Lessons From Job’s Repentance (1) By Babatunde Olugboji
As we saw in the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis, the Biblical concept of repentance is much more than saying sorry. To repent means to rearrange your entire way of thinking, feeling and being, in order to forsake that which is wrong. Judah and his brothers showed remorse, but more importantly, they showed transformation. This week, we will begin a series on repentance, using Job as the touch point.
In Job 42, Joe declared: “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (Job 42:1-3)
Job’s wonderful statement, “I know that You can do everything,” was apparently connected to the impressive display of the power and might of God over creation; but it was also connected to the comfort the presence of God brought to Job, in his season of anxiety. God indeed could do everything, including bringing comfort and assurance to Job, even when Job still did not understand the origin or meaning of his crisis.
Job had lost his children, his health, and his wealth; his wife thought he was unhinged, and his friends concluded that he was the architect of the ills that befell him. Remember, it was God who brought up Job as a subject for discussion with Satan, in the sense of bragging about Job’s godliness and character. God was so impressed with Job that he affirmed the description of Job as a man who was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1).
In Job 42, Job humbly and remorsefully stated: “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job said many sad and imprudent things, both in his agonized cry in Job 3 and in the bitter and contentious debate with his friends. At times he doubted the goodness of God and his righteous judgment in the world; at times he doubted if there was any good in this life or in the life beyond. Now Job had come full circle, back to a state of humble contentment with not knowing the answers to the questions occasioned by his crisis and his companions.
Job felt that what he had spoken concerning the Lord was in the main true; and the Lord himself said to Job’s three friends, ‘Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath’; but under a sense of the divine presence Job felt that even when he had spoken aright, he had spoken beyond his own proper knowledge, uttering speech whose depths of meaning he could not himself fathom.”
Job’s thinking here is well expressed in Psalms 13: “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
nor with things too profound for me. Surely, I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.”
What more can we learn from Job about repentance as we continue the topic next week.
Have a great week!
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