I just finished reading the book of Job. (pronounced with a long O, not as in “you need to get one.”)
I’ve read it several times before and my focus was always on what he lost. This time I focused on what he didn’t lose.
Satan wanted to crush Job. God told him he could take away everything Job had; except he couldn’t touch Job himself.
Satan gleefully goes off and right away he kills all of Job’s children. He kills his servants. He kills all of his cattle and animals. What struck me this time is that he didn’t touch Job’s wife and his best friends.
Was Satan going soft? Did he say ‘I took enough. I’m going to stop here?’
Heck no! Satan loves to totally demolish and destroy anything God loves. Later God allows Satan to bring calamity on Job himself. You will soon see why Satan allowed Job’s wife and friends to stay alive.
This is what Job’s supportive and comforting wife said to him.
Job 2: 9 “Do you still insist on living blamelessly?” his wife asked him. “Curse God and die.”
Wow. Not much support there. She’s basically telling him to turn his back on God and die, which would get him a one-way ticket to hell. Not very good advice there.
Next, it was his friends. They called him evil and said that he was having all of this calamity because of his sins, but this is what God said of Job.
Job 1:1 There was in the land of Uz, a man by the name of Job and that man was blameless. He lived right, feared God, and kept away from evil.
The land of Uz reminds me of a fairy tale. “Once upon a time in the land of Oz….” Anyways…
God described Job as blameless, but his friends accused him of all kinds of evil things.
Isn’t that how life often goes? The ones that you think will stick by you no matter what, turn their back on you when things get tough. Satan seemed to know who would be a comfort to Job and he took them away, but he left alive the ones that would poke at his wounds and suffering.
After all of this, we have this verse where Job is speaking.
Job 42:5 I had heard about You by hearsay, but now I see You.
Job went through a horrible ordeal. I don’t think I would have handled it as well as he did. It sounds like that verse is saying that God revealed himself to Job. That shows that he cared about Job even though he allowed bad things to happen to him.
The LORD chastises Job’s ‘friends’ and he said he would show favor to Job. The LORD restored Job’s prosperity and gave him twice as much as he had before and he lived a long, happy life.
I love happy endings.
Another thing you can’t help but notice from this story is that yes, Satan has power but it’s limited. God can halt Satan in his tracks. He draws the line and says to Satan, “No, I don’t think so.”
When bad things are happening, we have to remember that God is in control. He will not allow you to experience more than you can handle and he will be with you through your trials.
I’ll leave you with the response Job gave his wife when she told him to curse God and die.
Job 2:10 “You talk like one of the foolish women,” he said to her. “We receive prosperity from God, shouldn’t we receive trouble too?”
It’s easy to praise God when the sun is shining. Praising him in the storm takes faith, trust and character.