“I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”Job 42:1–6
The story of Job is no doubt complicated. Job is a righteous man yet God allows Satan to take everything but his own life. Job’s friends assume that Job has sinned. Why else would all of these bad things happen to him? Yet Job maintains his righteousness. By the end of the story, Job is fed up, and he questions God. Then God answers Job: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me” (Job 38:2-3). Strong words from the God of the universe! For the next several chapters, God questions Job. When God finishes, Job is utterly broken. He says, “I uttered what I did not understand” and “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (Job 42:3-4). For the first time, Job had truly experienced God.
Upon meeting God, Job realizes he was wrong. He was wrong to question God and his ways. In response, Job repents in dust and ashes. In the ancient world, people would put dust and ashes on themselves as a physical representation of their repentance. When was the last time you repented? Here Job meets the Lord and his first reaction is to repent. Repentance is a humbling act; however, when we see our sinful selves in light of our holy God, we should be driven to repentance. What does it mean to repent? Repentance is a humble acknowledgement of our state before God. Repentance is a confession of our sin. Repentance is a commitment to turn away from our sin and toward Christ in faith and obedience. While we enter the kingdom of God through faith and repentance, God’s holiness and Christ’s cross should draw us to a perpetual humility and repentance before God. When we encounter God like Job did, may we humbly repent before him.
- When you come into the presence of God, what is your attitude before God?
- How can you maintain a heart of repentance before God always?
- Take time now to humbly submit yourself before God, repenting of your sin.