“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 (NIV)
Job got what he asked for—a clear, direct, audible encounter with God. But afterwards Job says: “I repent.” What did Job repent of?
God doesn’t accuse Job of any sins. Instead he vindicates Job and is angry with his friends, who “have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” (42:7).
The book of Job doesn’t end with Job discovering some secret sin in his life. If that had happened, his friends would have been right. In the end, God says, “Job was right, the friends were wrong.” So the friends end up asking Job to pray for them that they will be forgiven by God. But if Job was vindicated, then what does he mean when he says “I repent”?
Repentance is turning from as much as you know of your sin, to give as much as you know of yourself, to as much as you know of your God. So what changed for Job was that he saw God’s glory as never before. And if you could see more of the glory of God, you’d be changed too.
If you know God a little, there will be a little repentance, a little change in your life. As you get to know God more, there will be more repentance, and more change in your life. When you know God much, there will be much repentance, and much change in your life.
How much repentance and change are you seeing in your own life right now?