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Stars and Worms

“‘Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!’” (Job 25:6).

The book of Job is a well-known story, featuring a man whom God declared upright, more than any other. But Satan insisted Job was only righteous because of how abundantly God had blessed him. Were God to remove those blessings, Job would certainly curse God. God agreed to test Job, and this man lost his wealth, his children, and his health. But despite all this, he still maintained his faith in God. He had three friends who came to comfort him in his grief, but their attempts at consolation had the opposite effect. Each friend had his own idea about God’s character that, while correct in a sense, failed to grasp the fathomless complexities of Who God is. Bildad the Shuhite’s biggest issue was that he did not comprehend God’s grace.

Whenever Bildad speaks, his words center on God’s righteousness and justice. To him, all hardship must be a direct result of sin. Because God is just, He must punish sin. Also, there is no one who can ever be sinless. Up to this point, his perspective is correct. But while Bildad did understand just how horrible mankind is, he failed to see how special humanity is to God. In his own words, man is no more than a worm or a maggot. He esteems them lower than the moon and the stars, neither of which are pure in God’s sight. If then these creations of intrinsic beauty are not good, how can mankind ever hope to be in the right before God? Why should He even give them attention?

But while it is true that, compared to God, humans are little more than grasshoppers, He still has named us the pinnacle of His creation. It was not until the creation of man that He declared the world very good. Psalm 8:5 states, “You have made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” The moon and the stars are indeed breathtaking in their beauty, and by all appearances we are nothing compared to them. But God loves us far more than them. This is in itself an act of grace. How can it be that we, these sinful beings who truly cannot be in the right before God, should be called His precious creation? Were it not for God’s mercy towards us, we would live in Bildad’s world. We would suffer all the punishment for our sin without ever knowing the selfless, powerful love of God towards us who can give Him nothing in return. But this is not the case! We are indeed worms—and yet we are the ones for whom Christ Himself died.

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