Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Truth Leads to Repentance (Job 42:1-4)

“I know that You can do everything …” (Job 42:2).

Job’s repentance begins with a confession of the truth of what God had told him. He admits that God alone is all-powerful and all-knowing, and he confesses that he had sinned grievously against God, that he spoke without knowledge, foolishly justifying himself instead of God. One’s confession and acceptance of the truth is the first step of repentance; without it, there can be no true turning from sin. Unless you own your guilt before God and admit the truth of His ways, you will not be convinced of your sin much less turn from it.

The Pharisees did not repent because they did not acknowledge the truth concerning the Messiah. They remained hardened in their sin because they were blind to the truth of God’s purposes in His Son. Likewise, Paul remained steadfast in his sin of persecuting the Christians because he was not convinced of the truth, but once Christ revealed Himself and opened Paul’s eyes, the young man confessed his sin and turned from his wicked ways.

In chapter 42, Job wisely admits that God’s ways are higher than his, that God is more powerful and more righteous than he, and that God is therefore justified in allowing calamity to fall upon him. “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” God is able to punish the wicked and deliver the righteous according to His own wise purposes. After finally realizing this, Job embraces the truth and admits his error: “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 humbly confesses that he was the man, the one who had acted so foolishly in speaking without knowledge. God’s truth reached his conscience and pierced him, opening his eyes to the guilt of his sin, leading him to repentance and restoration.

Just as Job had realized the truth about God and about his own sin, we must acknowledge and embrace the truth so that we might repent of our sins. If we have broken God’s law but refuse to admit the truth of the law, or if we refuse to own our guilt of sinning before God, we will not repent; and the man who remains stiff-necked will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy (Prov. 29:1).

Read 2 Kings 13–14; Jeremiah 7:12–15; and Matthew 11:20–24. What are the Israelites guilty of in these passages? What is God’s response to them? What warnings does He give? Is God warning you? Have you refused to hear Him because you don’t want to admit your guilt? If so, confess the truth today, turn from your sin.