“Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, and I will speak. I will question you and you make it known to me. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.'”
– Job 42:1–6
I just want to make a confession as I lead us in prayer and read this passage at the end of the book of Job. When I started reading the Book of Job in my Bible reading, I really didn’t want to read it. I loved reading through Esther and just that glorious story of God’s fingerprints in such a beautiful way. And I get to Job and it’s like, “Oh, what does this mean?”
Like reading through Job, what’s coming. I’ve been reading through Job amidst some challenging days in my own life, and it’s really good to get to the end of this book and to read these verses, and to realize that the Book of Job is good. It’s a good thing when God brings us to this point, like he did Job, where he sees God in a way he’d never seen him before. “I’d heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Job 42:1–6 Teaches Us God is All-Powerful
And it’s a good thing to hear Job say, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” It’s a good thing to repent and to turn from our thoughts that we’ve got it all figured out, or that we know what’s best. It’s good to be brought to a place where you trust that God alone has it all figured out, and God alone knows what is best.
That he is, indeed, all-powerful. “I know you can do all things.” That his purposes will be accomplished and his purposes are good. “No purpose of yours can be thwarted.” And that he is wise. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? I’ve uttered what I did not understand, things do wonderful for me, which I did not know, that his wisdom and knowledge are perfect.” That’s a good reminder for us.
A Picture of God’s Mercy
In Job 42:1–6, there is a picture of Job seeing God, that God’s mercy is real. That God, in all the things we walk through in our lives, is drawing us to himself. And then, in a Job 19 kind of way, one day we will see his face. We will behold him, our Redeemer who lives.
His redemption in our lives will be complete, and his redemption in the world will be complete. And he’s working all things together. Yes, for our good. And ultimately, toward the day when there will be a new heaven and a new earth and all the old will be gone, the new will have come. No more sin and no more sorrow and no more evil and no more suffering and no more pain and no more death and no more wrestling.
Thanks to God for His Grace
Instead, the war will be over in our hearts, wars will be over in the world, and we will be with him. His justice and righteousness will reign forever. Like Job’s a good book. It’s a hard book, but it’s a really good book. God, we praise you for the Book of Job. We praise you for what we learn about ourselves in it, including our own tendencies to think that we know what’s best.
God, we thank you for how Job 42:1-6 brings us to put our hands over our mouths and to be silent and still before you, and to see you in deeper ways than we could have otherwise. We say, together, at the end of the Book of Job, that we trust in you. That we worship you. Even where Job started. And help us to live there, no matter what comes, no matter what you give, no matter what you take away, may we bless and praise your name.
Looking Forward to the Day
Even as we say God, we look forward to the day when we will see your face. When all the suffering and the pain and the hurt and the hardship and the grief, sin, struggles, and evil will be no more. Jesus, we praise you for making this reality possible. We praise you for dying on the cross for our sins, for making the way for us to be saved from our sins. For your resurrection from the grave, we praise you, that you are our Redeemer and you live.
And so we pray like you’ve taught us to pray. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We revere your name. May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Bring your kingdom here. Cause your justice and your righteousness and your goodness to reign on the earth, we pray. And help us to proclaim the good news of the redeemer to the ends of the earth.
Job 42:1–6 Leads Us to Pray for the Somalis
God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to Berbers, to Somalis, to the Sindhi, to the Dindis, to the King people. To 7000 people groups who still need to know about your grace and your love and who you are. God, we pray for the spread of your glory to every nation, tribe, and tongue. We look forward to that day when we’ll gather around with people from all of them, and enjoy your kingdom and your justice and your righteousness face to face. Do whatever you desire, we pray. Whatever you will in my life, in each of our lives, toward the end that you might be glorified in us. That you might be glorified among all the nations.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.