Last week heard how Satan accused Job of being in it for goodies, even charged God with putting up boundaries around Job and his family. God’s response – reset the boundaries; didn’t remove them, reset them. We understand that part of scenario from insight recorded in v.6-12. Important to remember we have that view into God’s presence, actions that no one did who felt impact of Satan’s attack. Job, his family, his friends, the Sabeans, the Chaldeans – all they knew was what took place in physical realm. Had no clue about the spiritual battle going on outside their view.
It is rare individual who experiences what Job did and can see beyond physical affliction and recognize the spiritual dimension. Notice I said “recognize”, not “understand” the spiritual dimension. God’s Word gives us enough by way of principle to grasp the big idea: God is in charge, Satan is in challenge mode, constant battle going on waged between Satan and his forces and all those on God’s side. The outcome is absolutely certain: God rules, God gets his way, all who oppose him without exception will either be converted and switch sides or receive their just eternal due.
But, just like Job and his family we live in a battlefield; the real spoils of war are the souls of men, women, boys and girls. Don’t ever lose sight of that, for yourself, or for others. In this spiritual warfare Satan doesn’t want your stuff, he doesn’t want your smarts, he doesn’t want your health. He wants your soul and continually does all in his power to capture it. The only reason he doesn’t succeed simply this: God sets the boundaries around those who are his. By the way, he does have limits in place, restraining even Satan from being as evil as he possibly could be and accomplishing his full purpose.
Once again, given a view of God interacting with Satan, the outcome of their exchange as Job once again tormented by Satan, tempted by his wife, and visited by tongue-tied friends.
A. tormented by Satan v.1-8
no such thing as “pass the test once and you’re home free” with Satan; keeps testing and pushing to get his way
Satan again summoned into God’s presence – can just imagine how red-faced he was as God challenged him
“where’ve you been?” “what have you been doing?” “same old, same old” “hey, what do you think about Job?”
nearly word for word; like instant replay of chapter 1; but then God ups the ante, adds something he knew would infuriate Satan beyond measure
“still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
God missed his chance
yeah, there really is this huge unconfessed sin, lack of faith in Job; he really deserved his affliction
Satan’s the prince down there, he calls most of the shots, I didn’t want Job to be treated that way, but…
sad, many people believe those lies; know they are lies from what is plain in chapter 1 & 2
you say “Job a sinner just like us and we all deserve far worse; really deserve to die, eternal punishment for our sin”
true, if outside of Christ; though redeemed child of God needs correction regularly, never deserves condemnation
Rom. 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
God said: from his perspective there was no just cause in Job for his treatment
Job truly was who he appeared to be: one who did not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit
Satan’s immediate response – another accusation: Job’s only in it for his health; take away his looks, his awesome muscles, constitution of an ox, he’ll back out of the deal
think about it: when it comes to issues of health and comfort, at what point do you start to complain, to chafe, to question what God is doing, to trust in man’s ability rather than God’s grace
God’s answer to Satan – you may have his health, you may not have his life
another clear reminder: Satan not autonomous, is required to operate within God-established boundaries
God has liberty to reset boundaries according to his pleasure, and he does, but he never removes them
Job’s latest affliction: painful and disfiguring disease from head to toe; symptoms described
Job 7:5My body is clothed with worms and dirty scabs; my skin is broken and festering.
Job 19:17 My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am repulsive to the children of my own body.
Job 30:28, 30 I go about blackened, but not by the sun; in the assembly I stand up and cry for help. My skin has turned dark on me; my body is hot with fever.
shunned as one whose disease was contagious; so disfigured his best friends didn’t recognize him (12a)
B. tempted by his wife v.9-10
interesting to note: Satan took much that was important to Job – all his financial assets, his employees, even his children
did you notice Satan never laid a hand on Mrs. Job?! reality was, he did much worse than afflict her or take her life
consider what Job’s wife has endured: loss of everything Job did during Satan’s first attack – loss of source of income, retirement plan, all 10 children in quick succession, perhaps grandchildren as well
before time to recover from all that, husband stricken with horrific disease; not only help in the present disappeared, her hope for the future seems taken away as well
looks like Job’s days are numbered, number not very big; Mrs. Job left behind, grieving widow with no children to care for her
and who would give second thought to marrying Job’s widow? who would be foolish enough to risk experiencing what Job did for the sake of marrying a heartbroken destitute widow?
perhaps Satan was thinking if he couldn’t get to Job, his wife could; it worked in Eden, why not again!?!
another unwitting tool of Satan – even more at risk of deception than Eve because of grief and stress
until serpent showed up, Eve had experienced nothing negative; yet she fell for Satan’s deception, then Adam followed her
Mrs. Job’s defenses at their lowest ebb, so thoroughly preoccupied with circumstances she didn’t have much left to reason with
perhaps not even aware of Satan’s tricks, just blurting out what was on her mind; don’t be too hard on her until after thinking through husband’s response
same tactic, different result
in the Garden, Satan successful not only in deceiving Eve, but in causing her to sin and then tempt Adam
tried to do the same with Mrs. Job, failed to have same effect on her husband – Job successfully resisted temptation
hard to picture kind of character Job possessed going in to this time of affliction – how could he endure all he did and not lose patience with his wife?
how could he even think rationally much less speak coherently
he didn’t learn all the right things to do while enduring Satan’s attacks; had a solid foundation to start
didn’t know all the answers but he knew God; knew him well enough to trust him when all he had left was his life and his wife
Job’s teaching response indicates that wife’s words not true expression of belief
Mrs. Job said “why don’t you do whatever it takes just to get it over” – perhaps deceived into thinking that would be best way out, bring his suffering to an end
Job knew his wife well enough to be convinced she was giving voice to her emotions, not her reason
truth be told, she probably didn’t know what to say but couldn’t keep quiet, just like the apostle Peter
see Matt. 16:21-23 It was Peter’s tongue, but Satan tuned it. Joseph Caryl
Job puts into words a rebuttal to Satan’s accusation – we’re not in this relationship with God for the benefits; don’t get to treat God and his benefits like a buffet, take what looks good and leave the rest. We’re in this for life, we have to trust God to do what is right, accept what he sends us whether it seems good or not.
as tempting as it might have been to follow Mrs. Job’s counsel, Job did not yield to the temptation
C. tongue-tied friends v.11-13
like so many situations, Job’s friends not total failures; did the right thing to go spend time with their mutual friend
had right motives, at least in part: purpose was to show their sympathy for their friend, to comfort him in his loss
probably a little behind the curve, only knew results of Satan’s first attack; weren’t prepared for current reality
a whole different ballgame when affliction is that personal; had to rethink all the logic, how to provide comfort
not just Job’s family that was object of punishment, now it looked like Job himself on God’s bad side
gave their best comfort in first seven days… even though mourning Job, not his family members, as dead
didn’t say what they could have that would be right, didn’t say anything wrong either
showed by their actions genuine care and concern for their friend – appropriate and customary outward signs of mourning
sincerity further shown by silence – didn’t come just to make Job feel better, then leave; intended to provide real comfort
sometimes best thing to do, what provides greatest comfort and help to the afflicted is quiet companionship – facial expression, tears, touch, silent prayer, all ways to genuinely help
Remember what we read in our text? “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (10b) How is it possible to endure sort of affliction Job did in way he did? How bear our cross as Christ calls us to do in way pleasing to Him? Had solid foundational knowledge of God and his character to start with. Listen again to Job’s summation: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” We jump all over the good things from God, at least things that are good by our definition.
But what about the hard things? Cancer. Broken vehicles. Diabetes. Death of loved ones. Parkinsons. Job loss. When we think those kinds of things could never come from God, we risk missing opportunity to know God better. To learn more of his power, his wisdom, his faithfulness.
But, you say, I’m not a super-hero like Job; I can’t perform like he did. Job was no more or less than a redeemed sinner sustained by his gracious Heavenly Father. Job didn’t accomplish this on his own; was dependent on God to do what was right and bring him out the other side.
See John 10:28-30 Child of God, when you think about how hard it is to carry your cross, remember who is carrying you! Remember whose hands are supporting, surrounding, sustaining you as you depend on your Savior.