How had Job changed? (Job 42:2) 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘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. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
ESV - 2 I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
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Even though, at the beginning of the book of Job, God Himself had characterized Job as a blameless and upright man who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:8), nevertheless, as was noted in Job 32:2, Elihu became angry with Job because, in response to his suffering, Job had justified himself rather than God (by claiming that he had not deserved his suffering, and thus implying that God had been unjust in allowing him to suffer), to which Elihu responded in Job 32-37. It was in response to this chastening by Elihu (as well as to God Himself addressing Job in Job 38-41) that Job made the comment cited in the question, where he admitted that he had spoken of things that he had not understood, and that God was justified in His actions, which caused Job (as indicated in Job 42:6) to exhibit a more submissive attitude by humbly repenting in dust and ashes.
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil." Job 1:1. Two aspects of Jobs character are declared in this verse. Blameless and upright, he was spotless! He was like Daniel. Daniel 6:4, "So the governor's and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the Kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in Him." Job was innocent, IN human eyes,but not in GOD'S EYES! Job 31:5,6, "If I have walked with falsehood, or my foot has hastened to deceit, Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity." Back in chapter 1, Job, even makes prayers and offerings for his sons in case they may have sinned or cursed God! God prefers one to one personal relationships! Wow, did you hear that! How self-righteous! Chapters 38 and 39, The Lord reveals His omnipotence to Job! Jeremiah 9:23-25, "Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows ME, That I Am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement, and Righteousness in the earth. For in this I delight, says the Lord." Job chapter 42:5,6 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job realized God is All and above all! He alone is good! Job 42:12, "Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning...." Job grew in knowledge of the Lord, accepted the error of his pride, repented (after his chastisement) and was restored. Job died old and full of days. Job 19:25, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at the last on the earth." I am sure Job is in the Lord's hands. May we all repent, and stand fast in faith!
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