Job Loses His Health
2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 3 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you [a]considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man [b]fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to [c]ruin him without cause.” 4 Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” 6 So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your [d]power, only spare his life.”
7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast 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 not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky. 13 Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
I think Job’s wife gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes. Though her reaction was obviously not right, she was also grieving, having lost their livelihood and all of her children. As if that weren’t a horrible blow for any woman, in that culture your children were your status. We see elsewhere in the Bible where barren women were shunned or looked down upon (Sarai and Hannah among others). So to have all ten children snatched away in a single day would have been beyond tragic on multiple levels.
All that said, we don’t see God punish Job’s wife for this outburst, for I think he felt her pain better than anyone could have. Besides, God knew her heart, even though we don’t hear much else about her. God knew both their hearts so well that He allowed Satan to take it one step further with Job. It’s almost not even fair, because God knew how they would both respond before Satan ever approached Him. Satan should have known this, yet he tried to outsmart God anyway. He tried to pull one over on God, thinking, surely if I take this man from the pit of despair and drag his body through torment, I can win this fight. But he couldn’t, and he still can’t, because God is so far beyond him.
That is a comfort to us all, that God knows what we can handle. God’s word tells us that he will not test us beyond what we are able to bear, and this is a perfect example of that. However hard life is right now, it will not get worse than you can bear, in great part because we must lean on God to bear it for us. If Job had tried to make it through by himself, he would have fallen and cursed God.
But Job trusted God through the worst tragedy imaginable, and that made all the difference. We can trust God too because He never changes, and He wants what is best for us. We may not be thrilled by what life throws our way (it’s really God working in us anyway), but God has a plan to help you through it. And you can count on that through the good times and the worst times.