The obvious and most fundamental case is repeated issuance of a series of GL commands. For any given GL and framebuffer state vector, and for any GL command, the resulting GL and framebuffer state must be identical whenever the command is executed on that initial GL and framebuffer state.
One purpose of repeatability is avoidance of visual artifacts when a double-buffered scene is redrawn. If rendering is not repeatable, swapping between two buffers rendered with the same command sequence may result in visible changes in the image. Such false motion is distracting to the viewer. Another reason for repeatability is testability.
Repeatability, while important, is a weak requirement. Given only repeatability as a requirement, two scenes rendered with one (small) polygon changed in position might differ at every pixel. Such a difference, while within the law of repeatability, is certainly not within its spirit. Additional invariance rules are desirable to ensure useful operation.