Yeah, that’s a good question. The story of Job is definitely a very very interesting story and you know the guy went through a lot and you know the Bible mentions him being like a just man upon the earth and God really kind of stood up for Job even when the devil was kind of accusing him and saying that he would forsake God if he would plague him with all these problems. But yeah, Job stood firm and so it’s a great question: Where did Job mess up? Was there a problem with him?
It’s interesting because there’s actually a couple different thoughts on this. There’s a few different takes on this verse. Not everyone really agrees on that. The first group of people would actually argue, which is kind of suggested a little bit by the question, that Job didn’t sin and where is his sin? Why does it mention that he repented of what? What what was his sin?
When you do a little bit more research, you find that that word for “repent” in in the original language, it kind of gives you a better picture of what you know it really means by the word “repent”. In Hebrew that word, I’m not gonna pronounce it very very good, but it’s a word that’s written nacham נחם and that word literally means to despise my current state and desire another. So there are some who argue and say you know that word nacham נחם is not used in other contexts where the word repent is in reference to sin. So they would argue and say that Job was not satisfied with his current state. You know maybe he wanted something else and that was basically the extent of that word – in the English it translated it as “repent”, but that’s not really in the original language, what it was saying about Job. So there’s one group that would kind of go and argue that. There’s another that would actually say no he did sin and the reason why they would argue that is because when you take this Bible verse and you look at it just by itself, you don’t really get much detail. But the beautiful thing is that whenever you study the Bible you always have to read stuff in context and you have to read not only the verse itself, but the one before or even after. If you don’t find an answer there then you have to go to the verses before that and sometimes you have to even go to the chapters before that to understand what it’s talking about in that verse. In this specific example if you were to read what is going on in in Job 42 verse 6 you find that it’s actually the conclusion of a longer story that began in chapter 40.
So in Job 40 you find that God is basically rebuking Job and all of chapter 40 and all of chapter 41 is a rebuke that God is giving to Job. He finishes His rebuke in the last verse of 41 by saying these words. I’m gonna go ahead and read this to you. Job 41 and we’ll look at the last verse here. He says, this is God speaking, and He says that speaking about Himself, He says:
“He beholdeth all high things: He is a king over all the children of pride.”
So, God here is in his rebuke to Job and He says that He is the King over all the children of pride. And then in chapter 42 Job responds to Him and answers Him and it is then that we find in verse 6 that he (Job) repents. So some could also conclude by reading the passage in the context that maybe Job was struggling with pride. God mentions it and He rebukes him for that in his situation and Job searches his heart and says “I repent”. And so those are kind of the two different ways that you could look at this text. I personally will lean towards more of the second answer that I just gave where when you read the context you can find that Job really was maybe struggling with an issue of pride. And you know the really cool takeaway that I like from this is that you know a lot of times we we think that just because someone is like a righteous or a just man that you know they’re like a sinless person, but that wasn’t true of Job and neither is it true of us today. In fact the Bible says that:
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
And one of the biggest struggles that we can have as Christians who’ve, you know, maybe been walking with God for a long time, is this very issue of pride. And you know spiritual pride is is a very big problem even amongst our church where you know we think that we know a lot about the word and you know we’re good people and you know we’re alright. But, the truth is there’s no matter how good we may think we are we’ve all made mistakes we’ve all you know broken promises and said things that we wish we could take back. And so you know just like Job in that moment, when he was being spoken from God, he searched his heart and he made that that commitment that he was gonna retract or repent of you know what was in his heart.
It is good for us to spend time and really ask God “Lord is there something in my life that maybe I need to repent? Is there something in my life that I may need to give to you?” Because even if we feel like we’re all right, the good news is is that when we come to God and we repent, just like Job I believe that God will always extend forgiveness and pardon for us and so that’s the good news in this whole topic.