Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth
(Job 40:4). 

There is such a contrast in how we see ourselves in the right light before the
Lord. The title of the message I hope to preach from this afternoon is “Whiter
Than Snow.” Here we have Job saying, “Behold, I am vile.”

It is so important how we see ourselves according to the Word of God. “Behold, I
am vile” was not the expression of Cain in a remorseful repentance after slaying
his brother Abel. Cain was the first murderer. See how Cain answered the Lord in
Genesis 4:9: “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he
said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” He had no remorse.

“Behold, I am vile” was not the expression of Judas in a remorseful repentance
after selling his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, for 30 pieces of silver.

These were not the words of an openly rebellious wicked man. These words of our
text, “Behold, I am vile,” are the words of one of whom we read in Job 1:8: “And
the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is
none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God,
and escheweth evil?”
The Lord saw two images in Job. The Lord saw that he feared God. The Lord saw
that he loved the will of God and he desired to do the will of God. Job, though,
in his own heart saw, after he had received a revelation of the Lord Jesus
Christ, that he did not measure up to the righteousness we need to enter heaven.
He saw that he needed the righteousness of Christ. He could not enter heaven on
the basis of his own righteousness even though he was a godly man.
Was this exclamation of Job, “Behold, I am vile,” his first exclamation of grief
when he received the message that his children were all slain? We read in Job
1:20-21: “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell
down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's
womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken
away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
The Lord did not reveal to Job who he was in his own heart at that point.  
Was this exclamation of Job, “Behold, I am vile,” the result of the reproof of
his friends? Throughout the book of Job, and especially in chapter 19, his
friends accused him of every vile affection that one could be accused of. Job
defended his integrity as we see in Job 19:1-4: “Then Job answered and said, How
long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times
have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.”
Job’s friends accused him of things he had not done. Job at that point did not
confess, “Behold, I am vile.” 

When was it that we find this melancholy complaint coming from Job’s lips? It
was when the Lord appeared to him and gave him a startling revelation of His own
perfections. It is when the Holy Spirit opened Job’s eyes to see the perfections
of God, and how far short he came from being able to stand before God in his own
We see our text in its context in Job 40:1-2: “Moreover the LORD answered Job,
and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that
reproveth God, let him answer it.”
When the Lord first began to speak with Job, Job defended himself before the

Continuing in verses 3 to 5 we read: “Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no
Now I want to show you the significance of our text. This word behold, as it is
found in our text, comes from the Hebrew word hen (hane), which is an expression
of surprise. You and I may walk in a way we believe pleases the Lord, and this
is what Job was doing. Job was walking in a way of righteousness. Job was a
God-fearing man, and he defended himself when his friends accused him. He could
deny that he was guilty of any of their accusations.

I want you to stop and see something that happened to David, the man after God’s
own heart, the man God chose to be king over Israel. Nathan the prophet came to
speak to him as we read in 2 Samuel 12:7-9: “And Nathan said to David, Thou art
the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel,
and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s
house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel
and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto
thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the
LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the
sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword
of the children of Ammon.”

Can you imagine the surprise this was to David? Nathan had told how a rich man
had taken a sheep from a poor man. We read in verses 5 and 6: “And David’s anger
was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth,
the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the
lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

David did not see the grievousness of his sin until the Lord sent the prophet
Nathan to him.
This is what was happening to Job, but when the Lord opened his eyes he saw he
was vile. It was an expression of surprise. He had never thought he was so vile
in the eyes of the Lord. He thought he was a righteous man.
You see the same thing with Saul en route to Damascus to imprison Christians as
we read in Acts 9:3-6: “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly
there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and
heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said,
Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is
hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said,
Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go
into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

See Saul’s expression of surprise. Did he know he was persecuting the Lord? No.
In his own mind he thought he was living a righteous life. He thought he was
serving God.

Like Job, his eyes were opened to see his sin and how far he was from doing that
which is pleasing to the Lord. Job was a very religious man. We read in Job
1:4-5: “And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and
sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it
was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and
sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings
according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have
sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”
Job in himself was a righteous man. Job feared the Lord, but he built the hope
of his salvation upon his own righteousness. The Lord was opening his eyes to
see that he still needed the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, that there
was nothing within himself that merited salvation.  

When Job’s children and property were all taken from him at once, he could say
as we read in Job 1:21-22: “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and
naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God

The Lord put Job into Satan’s hand to torment him with sore boils, and to use
Job’s wife to tempt him. We read in Job 2:9-10: “Then said his wife unto him,
Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto
her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive
good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job
sin with his lips.” 

What was it then that rent such an expression of surprise as we find in our text
from the lips of Job saying, “Behold, I am vile”? We read in Job 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.”
It is the same with you and me. We may have heard of the Lord Jesus Christ by
the hearing of the ear, but have we seen Him by faith? Have we seen Him in the
Garden of Gethsemane with the eyes of faith? Have we seen Him wallowing in His
own blood to pay the price of our sins?

Why do I abhor myself in dust and ashes? If I have any portion in Christ, I must
understand that it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross. My sins caused Him
to suffer, bleed and die.
When we are given a faith’s view of God’s wrath upon sin in the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ (as Job received), then we begin to understand those words of
Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses
are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the
wind, have taken us away.” 

Now we learn to understand the sinfulness of sin and what nailed our blessed
Saviour to the cross. Now we have an eye to see that our best righteousness is
as filthy rags in the sight of God as far as being able to merit salvation. The
only way we can merit salvation is by total perfection, and the only perfection
you and I will ever have is in that imputed righteousness of Christ. When the
righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is imputed to my soul, then I can stand
righteous before God.
We never understand these things by nature, but only when Christ’s perfection in
obedience and His atonement are truly revealed as we see what the Apostle Paul
wrote in Philippians 3:8-9: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win
Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the
law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is
of God by faith.”
This is the same Paul who sent Christians to prison, who saw the light from
heaven, and heard the Lord Jesus Christ say: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute
me?” His eyes were opened, and he was brought to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Even though he had been brought up as a religious man, he counted all these
things but loss. He could put no merit upon them. He could make no claim of
salvation based on anything that he had done.

It is only that atonement, that blessed faith of Christ, where He took upon
Himself to be made sin for us, that makes us righteousness before Him. We read
in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” We need the
righteousness of God, because our own righteousness comes so far short.

When Asaph went into the sanctuary of God (that is, the place of the sprinkling
of blood as we see in Leviticus 4:6), then he cried out in Psalm 73:21-22: “Thus
my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and
ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.”
Asaph envied the proud. Asaph envied those who prospered in their sins. Then he
went into the sanctuary, the place where the blood of Christ was revealed.
You and I in our own righteousness stand as beasts before God. We need the
blessed atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need the blessed sacrifice, the
cleansing of the blood of Christ. If we think we can come before God in our own
righteousness, then what we need to do is analyze the life of Job.

Job walked in perfect obedience as far as the flesh is concerned, yet in the
sight of God his righteousness was not sufficient. He still had to repent in
dust and ashes. 

The sanctuary of God was where God revealed Himself as we see in Psalm 63:1-4:
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my
flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy
power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy
lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless
thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.” 

In the sanctuary, the house of God, Christ is revealed to us. This is where we
see the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, which cleanses us from all sin.
Until we learn to see as Job said, “Behold, I am vile,” we will never learn to
see our need of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Oh beloved, when one is truly brought into the presence of the living God, all
that is of the flesh is turned into corruption. Some day you and I, everyone of
us, are going to come into the immediate presence of the living God. What a
blessing it is if we in this lifetime are prepared for that meeting with God.

What a terrible thing it would be on the day of judgment if we for the first
time have to say, “Behold, I am vile.” If we learn to see that in our lifetime,
and we come under the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, we can stand
before Him in that perfect robe of Christ’s righteousness, then we can spend
eternity in His perfection. If we come for the very first time, in the day of
judgment, we would flee from Him because we are unable to stand in His presence.

Watch what we see in Daniel 10:8 as Daniel was in the presence of the Lord:
“Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no
strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I
retained no strength.”
Daniel was greatly beloved of the Lord. This is the man who was able to go into
the lions’ den by faith. You and I will never be able to stand before the Lord
in our own strength. The only way we can stand righteous before God is in the
perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Prophet Isaiah was one who had received blessed revelations of the sacrifice
of Christ especially as he prophesied in Isaiah 53. Isaiah was greatly loved of
the Lord. See his reaction when he first saw the Lord in Isaiah 6:5: “Then said
I, 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.”
When we are brought into the presence of God, then we will say with Isaiah: “I
am undone.” We need that blessed garment of Christ’s righteousness. The Lord
Jesus Christ came to cleanse us from our sins, not only to deliver us from hell.
When we say, “Behold, I am vile,” our vileness, our filth and our corruption
that we have by nature, can be washed away in that fountain that was opened for
all sin and uncleanness. 

When we measure ourselves by our fellow creatures we think more highly of
ourselves than we ought. We see this in Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the
grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself
more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath
dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
We by nature want to think well of ourselves. This is everyone. This was Job.
This was Isaiah. This was Daniel. This was David. It is not just you and I. We
come by faith to see the blessed atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we see
how He had to sweat in His blood, to pay the wrath of God upon sin. We see how
He was hung on the cross and how His own Father turned His back on Him. He was
made to be sin for us. Then we see the filthiness and the power of sin. We see
that outside of that blessed atonement we cannot appear before God.
We see that we must be washed and cleansed, and that is what I hope to speak
about this afternoon out of Psalm 51:7: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” I want to speak about how that
cleansing takes place.
When Daniel came into the presence of God, he said: “For my comeliness was
turned in me into corruption.” Everything about him that had any value was
turned into corruption because we become nothing so Christ can become
everything. This brings us out of our own righteousness unto the blessed
righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

True repentance changes one’s opinion of self when we measure ourselves by the
image of Christ to which we desire to be conformed. Job, Saul, Daniel, David and
Isaiah, everyone of them, when they truly repented, changed their estimation of
themselves. They became vile in the sight of God. We no longer compare ourselves
with ourselves. We do not compare ourselves with others. We start to see
ourselves as to where we stand in the light of how much we are conformed to the
image of Christ. We have a completely different opinion of ourselves. We learn
that outside of that perfect robe of Christ’s righteousness, we are utterly
vile. Outside of that blessed atonement of Christ, we are vile. We need that
sprinkling of His blood to cleanse us from the power of sin.
I want you to see what we read about Abraham, the father of the faithful, God’s
friend, when he came into the presence of God in Genesis 18:27: “And Abraham
answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord,
which am but dust and ashes.”
If you and I come into the presence of God for the first time on the day of
judgment, it will be like we see in Revelation 6 that we will call for the
mountains and rocks to fall on us and to hide us from the face of the Lamb that
sits on the throne. We must be reconciled to God in this life, and the only way
that you and I will ever be reconciled with God, will be to learn to see that we
need cleansing. We need to be cleansed by that precious blood of Christ.
How often we must say, “Behold, I am vile,” in our rebellion against God’s will
when He blows upon all our plans. Do we respond: “Lord, your will be done,” or
does it work rebellion in our hearts? Do we get frustrated? If we do, that is
the vile part of our nature, because if our hearts were in the right place, it
would bring us into total submission to the will of God. We would say, “Lord,
what is your will?”
Our vileness reveals itself when we find that our rebellion comes up against God
because our plans do not work, and we become frustrated. This is a token of our
rebellion against God. This is how we see how vile we are. Instead of being
submissive in the hand of the Potter, we become as a young colt that still needs
to be held with bit and bridle.

If you take a young horse and put a rope around its neck, it rears up and pulls
back. If you try to break it, and it is rebellious, it may even throw its feet
on top of you. That is the way you and I are by nature.

When the Lord begins to train us to be in subjection to His will, we rebel. We
revolt like a young colt.

Now in Psalm 32:9, it says: “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have
no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they
come near unto thee.” This is one who has never been trained.

Do not act like a horse that has never been trained and that has to be held in
with bit and bridle. He says, “Do not be that way.” We must be in subjection to
the will of God. We must be able to come before the Lord and ask, “Lord, what is
your will?”
You can put a rope and halter on a trained horse, lead it, and the rope will
never become tight. You get up on a well-trained horse and just lean in the
saddle. I used to ride horses a lot, and you can just lean in the saddle and
never touch the reins. Just the little lean of your body and that horse knows
what direction you want to go. It understands what you want and does it.

The Lord is telling us: Do not be rebellious. Do not be a horse or a mule
without understanding that has never been trained. Do not have to be forced with
bit and bridle to do everything I want you to do. That is the rebellion that
still remains in you. That is the rebellion in your heart.

That is what the Lord is dealing with. What did the Lord do to Job? He brought
Job through great trials. He brought Job through the furnace of afflictions to
show him the vileness of his own heart. Job was a righteous man, but he was
doing it his own way. He was not doing it according to the will of God.

The Lord wants us to be submissive. When we can feel the least little leaning
toward this or that direction, we are to obey it. Do not wait until He has to
lead us with bit and bridle.

Then when our eye of faith is again fixed upon Him who was meek and lowly, we
must confess with Job in 40:4: “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I
will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” We see that there is still so much
uncleanness in us, so much rebellion in us.
How often our ugly nature wants to raise its head “to make a fair shew in the
flesh” (Galatians 6:12). Have you ever had that problem? I have. We like to make
of ourselves something more than we are. That is our nature.

When our eye of faith is fixed upon Christ we can say in verse 14: “But God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom
the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Why should I glory in anything of the flesh? Why should I glory in anything that
is of me? Every evil desire of mine, that old man of sin, is to be crucified. We
are to take up our crosses and follow Him. Our vileness has to be cleansed. It
has to be purged. It has to be brought in subjection to the will of God. We
cannot serve the world and serve God.

Job was vile in his prayers. He prayed to tell the Lord what he wanted Him to
do. How often do we pray, telling the Lord what to do? Sometimes we pray so
selfishly. We should pray, Lord, what will you have me to do? That is what
happened to Saul on the way to Damascus, when the Lord stopped him. Saul
responded, Lord, what will you have me to do? In his own wisdom, he was
persecuting those who were serving the Lord Jesus Christ. He thought he was
doing God’s service.
How often we are vile in our prayers and misgivings in believing God’s Word as
our Master said in Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye
desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
What things are these? It is those things we ask according to His will.  
Continuing in verses 25 and 26 we read: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if
ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive
you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is
in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
This is one of the first elements in having your prayers answered. Is there one
human being on the face of the earth you are unable to forgive? If so, the Lord
will not forgive you. The debt that person needs forgiven is so small in
comparison. We must be in a forgiving spirit. We must forgive all wrong that has
been done against us.
How often are we like those unbelieving Israelites of whom we read in Psalm
78:22-25: “Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of
heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.” 

We have to examine our own hearts to see where we are vile. If we have an
unforgiving spirit, that is vileness that must be forgiven, that we must be
cleansed of.
How often do you and I not trust the Lord, and yet we forget how often He has so
graciously provided for us? To this very day, you and I have had sufficient
food. We have had a place to live. We have had the necessities of life. The Lord
has provided these things even though we are not worthy. Now, can we trust Him
for tomorrow?

When our Lord sends us a trial of our faith so that it seems our ship is sinking
in our spiritual journey across those boisterous waves of the seas, how often do
we give Him occasion to say as He did in Mark 4:40: “Why are ye so fearful? how
is it that ye have no faith?”
The Lord Jesus was crossing the sea with His disciples, and a storm came up, but
He was in the back of the ship asleep. They cried out to Him: Lord, help us. We
are perishing. They thought the ship was sinking. How often do we think our ship
is sinking? How often do we keep our eyes on our problems instead of looking
away from them and looking at our Saviour?
The Lord asked His disciples: Why are you looking at your problems instead of
looking at me? Why do you not let me take care of the problem? As soon as He
spoke this, the sea became calm.
In every problem of our lives, when we take our eyes off of ourselves, and when
we fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, then the problem ceases. 

Every true child of the King knows more or less to some degree (when they see
how far they come short of true conformity to the image of Christ) what it is to
cry unto the Lord as in Ezra 9:6: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up
my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our
trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” 

We understand how far short we come of God’s perfect will. We know what it is to
say, Lord, I am ashamed, and I blush to lift up my face to you. Even Job,
Isaiah, Daniel, David, these true men of God, when they saw the Lord Jesus
Christ by faith, they had to cry out: Behold, I am vile.
If you and I are true children of the king, then we understand what it is to
say, Lord, I am ashamed. So many things in my life cause me to blush.
I heard a man say one time, if every sin I ever committed was written on the
wall, I would not dare face myself, much less anyone else. If everything that
ever entered our minds was written on the wall we would be so ashamed we would
not know where to run.
Ezra knew the Lord understood every thought of his heart. He understands our
thoughts before we even think them. We understand as Job learned to understand
in Job 42:6: “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
We can be very religious like Job was and never understand what it is to be vile
in the sight of God.
It was the formal religionists of whom the Lord spoke in Jeremiah 8:11-12: “For
they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace,
peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed
abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:
therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation
they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.”
They were preaching the Lord Jesus Christ, and a way to heaven as a fire escape,
without preaching repentance, without preaching the need to be cleansed from
sin. They had never had their sins pointed out to them. They had never been
brought to the sin that made them vile in the eyes of the Lord. They never
understood their need of being cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. 

We will have no peace until we learn to see how vile we are, and until we
understand what it is to be washed from the power of sin and to be cleansed from
When the true bride of Christ has her eye of faith fixed upon her Beloved, the
language of her heart is what we find in Song of Solomon 1:5: “I am black, but
comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of
Solomon.” She is saying: I am vile, but I have been cleansed. I am black within
myself, but I wear that perfect robe of Christ’s righteousness.

We read in verse 6: “Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath
looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper
of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.”
In other words, do not look at me as such a tremendous example, as being such a
righteous person. Every pastor who is truly God-sent has to complain about this
very thing. The Lord has sent me to keep a vineyard of souls, and yet I have so
often to complain, My own vineyard I have not kept. I cannot come before you in
my own righteousness. I need the righteousness of Christ for my own soul as well
as you do. The Lord Jesus Christ is the keeper of my soul.
Is it not true that as soon as the Sun of Righteousness hides His face behind a
cloud, the corruption of our hearts again leads us astray as lost sheep? As soon
as the Lord withdraws His restraining grace, David, the man after God’s own
heart, complained in Psalm 119:174-176: “I have longed for thy salvation, O
LORD; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and
let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy
servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.” 

Psalm 119 shows how David longed for the law of God. He delighted in the will of
God, yet he fell so far short. He found that he was vile in his own heart and
that in so many ways he had not done the will of God. He had not turned his back
on the Lord though, but he saw that in himself, in his own righteousness, he was
still vile.
Then what a blessing it is that our lovely Saviour seeks us out with such a
reproof as we find in Revelation 2:4-5: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against
thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou
art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee
quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking here to His dearly beloved church. The Lord
Jesus Christ is our first love. So often our hearts stray from Him, and our
first love is set on something of the flesh.
Job was a very religious man, but all his righteousness in his own works had no
salvation in them. When Job’s eyes were taken from self unto the righteousness
of Christ, he had to complain as we see in Job 40:3-5: “Then Job answered the
LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine
hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I
will proceed no further.”
When Job looked within himself, he saw that he was vile, but when he looked away
from himself to the Lord Jesus Christ, he saw his own righteousness in the
perfect righteousness of Christ.  

A faith’s view of Christ’s perfect obedience unto death, even the death of the
cross, leads one to exclaim with Job in Job 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 Lord willing, this afternoon we want to speak from Psalm 51:7, where David
said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be
whiter than snow.”


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