Scriptures

Job 2

Introduction

‘On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.’ Job 2:1-10

On another day angels, translated ‘sons of God’ in some translations came to present themselves before the Lord, Job 1:6. These are created beings, Colossians 1:16 / Job 5:1 / Job 15:15, and they are His messengers who carry out God’s will among His people on earth, Job 33:23. As created beings, they were present when the universe was created, Job 38:7. Angels have come to give an account of themselves.

Satan, Matthew 12:24 / 1 Peter 5:8-9, comes before the Lord again, Job 1:6, and is now reminded of his defeat, Job 1:22. Once again we read that the Creator allowed him to come and in doing so Satan, one again, has the audacity to attack God’s honour and blaspheme God’s Work, Job 1:7-11.

God asked Satan once again, Job 1:8, ‘Have you considered my servant Job?’.  Job was singled out because of his prominent righteous leadership among men. Every life is an object of interest in heaven. God is keenly aware of each of us, knowing us by name, Genesis 21:17 / Isaiah 45:4.

We should never think that He is too busy running the universe to know His servants personally. He follows every detail of our life and is as concerned with us as He is over the battle over Satan as He was with Job’s. No mother, feeling the pulse, watching the fever, only too eager for the health a beloved, is more solicitous over a child’s welfare than He.

Satan virtually admitted his first defeat and asked permission to test further. He tries to rationalise and says his pervious tests, Job 1:13-20, weren’t severe enough.

Job hasn’t been touched himself, hence the words, ‘skin for skin’. These words are an ancient proverbial saying that can’t be determined, however, the meaning could possibly be understood to refer to Satan’s statement, ‘all that a man has he will give for his life’. Job, he says he would easily trade the skin of his family to save his own skin.

Therefore Satan challenges God anew. Touch his bones and flesh and you will see his true colours. The Lord isn’t afraid to let Job be put to the test and He Gives permission to Satan to do his destroying work.

One restriction is given however, and that is that Job’s life must not be taken. If his life had been taken there would have been no victory either for God or Satan, for right or wrong.

Then he sets out his afflictions on him, notice there are two sets of trials that come in two areas of Job’s life.

1. Physical.

He is stricken with sore boils all over, Deuteronomy 28:35. It could have been leprosy or elephantiasis, that is, worms blocking the lymphatic system resulting in swelling and skin eruptions which is incurable and characterised by boils, itching, a drastic change in his appearance, darkness of the eyes, that is, tiredness, Job 16:16, and corroding bones and annoying pains, Job 30:17.

The indication is that this condition continued for months upon end. When he sat upon the ashes it may be a reference to the city dump or somewhere where no one could see him.

It appears that this ailment disfigured him to such an extent that his three friends didn’t initially recognize him, Job 2:12 / Job 7:4-5 / Job 7:14 / Job 30:17 / Job 30:30.

As he sat in the ashes and scraped himself with a broken piece of pottery in a futile effort to alleviate his suffering, we see an unexcelled picture of complete despair, sorrow, pain, and heartache.

2. Mental cruelty.

As the sufferer sat among the ashes, Satan dealt his master stroke, he used Job’s wife as his helper and worked from within the family. Ah! That was the blow! She was the one person who could have been a source of strength to her husband, but instead she suggested, ‘why don’t you renounce God and die?’

From that time on nobody wanted to know the man. He was deserted by his wife, this was the hardest to take as she is in the family. She only comes to ridicule him ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity?’ Then her advice ‘curse God and die!’

Satan was restricted from taking Job’s life but that didn’t mean Job couldn’t take his own life. Satan’s character is low and he uses all foul methods.

As far as Job’ wife is concerned, remember, she too had lost everything, her security in life. She isn’t of his high spiritual calibre, she doesn’t have the same strength of faith and dedication to God.

She implicates what Satan wants Job to say about God. For Job’s wife things have gone too far, it is time we left God, but being away from God means we will die.

His response is made with amazing self-control. His reply is almost sarcastic, he more or less says to his wife, ‘shut up stupid woman, don’t speak like an unbeliever’, Psalm 14.

Why was Job harsh to his wife? Job still holds his integrity after he suffered without cause, which is the same word for ‘not’, God makes a play on words and throws the matter back in Satan’s face.

She is rebuked and reminded of God sovereignty and again the Holy Spirit tells us that Job still remained strong in God and didn’t lose his faith.

All too often people praise God in good times, but curse Him in bad times. Job knew that he had to accept the bad with the good, in reference to having faith in God.

‘When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.’ Job 2:11-13

Eliphaz came from Teman, an area that is generally referred to as Edom, Genesis 36:4 / Genesis 36:10-12 / Jeremiah 49:7. Bildad came from Shuah, an area that is commonly believed to be southeast of Palestine, Genesis 25:1-6. Zophar came from Naamath, an area in the northwest of Arabia.

Some people believed that Job’s three friends arrive as a planned visit to see Job, the visit had a good motive. It is a credit to their friendship that they travelled from their homes to find and see Job. They are friends in prosperity and adversity.

They were obviously sympathetic people who could be touched by the adversity of others, Romans 12:15. The visit was intended for comfort.

As the friends approached, they scarcely recognised the suffering man and they became hysterical, Genesis 27:38. They were so overcome by his ailment that they tore their clothes and sprinkled dust on their heads.

They sat down with him upon the ground and they showed all the signs of mourning, but for 7 days they never spoke. 7 days was a traditional way to mourn for someone who was already dead.

They could say anything they were so taken aback or perhaps they were meditating on what he has done for these sufferings to come upon him. Sometimes silence is the best sympathy.

The Talmud says that consolers are not permitted to speak until the bereaved opened the conversation.

In the next chapter we read that Job finally speaks, as Satan prepares a new temptation for him.

Go To Job 3

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

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