November 09, 2022 – Wednesday
More on Repentance
Job 42:5-6 NIV
5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job is thought to be one of the oldest books of the Bible, perhaps written or taking place after the Pentateuch. Theories abound, but this one site shows it taking place between Genesis and Exodus. If this is correct, it is the oldest Old Testament book to mention the word repent. Verse six above is the third time repent is mentioned, but the first time someone (Job) is repenting.
H.A. Ironside in his book, Except Ye Repent (later editions Unless You Repent) calls the book of Job, The Book of Repentance. Thus, the two verses above chosen for today. Ironside does not shy away from what he calls the secondary purpose of the book, stating, Unquestionably this book was divinely designed to settle for all time — and eternity too — the problem of why a loving and all-wise God permits the righteous to endure afflictions such as those from which the wicked are ofttimes shielded. However, he then adds, But behind all this there is another and a deeper problem; it is the evil in the hearts of the best of men and the necessity of judging oneself in the light of the holiness of God; and this is repentance.
To get at this deeper problem he further writes, To illustrate this theme in such a way as to make evident to every man the importance and necessity of repentance, God takes up the case of Job, the patriarch of the land of Uz, and gives us in detail an account of the process that led him at last to cry, “I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
After this he gives many examples, we might want to use other than Job as someone who needs to repent starting with David, going through a list in the Old Testament, then in the New Testament there was Saul of Tarsus, then godly men of the world who came to God after repenting of their pasts. Then he added this, But if any or all of these were cited as illustrations of the necessity of repentance, how many there would be to say: ‘Yes, we quite realize such men needed to repent. Their sins were many, their wickedness great. It was right and proper for them to repent in the agony of their souls. But I, thank God, am not as they. I have never gone into such depths of sin. I have never manifested such depravity. I have not so far forgotten what is right and proper. I am a just man needing no repentance.’ Do you say that none would literally use such language as this? Perhaps not, yet the spirit of it, the inward sense of the words, has often been uttered in my own hearing, and I am persuaded in the ears of many others of God’s ministers. I concur, such has been said in my hearing as well and it is terribly reminiscent of the Pharisees behavior that Jesus was so aware of.
Job never understands what has happened or why and defends himself to his three friends who insist he must be being punished for some hidden sin. But it is Elihu, a younger man, who (per Ironside) In a masterly address he showed that affliction may be sent for instruction rather than solely as punishment. He exalted the wisdom of God, who is not obliged to reveal beforehand His reasons for chastening. And he pointed out that the bewildered soul is wise when he asks of God — waiting for Him to instruct, rather than attempting to understand His ways through human reasoning. True then and absolutely true today when we observe so much of what is going around us in our own time.
But what was it Job had to repent of? Guzik gives us Spurgeon’s list from his sermon Job Among the Ashes, Job repented of the terrible curse he had pronounced upon the day of his birth, repented of his desire to die, repented of his complaints against and challenges to God, repented of his despair, and repented that his statements had been a “darkening of wisdom by words without knowledge”; that he spoke beyond his knowledge and ability to know.
Bottom Line: What is our list that we need to repent of?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Lead me to repentance for all that I have sinned against you in my pride and arrogance. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton