I Abhor Myself

Job Chapter 42:5&6

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

The Hebrew word for abhor means to reject, despise, or refuse.*

The Greek word for abhor means to turn oneself away from as  one would turn away from a bad smell or stench.  This meaning includes the idea of detesting or hating the offensive object.

After an encounter, The Old Testament character Job concluded; Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.  The result of Job’s encounter was to turn away as he would from a stench.  Such a turning away would be done quickly until distanced from the despised and repulsive object.  Job was turning away from himself.  He stated that he abhored (despised) himself.

What was the encounter that produced such a hasty and repulsing reaction to his own self?   Job’s encounter was with God.  He had just said this about God; I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.  When Job saw God as He is, he saw himself as he truly was and the result was a biblical view of himself.

Self-esteem permeates our culture.  You are worthy is a slogan adopted by our culture and educational systems.  This slogan is an attempt to build the self-esteem of those to whom it is directed.  In his book, The Vanishing Conscience, John MacArthur gives an example of how self esteem works.  Math students from several countries were tested for their mathematical abilities.  Along with the test, students were asked to answer the simple question; Are you good at math?  The group of students who scored the highest answered “no” to this question, while the lowest scoring group, the Americans, answered “yes”. [1]

You’ve heard the old adage concerning good news and bad news?  The good news is that we are making good time.  The bad news?  We are headed in the wrong direction!  We, the Americans, scored the lowest,…..but we felt good about it.

Our culture is trying to lift the self image in an effort to give hope.  When individuals have no hope they often turn to self destructive activities.  When an individual comes to the place where they hate or despise themselves, they are unable to receive the required remedy, because the real answer has been excluded from our educational systems.  The individual who despises himself needs to see Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as The Redeemer of his/her lost, sinful soul.

Although living several hundred years before Christ, Job declared; For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25).

The answer is to see God as Job did.  When Job saw God as He is (sinless) and he saw himself (a sinner),  he was so repulsed by his sinful condition that he repented in dust and ashes.  He changed his mind and humbled himself before the Lord and worshiped.  Job’s repentance, humility, and trust in His Redeemer brought change and blessing from God.

God’s wrath was kindled against Job’s friends (ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath).  Job’s friends were commanded to bring sacrifices and offer them up as a burnt offering for their sin (and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept:)….And the LORD turned the captivity of Job.

Have you seen God?   Much like Job, Isaiah saw God and his response was the cry of the leper……Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts    (Isaiah 6:5).

Do you have a biblical view of yourself?  When you see God as He is (in the pages of Scripture) [2], you will have an opportunity to obtain a biblical view of yourself.  It will no longer be I am worthy………………it will be He is worthy!

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:6-9).

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

[1] The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur – pg. 80; published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson.  [2] Scripture – Do not use a paraphrase.  Use a reliable translation.  I would recommend the KJV, the NKJV, the NASV, & the ESV.

Note:  Perhaps you have made the statement; I hate myself.  Is it because you have failed to live up to a certain standard?  Maybe it is the world’s standard or even your own standards you have failed to live up to.  God has a standard that certainly no one can live up to because we are all under the curse of sin.  God’s standard is perfection.

  Fortunately, for you and I, God is offering us a substitute who can fulfill His standard on our behalf.  His name is Jesus Christ.  He is God’s Son and He alone has fulfilled God’s Standard of Righteousness.

Messiah Jesus took the penalty of our sin upon Himself when He died upon the cross of Calvary.  He was buried and rose again from the dead.  His perfect righteousness is applied to all who accept Him as God’s provision of righteousness on our behalf.  If you hate yourself,  lift your eyes off of yourself and onto the perfect Lamb of God.  Repent (change your mind) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Accept Him as your Saviour and Lord.  Harden not your heart.  Let today be the day of your salvation!

If you claim to be a Christian and you hate yourself to the point of despair, perhaps you have unconfessed sin that is burdening your conscience.  I John 1:8-10 says;  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

How are we to confess our sins?  We confess them directly to the Lord.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (I Timothy 2:5).  We are to confess our sins as soon as we are aware of them.  Name the sin and agree with God about it.  Wrong thoughts are sin.  Follow the Psalmist’s direction; Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

One thought on “I Abhor Myself”

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