Whatever's Going On?
Lord, I’m grateful to know that You work all things together for my good because of Your love for me (Rom. 8:28).
Read JOB 2:1-13
 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.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWith what rebuke did Job answer his wife?
Job was in the thick of it now, having lost all that he had materially. Now God allows Satan to ruin his health (6,7). Does this make you ask, as it does me, what God is up to? Why didn’t God just kill Satan? No doubt, that is what you and I would have done. But unlike us, God sticks to his original plan. He loves his free world. He deeply loves people like you and me and Job. Your pain may be in one form (7) or another (9,10a). By the way you and I react to suffering (10b), we can play a part in defeating the devil. Never forget that he is our enemy, but he is restricted (6; Matt. 4:10,11). God refuses to be a loveless dictator.
Here we also meet Job’s three friends (11-13), who were lost for words at Job’s poor state. They did their best by simply being there for him but go on later to use words carelessly. God is different. He spoke to Job only once, at the end of it all (ch. 40). It’s important to learn when to speak and when to be silent (Eccles. 3:7b).
If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time of testing now, bring that to God in prayer.
Lord, when my friends are suffering, please help me know when to speak, what to say and when to just be silent.
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