Most of all know the end – God restores to Job what he has lost. We like the ending because it fits the “fairy tales” we dreamed of from our youth. But before we get to the end, let’s look at a few other things…
Job’s response begins with, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” They key word here is “purpose.” Job submits himself to God’s purpose, not matter how unfair it feels and how little he understands. It’s a submission of his will.
Then Job confesses, “I have uttered what I did not understand.” Job realizes his feeble attempts to comprehend God, his purposes, his justice were inadequate. It’s a submission of his intellect.
Lastly, Job sees God, “now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Eye contact. In all of Job’s speeches, he declared his righteousness. But in “seeing” God, he saw himself. The contrast was so stark, he falls into the dust from which he was created. He needs no “sin” to make him guilty, unworthy of salvation. It’s in his “self,” who he is, that original sin lay. He repents for being human, expecting something from God for his feeble efforts, submitting himself spiritually.
We can’t run by this too quickly. Even unjust, unfair suffering has some purpose in God’s economy. So the questions are: whose purpose do we desire? Ours or Gods? Can we summit our will?
And do we recognize who we are compared to God? Do we truly sense and believe how big he is and how small we are? Do we truly believe it in our minds, heart and spirit?
And what is our response to him? Are we willing to look at God, eye to eye? Will we fall to our knees in the dust? Will we humble ourselves? Will we repent, submitting our sin nature to God spiritually?
At this point, Job did not know how the story would end. Right now, you and I don’t know how our story will end. As far as he knew, he would stay in the ashes, scrapping sores, the rest of his life, without answers.
And this could have been the end of the story…