Friday, February 23, 2007

Humans are but Maggots

Job 25 is a brief diatribe of Bildad, a final response to Job in a cycle of three rounds of conversation.

Bildad does what is typical of some modern day Christians. He asserts the greatness of God: "Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven."

Okay, nothing wrong with that, but then he reveals where he is going with this - it is not really about God but a set up: "On whom does his light not rise? How then can a mortal be righteous before God?"

This has been the basic argument of Job's three friends this whole time: Job - YOU ARE NOT RIGHTEOUS, YOU ARE WICKED - THAT IS WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOU - why won't you relent and accept what you know is true. This is how they are comforting him.

But note what Bildad does next: he transitions from a truth about God, and takes his theological question about mankind, and makes this terrible assertion - in an attempt to justify himself and put Job in his place: "How much less a mortal, who is but a maggot, a human being, who is only a worm!"

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa - wait a minute...God never says this about humanity! Bildad has grossly exaggerated his position. God said his creation is good (so don't get down on maggots and worms!), God has made male and female Imago Dei. Humans were made to be good, to bear the image of God and be a blessing to the world. Humans were deceived and corrupted by Evil, and now are able to do both noble and despicable things.

God is also at work at all times, and Job is an example of those that can resist evil, he refuses to be deceived and fights corruption in his own soul. Apparently the three friends didn't do this as well as Job, and now their lives are exposed - there is more filth there then they are willing to admit.

Know this: Mankind is not maggotty, we are more then worms.

But just as Job chose to do righteous, and so live as one just below angels, you and I and others can choose to do unrighteous things, which sometimes reduces us to a bit above the worms. However, Abraham was declared righteous before God. And so can you, if you want it. Do you want it?

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