S (Scripture): Job 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted;…3b I have declared without understanding things too wonderful for me to know.
4 You said, ‘Pay attention, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes!”
O (Observation): Job has come to the conclusion of his trials before God. He never blasphemed God, but he did assume wisdom beyond that of God. Job thought he knew best, but God’s last couple of points about the weather and the Leviathan being beyond Job’s comprehension were enough to cause Job to come to one conclusion: “I repent in dust and ashes!”
Job has sensed that he truly encountered God in this experience. He’s heard about God…but he doesn’t think he’s ever heard from God directly. Now he has. He has now “seen” God (that is, he has “encountered” God).
A (Application): Job’s response is the only possible response when in an encounter with God. Nothing we say or do can ever please God in and of itself. All that we do is tainted with a bit of sin. But we act boldly, anyway, trusting that our Lord will guide all things together for those who trust in the Lord.
We can be as righteous as Job, but that still doesn’t make us worthy of God’s love. Instead, God’s very nature is mercy and love. And so, we come, humbly, into our encounters with God, trusting that God will pick us up from dust and ashes in which we repent, in order to wash us clean, fill us with the Spirit, and send us out to make disciples.
…but it all starts with the only response possible: “I repent in dust and ashes…”
P (Prayer): Lord, give us repentant hearts…and pick us up from the dust and ashes. Amen.