped on. Woe, woe, woe."

There's one main problem with this sort of thinking--it's phony. No matter how diligently we labor to appear genuinely humble, it amounts to nothing more than trying to look good in another way....

And therein lies the ugly sin: PRIDE.

Heretical though it may sound, no one who actually hates himself can adequately share the love of Christ. Our Lord taught that we were to love our neighbors as we love ourselves....

Have you taken time this week to consider before your Lord who you really are?

Sinful? Oh yes. Undeserving? Absolutely. Imperfect Who isn't. Selfish? Indeed. Wrong? More often than not.

But a worm? Useless? Unimportant? Spineless? Meaningless? No, not that. God declared us righteous. He lifted us out of miry clay and set us upon a rock. He invites us to approach Him with boldness. And He means it! (From Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life by Charles Swindoll)

APPLICATION Although God has vast power, he still cares greatly for His children. Explore the verses below. Copy two on an index card and place the card where you will see it often. Remember that God never forgets who you are and what you are facing.

EXPLORATION Value of People -- Genesis 1:26; Job 32:8; John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus - Max Lucado General Editor; New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

No comments: