Peace and a Bag of Worms

“Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven.”
Job 25:2

Sally finally got her note to Tommy after mistakenly giving it to Billy (see devotion “Almost” here about this story), Tom and Billy became close friends.

One day, Alan challenged Billy to eat a worm a day for 15 days. If he did, Alan would give Billy $50! Tom – being the good friend he was – helped Billy to win the bet. (This is the plot of the Thomas Rockwell book, How to Eat Fried Worms).

This is the first thing I thought of reading Job 25:6 – “how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!

Bildad concludes the speeches of Jobs “friends” with one, last short speech that ends with these words about maggots and worms.

Satan – or, as he’s called in Job, the Satan (the accuser) – first shows up in the Bible in Genesis 3 as a serpent. He also shows up in Matthew 4 as the tempter of Jesus. He finally shows up in the Book of Revelation as a dragon (type of serpent).

This creature was once an angel who rebelled against God sometime during creation week and was kicked out of heaven, along with one-third of all the angels who chose to follow him.

Since his exile, he has – according to Job 1 – been roaming “to and fro” on the earth, meaning that he’s been on the prowl for humans. To tempt them away from God and to suffer eternity in hell along with him when the final judgment comes.

In Job 25, Bildad speaks one last time. He says that God “makes peace in his high heaven,” possibly referring to the failed coup attempt on the part of Satan and his subsequent exile.

That’s the “now” part of what Bildad says. It has happened. It is done. But there is also a “not yet” part to this. The final judgment.

God will make final peace in heaven through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Redeemer that Job believes he will see.

It is Jesus, the Redeemer, through whom God makes peace in his high heaven and on earth!

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

This is our hope and peace as well as Job’s. For Job, it was faith in a Redeemer who was to come. For us it is faith in a Redeemer who has come and is with us now through the Means of Grace (God’s Word and Sacraments).

Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary to be our substitute under God’s Law is the one who brings peace by suffering the wrath of God on our behalf.

Bildad says that man is “a maggot … a worm!” Compared to the majesty of God, this is true.

Martin Luther – the 16th Century Reformer – would colorfully expand on this:

“We have no right to indulge in much bragging and boasting when we step before God. Even if we were members of the highest aristocracy on earth … before God we would still be nothing but bags of worms or bags of manure, infested with lice, maggots, stinking and foul” (Luther’s Works, American Edition, Vo. 22, p 133, quoted in the Lutheran Study Bible notes, page 814 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO).

As only Luther can, he lays out in no uncertain terms the difference between mankind and God.

And if that’s all that there is – this difference – there would be no hope for us.

But Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God, making peace between God and man by his shed blood on the cross.

Centuries after Job, King David would prophesy that Jesus would become “a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.” (Psalm 22:6).

This is a prophesy of Jesus’ suffering and death. This is the ultimate act of sacrifice and salvation by the Redeemer that Job had faith he would see one day!

Jesus did this for us so that we would live in the dominion (power) of God and fear (believe in) God forever in heaven.

Again, the Book of Job is pleading with us to never give up on God even when we go through the darkest times. These dark times, when we truly feel as if we are nothing more than maggots and worms, will be used by God to strengthen our faith and point us toward heaven that even now, Jesus is preparing for us!

©2017 True Men Ministries

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