Job Chapter Two
Review: Jehovah says, “HAVE YOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB?” Job is held up by Jehovah God to his very angels as an example. He further declares that there is none like him in the entire earth. But Satan, whom God has also allowed to attend this gathering of God’s heavenly servants, has an answer for Job’s devotion doesn’t he? It is because of your blessings, God, men who serve you are blessed and prosper, that’s the reason they serve. Take away Job’s blessings and he will turn on you.
That’s one of the major themes of the book of Job. Job honored God, worshipped God and refused to turn against God even when his troubles were far beyond what many of us perhaps could bear. It reminds me of another lesson:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER: FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS is THE WHOLE duty OF MAN.”
This is the purpose of man. Note that the word duty does not appear in the ancient text but was added by the translators. During our study of this book and the sufferings of Job, one of things that I want us to consider. Which is better? For us to serve God out of love and devotion or for us to serve God out of a since of duty and fear? When you were growing up as children, was it better to obey your parents out of love, devotion and an integrity that required you to do right? Or was it better to obey out of duty and fear. Now I know there are some people that only fear and duty will motivate and we should consider them as emotionally incomplete people. Most often this is a condition brought about by their life’s experiences.
So in chapter one of the book Job is deprived of all of his wealth and all of his family, except his wife.
Read Job 2:1-6
v1. “AGAIN THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME TO PRESENT THEMSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND SATAN CAME ALSO AMONG THEM TO PRESENT HIMSELF BEFORE THE LORD.”
Again, as occurred and recorded in chapter one the sons of God gather to present themselves to God, to meet with God.
v2. “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, FROM WHENCE COMEST THOU? AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, FROM GOING TO AND FRO IN THE EARTH, AND FROM WALKING UP AND DOWN IN IT.”
Again we find Satan enjoying the privilege of roaming the earth as described by Peter:
I Peter 5:8 “BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT, BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKTH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR:”
v3. “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB, THAT there is NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, A PERFECT AND AN UPRIGHT MAN, ONE THAT FEARETH GOD, AND ESCHEWETH EVIL? AND STILL HE HOLDETH FAST HIS INTEGRITY, ALTHOUGH THOU MOVEDST ME AGAINST HIM, TO DESTROY HIM WITHOUT CAUSE.”
Again the Lord asks Satan if he has considered Job, the man who was perfect and upright, fears God and hates or avoids evil. Even after all that has been done to him, he still worships and reverences God. His integrity is solid; his character is just as God knew it was and in spite of losing his family and all his possessions he has remained faithful. Job’s devotion has no price tag attached.
v4. “AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, SKIN FOR SKIN, YEA, ALL THAT A MAN HATH WILL HE GIVE FOR HIS LIFE.”
Satan says yes all that has been done; Job has not changed his mind. A man will give all he’s got to save his life. Satan is not done with Job, he only left him for a little while and wants to provide more affliction; because he has challenged God and wants triumph. Reminds us of Luke , doesn’t it? Satan has tempted Jesus after his wilderness fasting, failed to make any kind of an impression so:
Luke “AND WHEN THE DEVIL HAD ENDED ALL THE TEMPTATION, HE DEPARTED FROM HIM FOR A SEASON.”
But now he wants to go back at him with more affliction; affliction that is to be personally directed to Job himself.
v5. “BUT PUT FORTH THINE HAND NOW, AND TOUCH HIS BONE AND HIS FLESH, AND HE WILL CURSE THEE TO THY FACE.”
Satan says God we didn’t get hard enough on Job. Now if you cause his afflictions to touch him directly, physically then he will indeed turn from thee and curse thee to thy face. And God accepts Satan’s challenge.
v6. “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, BEHOLD HE is IN THINE HAND; BUT SAVE HIS LIFE.”
Satan do with Job whatever you will, he is in your hands but don’t take his life.
Read Job 2:7-11
v7. “SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND SMOTE JOB WITH SORE BOILS FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN.”
Boils, “risens” the old folks called them. Have you ever had a boil? Painful wasn’t it. Job is covered with them from the bottoms of his feet to top of his head. This disease was incurable; otherwise it would not have had the necessary effect. All of the other physical afflictions that Satan brought upon Job are described as follows:
2:12 Appearance is changed, friends don’t recognize him
3:24 he has difficulty eating
3:25 he’s mentally depressed
7:5 he has worms and running sores
9:18 he has shortness of breath
16:16 he starts to go blind
19:17 his breath is very bad
19:20 he loses weight
30:17 he has corroding bones and gnawing pain
30:30 he has blackened skin and fever
v8. “AND HE TOOK HIM A POTSHERD TO SCRAPE HIMSELF WITHAL; AND HE SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”
The greatest man of the east, God’s own most faithful servant who was wealthy in material goods, blessed with a beautiful family and excellent health is reduced to sitting in ashes scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery, family, wealth and health now gone. Job’s physical condition parallels the spiritual condition of Israel when Isaiah began his book of prophecy:
Isaiah 1:6 “FROM THE SOLE OF THE FOOT EVEN UNTO THE HEAD there is NO SOUNDNESS IN IT; but WOUNDS, AND BRUISES, AND PUTRIFYING SORES: THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CLOSED, NEITHER BOUND UP, NEITHER MOLLIFIED WITH OINTMENT.”
Read Job 2:9-10
But Satan is still not done is he? What more could he do to Job to make him more miserable that he already is? He turns his wife against him.
v9. “THEN SAID HIS WIFE UNTO HIM, DOST THOU STILL RETAIN THINE INTEGRITY? CURSE GOD, AND DIE.”
What does the wise man say about a brawling woman?
Proverbs 21:9 “it is BETTER TO DWELL IN A CORNER OF THE HOUSETOP, THAN WITH A BRAWLING WOMAN IN A WIDE HOUSE.”
In fact the effects of constant nagging, belittling, complaining and all of the other things that go along with this are such that the Holy Spirit through Solomon repeats this in Proverbs 25:24.
Look what your integrity has gotten you! Curse God and die. Some observations about Mrs. Job:
1.) She is not a spiritually minded person is she?
2.) She is perfectly willing to pile on more trouble for him, nagging and condemning him for his continued faithfulness to God in the face of his troubles. No “help meet” (Genesis , 20) here is there?
3.) She thinks that if Job dies then his misery will go away, he can just renounce God, die and quit having to put up with his afflictions. Sounds like some people who commit suicide doesn’t it? But what of that idea, is it valid, of course not, the troubles are simply multiplied because now you’re lost and will spend eternity in the misery of hell that doesn’t even begin to compare that any found here on earth.
v10. “BUT HE SAID UNTO HER, THOU SPEAKEST AS ONE OF THE FOOLISH WOMEN SPEAKETH. WHAT? SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD AT THE HAND OF GOD, AND SHALL WE NOT RECEIVE EVIL? IN ALL THIS DID NOT JOB SIN WITH HIS LIPS.”
Woman you speak as one of the foolish women speak. You know better. You’re speaking like someone who does not believe in God. Do you expect that we will receive only good from God, don’t you expect God to allow some calamity to happen from time to time. We might ask ourselves those same questions today. Why does God allow evil to happen to mankind? Why does God allow calamities to occur such as earthquakes, wars, hurricanes, tornadoes, plagues, etc. Granted, some of man’s afflictions are the result of sin, I’m thinking here especially of AIDS and alcohol related diseases but at the same time there are many things that befall us that are not of our making.
And through all this; Job did not sin with his lips. He kept his tongue bridled and controlled as the psalmist encourages us:
Psalms 39:1 “I SAID, I WILL TAKE HEED TO MY WAYS, THAT I SIN NOT WITH MY TONGUE: I WILL KEEP MY MOUTH WITH A BRIDLE, WHILE THE WICKED IS BEFORE ME.”
and as a result is given to us as an example by the inspiration of God the very New Testament letter that probably has the most to tell us about controlling that most unruly member of our bodies; our tongues.
James 5:10-11 “TAKE, MY BRETHREN, THE PROPHETS, WHO HAVE SPOKEN IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, FOR AN EXAMPLE OF SUFFERING AFFLICTION, AND OF PATIENCE. BEHOLD, WE COUNT THEM HAPPY WHICH ENDURE. YE HAVE HEARD OF THE PATIENCE OF JOB, AND HAVE SEEN THE END OF THE LORD; THAT THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL, AND OF TENDER MERCY.”
Read Job 2:11-13
v11. “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 NAAMANTHITE: FOR THEY HAD MADE AN APPOINTMENT TOGETHER TO COME TO MOURN WITH HIM AND TO COMFORT HIM.”
Job’s three friends arrive. They’ve heard of his troubles and decide to come and mourn with him. They’re doing their visiting perhaps, much the same as we would with those of our friends or brethren. And one of the things I want us to think about as we study their speeches and comments over the next several weeks is what they have to say and how they say it. Then we should ask ourselves, how do we prepare to visit our friends or brethren in need of help, in need of support or comfort? Do we think about what to say and what not to say to be able to uplift and encourage? Or do we just let whatever comes to mind pop out; even that which had we taken 15 seconds of thought would not have said? I’ve been there, done that, and it’s one of the most painful memories that I have.
Eliphaz is probably an Edomite, a descendant of Esau because we find that the name of Teman was given one of Esau’s sons:
Genesis 36:15 “THESE were DUKES OF THE SONS OF ESAU: THE SONS OF ELIPHAZ THE FIRSTBORN son OF ESAU; DUKE TEMAN, DUKE OMAR, DUKE ZEPHO, DUKE KENAZ,”
He could also have been a descendant of Teman, the second son of Esau as he’s called a Temanite. They were known for their wisdom, see Jeremiah 49:7.
Bildad is called a Shuhite and is probably a descendant of Abraham. Shuah was the name of Abraham’s youngest son by Keturah, his second wife:
Genesis 25:1-2 “THEN AGAIN ABRAHAM TOOK A WIFE, AND HER NAME was KETURAH. AND SHE BARE HIM ZIMRAN, AND JOKSHAN, AND MEDAN, AND MIDIAN, AND ISHBAK AND SHUAH.”
Neither Zophar nor the Naamathite designation is found anywhere outside the book of Job but some seem to think that the name Naamathite is related to a town mentioned later in Joshua 15:41 as being captured by Judah and within the land allocated to that tribe. So Job’s friends gather to try to comfort him. They are trying to do as we are told by the apostle Paul:
Romans 12:15 “REJOICE WITH THEM THAT DO REJOICE, AND WEEP WITH THEM THAT WEEP.”
v12. “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 Job’s friends arrive they don’t even recognize him. He’s so afflicted by his physical ailments that even his best friends don’t immediately know who he is. When the truth does soak through they “lift up their voice”, they are as anguished as Esau when he realizes what he sold for a cup of pottage:
Genesis 27:38 “AND ESAU SAID UNTO HIS FATHER, HAST THOU BUT ONE BLESSING, MY FATHER? BLESS ME, even ME ALSO, O MY FATHER. AND ESAU LIFTED UP HIS VOICE, AND WEPT.”
They tore their clothing. They sprinkled dust on their heads. They joined him in the ashes and sat in respectful silence.
v13. “SO THEY SAT DOWN WITH HIM UPON THE GROUND SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, AND NONE SPOKE A WORD UNTO HIM: FOR THEY SAW THAT his GRIEF WAS VERY GREAT.”
They’re probably having the same feelings and responses that we would have if we would see our best friend in such a condition. They are shocked to silence, they don’t know what to say and in fact they’re a better comfort to him now without saying anything than they will be later when they do start to talk.
Remember that the world in general, during this period in man’s history, believed that calamity or tragedy came as a result of sin. They’re saddened that Job has apparently sinned so great a sin that such great troubles would befall him.