KNIGHT OF FAITH
Lord, help me to keep my integrity whether in calm or in choppy waters.
Read JOB 2:1–13
2 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 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.”
3 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.”
4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 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. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 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.
11 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. 12 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. 13 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“In the mighty name of God… We come, we cry, we watch, we wait,
we look, we long for you!” (Jim Croegaert).
Some people may find God’s profile in the prologue of Job a bit disturbing. Job’s string of mysterious tragedies in chapter 1 reminds us of Abraham’s test of sacrificing Isaac. After all, God did save Abraham’s only heir—but he doesn’t save Job’s ten children. Job’s triumph in the first trial, however, doesn’t prevent further trouble. The suffering of loss is now followed by the suffering of pain. Here, Satan afflicts Job with painful sores all over his body (7). Scraping himself with a piece of broken pottery (8), Job is tested to the extreme. His newly acquired skin disease renders him unrecognizable (12).
From the human perspective, we can easily feel Mrs. Job’s frustration as she cries out to her husband: “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (9). Ironically, her remarks repeat God’s affirmation of Job’s righteousness (3). The Hebrew word tumma (“integrity”; 3,9) shares the same root with the key term tam (“blameless,” 3), which describes Job’s character. Mrs. Job’s question allows Job to reconfirm his submission to God’s sovereignty—the power to take away what has been given and to inflict pain and disease (10).
What would have happened had Job listened to his wife? He would then have done what Satan had predicted: “stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face” (5). Job’s integrity and disinterested piety would have fallen apart, showing that if righteous people receive worldly things, their motives may become corrupted. Thankfully, Job doesn’t choose to curse God amidst his extreme pain.
How did you react the last time sudden and inexplicable misfortune overtook you? Did you reach out to God or blame him?
Teach us, Jesus, to persevere in faith like Job. May Job—“the faithful par excellence”—continue to be an encouragement to us as we journey on with You!