When things go from bad to worse, how do you respond? When things go from bad to worse, how would you respond? When things go from bad to worse, how did you respond? Does it matter if it is loss of stuff vs loss of relationships vs loss of health? Can you withstand the attacks and attempts of the devil to try steal, kill, and destroy you? Will you submit yourself to God and resist him in order that he will flee?
Today’s reading and study comes Job 2:
‘Again there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them to present himself before the Lord . The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord , “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God]. And still he maintains and holds tightly to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause.” Satan answered the Lord , “ Skin for skin! Yes, a man will give all he has for his life. But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh [and severely afflict him]; and he will curse You to Your face.” So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, only spare his life.”
So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome boils and agonizingly painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And Job took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and he sat [down] among the ashes (rubbish heaps).
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still cling to your integrity [and your faith and trust in God, without blaming Him]? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” In [spite of] all this Job did not sin with [words from] his lips.
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 to sympathize with him and to comfort him. When they looked from a distance and did not recognize him [because of his disfigurement], they raised their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe [in grief] and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky [in sorrow]. So they sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.’— Job 2
Notes for today’s study:
We saw how that first attempt by the devil didn’t work to get Job to curse God. We see as today’s reading begins how Satan is back in front of God like he was in the first chapter. We see how he was still out and about the earth looking for victims to assault. We see how Satan just like the angels had to do a regular check in with God to give an account of what they have been doing. In today’s study I learned about how Satan was an archangel like Michael and Gabriel and how each of them seemed to rule over a third of the angels. We need to live out lives prepared and aware of what the devil, Satan is up to:
‘Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. ‘— 1 Peter 5:8
We see from God’s response how Job had won round 1. We see how Satan isn’t ready to admin he was wrong. This time the focus went from Job’s stuff to Job himself. We even see how Satan tried to misrepresent the first trial as Job sacrificing his children, animals, and servants in order to save his own life which isn’t/wasn’t true when he said “skin for skin”. We see how even though the devil/Satan keeps accusing that God points out how Job continued to live with integrity and that Satan’s accusations were false and without cause. God calls out how it isn’t Job that is not the guilty party but rather the one that suffered disaster without fault. We learn how it was more of a conflict between God and Satan than anything to do with Job. We learn how in the heavenly God makes it clear that none of this had anything to do with punishment for what Job had done. Unlike what some may think or believe, suffering doesn’t always mean it is a punishment for something but can rather be for a divine heavenly purpose that we don’t know or can’t understand. We learn how Job stood firm, not wavering in his character nor his trust in God, in the midst of the loss caused by Satan of God’s material blessings on Job’s life.
In today’s reading we see how the devil moves it to the next level in order to afflict and affect Job’s health. We learn about the God allowed the devil to afflict Job’s health but wouldn’t allow him to kill him. We learn that the affliction that Satan gave Job was hateful · detestable · abhorrent · repulsive · odious · repugnant · repellent · disgusting · revolting · sickening · nauseating · abominable · despicable · contemptible · reprehensible · execrable · damnable · hideous · ghastly · vile · horrible · nasty · frightful · obnoxious · gross · foul · offensive · disagreeable · horrid · yucky · bogging · noisome boils. We learn that the affliction of these boils were excruciating · harrowing · racking · painful · acute · severe · intense · extreme · grievous · hellish · killing · searing · torturous · tormenting · piercing · insufferable · unbearable · unendurable · more than one can bear · more than flesh and blood can stand · exquisite. We also learn how they were significant enough that they were visible to others. We also learn how they were all over his body. Satan figured that if he got to affect Job’s physical well being that he would be able to proved how Job would turn against God. We see how the devil believes that man would give up everything in order to save his own life. Satan’s attacks are brutal if he is given permission to turn loose and have his own way. Satan wanted to push Job to that tipping point to prove his point. Satan knew that people can get shaken up if and when their are health issues and even more so if they come with pain. God limited Satan’s power so that he would not and could not kill Job. So in and through all of this trial from Satan, Job would not die from it.
From the description of the boils they sound similar to what afflicted the Egyptians back in the book of Exodus in chapter 9. To Job, the disease wasn’t just painful but life threatening. We see Job’s response to the attack was to take some broken pottery to scrape the boils and then to mourn again sitting in ashes and rubbish heaps. We learn throughout the story of Job the trauma that the boils caused him ( 2:13; 3:24; 7:5, 14; 13:28; 16:8; 19:17; 30:17, 30; 33:21). Imagine having to deal with that pain and trauma without the medical advantages we would have today to treat not only the boils but the pain too. We also learn how once Satan got permission that he probably rushed out to try and get started before Job had time to finish morning his losses. The study shares how Job went to where the lepers go outside the city and scraping the boils, possibly in hopes of releasing the infection.
We next learn about Job’s wife’s response to this affliction to Job. She seems to be leaning towards what Satan had predicted more than what God had predicted of Job’s actual response. We read how she asks him why he is keeping his integrity, his faith and trust in God, rather than just cursing God and dying. She probably didn’t realize that she was pushing Job to do what Satan the accuser was trying to get him to do. Ever heard of mercy killings and how some believe that it is better to kill/die than to suffer? It is possible that in this case it was what she believed. Interestingly enough Job’s wife didn’t say anything during the first attacks by Satan but this time, she realized that this was personal and going after him. Satan will try to use anything and everything and everyone in order to try and get his way. We see here how Job’s wife became an instrument to try and get Job to curse God and die. Satan will look for the weakest link and usually one that is closest to us in order to cause the most damage.
We see how Job responds to her though in keeping his faith and trust in God. We see how he says: “You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” We see how he didn’t speak any such thing that would caused him to miss the mark and sin. We see how Job not only stood firm on his faith but also corrected his wife for her suggestions and ideas.
We next learn about three of Job’s friends who learned of Job’s situation and decided to come and morn and comfort him during this time. We learn about how they all traveled to be with their friend. We learn how they all decided to sit and mourn with him without saying a word for an entire week. Thru the study, I learned:
“Eliphaz” seems to have been the eldest and most prominent. He was from Teman, a well-known Edomite city where wise men lived (Jer. 49:20; Obad. Chapters 8 and 9). “Bildad the Shuhite” lived in the same general area inhabited by the descendants of Shuah, one of Abraham’s sons by Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2). “Zophar” also lived nearby in the area of Naamath.— Job Chapter 2 explained
We see how their intentions were good in our reading from chapter 2 but our opinions may changes as we read further into the book of Job. Today’s study notes also point to how their response to the severe devastation of the situation.
“Eliphaz … Bildad … and Zophar” were three sages who shared Job’s faith in God and whose initial intentions, to come “together” and “mourn with him” were the right ones. The intensity of their mourning, from the moment they saw Job and during “seven days” of silence, was appropriate for the devastation he had experience (Gen. 50:10; Rom. 12:15).— Job Chapter 2 explained
The study speaks the following about the friends:
Job 2:11 “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.” “Temanite”: Most likely Teman was a city of Edom (Gen. 36:4, 11; Jer. 49:7, 20; Ezek. 25:13; Amos 1:12; Obad. 8 and 9). “Shuhite”: The Shuhites were descendants of Abraham through Keturah (Gen. 25:2, 6). “Naamathite”: A resident of an unknown location probably in Edom or Arabia, although some have suggested Naamah on the Edomite border (Joshua 15:41). True friends come to the aid of a friend in need. A good friend will pray with you, when there is trouble. A good friend will know the kind of person you are, and will not attack you like the rest of the world. These three men that came to Job, were friends of long standing. It appears, they were used to all getting together, and each helping the other decide what to do about problems. Distance is not a problem with true friends. All of these came from a long way to be with Job. These three men were friends of Job, because they were wise men. He honored their opinion. They came to comfort him and to mourn with him. “Eliphaz” means struggle against. “Bildad” means son of contention. “Zophar” means chatterer. It appears, these three friends came from different lands and met at Job’s dwelling.
Job 2:12 “And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.” “When they lifted up their eyes afar off “: Namely, at some convenient distance from him; whom they found sitting upon the ground, probably in the open air. “And knew him not”: His countenance being so dreadfully changed and disfigured by the sores. “They lifted up their voice and wept”: Through their sympathy with him, and great grief for his heavy affliction. “And they rent every one his mantle”: As it was usual for people to do in great and sudden calamities. “And sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven”: Either on the upper part of their heads toward heaven, or threw it up into the air, so that it fell upon their heads, and showed the confusion they were in. All which things were marks of great grief and affliction, and were the usual ways of expressing sorrow in those days. The boils covered his body so completely, that they did not even recognize Job when they saw him. Job was seated in a bed of ashes outside of his home. The friends could see him sitting there, but could not recognize his body covered in sores. When they saw him and knew it was Job, their grief overcame them. They tore their clothes, and threw ashes on their heads in extreme grief for the fate of their friend.
Job 2:13 “So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that [his] grief was very great.” “His grief was very great”: The expression actually meant that his disease produced pain that was still increasing. The agony was so great, his friends were speechless for a week. Sometimes, a person’s grief is so great that it is better not to speak to them. At those times, there is comfort in the presence of good friends. The seven days is questioned by many scholars, but I believe the time to be literal. The friends could have been fed, while they sat there. They could have wrapped up in their outer garments, and slept there with Job. It is possible that they fasted for this time, but probably they didn’t, since it was not mentioned.— Job Chapter 2 explained
So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.