1272.) Job 2

“Satan going forth from the presence of the Lord,” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

Job 2   (NLT)

Job’s Second Test

The second act of the heavenly scene:

One day the members of the heavenly court came again to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.

Revelation 12:10-12 (New Century Version)

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying:
    “The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God
       and the authority of his Christ have now come.

   The accuser of our brothers and sisters,
       who accused them day and night before our God,
       has been thrown down.
And our brothers and sisters defeated him
       by the blood of the Lamb’s death
       and by the message they preached.
    They did not love their lives so much
       that they were afraid of death.
So rejoice, you heavens
       and all who live there!
    But it will be terrible for the earth and the sea,
       because the devil has come down to you!
    He is filled with anger,
       because he knows he does not have much time.”

2“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.   Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

3 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job?

God says, “Have you seen my friend Job?”  I love this line!  I hope God can use it about me!  “Have you seen her?  I know I can count on her.  Throw at her whatever problems you want, and she will turn to me in faith believing.  She will not deny my name or give up on my goodness.  She will not be swayed by present circumstances, for she has placed her trust in me.  She believes my word and she claims my promises with her whole heart, with her very life.” 

Oh, may it be so!

He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.”

4 Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. 5 But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

6 “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.” 7 So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.

Job suffers affliction and shows integrity.

8 Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”

“Job on the Dunghill and his Wife” by Albrecht Durer, 1503 (Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt)

But let’s not be too hard on Job’s wife.  She has just lost all ten of her children, too, and her wealth.  In addition, it would be hard for her to see her husband suffer like this.  We can understand why she has lost hope.

10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

Job’s Three Friends Share His Anguish

“Job’s Despair,” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

11 When three of Job’s friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. 12 When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.

The Book of Job is not primarily about one man’s suffering and pain; Job’s problem is not so much financial or social or medical; his central problem is theological. Job must deal with the fact that in his life, God does not act the way he always thought God would and should act. In this drama, the Book of Job is not so much a record of solutions and explanations to this problem; it is more a revelation of Job’s experience and the answers carried within his experience.

–David Guzik

So here is the great question of Job, and it is our question, too:  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Or more to the point — if God is good, why does he allow evil?

_________________________

Music:

“Words cannot express.”  Job’s friends knew this!   HERE  is “Silence Is Golden” by the Tremeloes, an English beat group founded in 1958 in East London, and still active today.  Which means — they are on the old side now!

Oh, don’t it hurt deep inside
To see someone do something to her?
Oh, don’t it pain to see someone cry?
Oh especially when someone is her
.
Silence is golden
But my eyes’ still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
.

Talkin’ is cheap, people follow like sheep
Even though there is nowhere to go
How could she tell, he deceived her so well
Pity she’ll be the last one to know
.
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
.
How many times did she fall for his line?
Should I tell her or should I keep cool?
And if I tried I know she’ll say I lied
Mind your business, don’t hurt her, you fool
.
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Blake, Satan.   http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/images/but550.1.5.wc.300.jpg
Durer.  http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/christian/images/AlbrechtDurer-Job-and-His-Wife-1504.jpg
Blake, despair.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TunyR75qmig/TnAZshv21sI/AAAAAAAAAAo/H1DCuNL8ifI/s1600/Job%2527s_Despair_Butts_set_Blake_MorganLibrary.jpg
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