Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Job 2:10
When God again commands the presence of His angels, God reminds Satan of Job’s continuing integrity. Satan again sneers. If Job were made to feel pain, he would openly curse God. With God’s permission, Satan strikes Job with agonizing boils. Yet, despite all Satan can do, Job does not “sin with his lips.” We sense something of the intensity of Job’s suffering when 3 friends are so appalled at Job’s condition that they site silent for 3 weeks.
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
Key verse. 2:10: We don’t have to “know” to remain faithful.
Personal application. Don’t let what you fail to understand of God’s purposes shake your faith in His constant love.
A contest? The Book of Job has often been pictured as a contest between God and Satan, with Job as the pawn. But with the end of chap. 2 Satan retires – defeated – and is not mentioned again in the book. Yet Job’s suffering continues! Clearly God has a purpose beyond victory in a supposed “contest” with Satan.
When we suffer let’s seek comfort in the knowledge that God has a purpose in mind.
“In what he said” (2:10). Satan predicted he would make Job curse to God’s face. Despite the anguish caused by his loss of wealth and family, and the agony caused by his illness, Job did not sin “in what he said.” Satan, who had set the conditions of the contest, lost.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job’s illness. The brief description suggests boils, ulcers, or other painful skin diseases that cause acute suffering. Other references in Job develop a picture of disfigurement and anguish. Job is subject to sleeplessness, depression, dimmed eyesight, putrid breath, rotting teeth, emaciation, and exhausting fevers. His suffering is so intense and obvious that when his friends see him, they have nothing to say.
11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place–Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. 12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. 13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
But what was going on in Job’s heart and mind? What thoughts and feelings surged as evidence mounted that the God he served had turned against him? It is this we discover as we move into the body of the book.
–> Today’s lesson: How to defeat Satan – Continue to trust God.