The Bible says Job repented. What was Job’s sin?

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In the following passage in Job 42:3-6, we read Job saying “I abhor myself, and repent …”. To repent, you must first sin. So what was Job’s sin? Let’s first read the passage together:

The Passage

“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:3-6.

The Lesson

The most important lesson of the book of Job is found in this passage. In these verses, Job reveals the transition from a religious experience shaped by tradition to an experience based on personal understanding to God. According to the tradition in which Job had been reared, the righteous were not supposed to suffer. Job believed that God would deliver the righteous from all evil in this present life. And when Job met suffering, he was thrown into confusion, and this is where we see Job’s sin come to question.

Behind the Scenes

Job, unaware at the time of the ‘behind the scenes’ dialogue between God and Satan, thought all his problems were a result of God’s discipline. He had stated that he had lived righteously before God and was undeserving of God’s punishment, as if God was unjust in His treatment of him. He had pleaded for an opportunity to appear in court before God. When God finally speaks, He primarily tells of the awesome acts of creation, and His love and care for all that He has made. In doing so, He shows how little understanding Job has of the “bigger picture.” How could Job argue his case with the Creator when he has such limited knowledge?

Job should not have questioned God’s goodness, justice and wisdom. This self-realization led him to deep remorse and repentance from his mistaken attitude toward God. Questioning God was Job’s sin that he repented of.

Job’s experience taught him the meaning of faith. His vision of God enabled him to surrender to the divine will. His commitment to God is now unaffected by his circumstances. He no longer expects temporal blessings as an evidence of Heaven’s favor. He now fully trusts in God’s wisdom and dealings.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Why did Job need to repent? Why did Job repent? What was Job sin? Why did Job have to repent? Did Job sin? What sin did Job commit? Did Job sin against God?

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