In continuing the story about Job, we find that he now has lost all his children, his cattle and every servant that he had. Even after that, he had not cursed God, but instead worshipped Him. After this, satan visited heaven again to request to attack Job physically, which the Lord granted. satan caused boils to cover Job’s body from the top of his head to the sole of his feet. He was in so much agonizing pain and torment that even his wife had advised him to “curse God and die.” Even in all of this pain and torment, and even the advise from his wife, Job refused to curse God and continued to have faith in Him. This is absolutely the worst that I have ever heard anyone go through, and Job still served God though his pain. Unfortunately for him, satan wasn’t finished with his work.
Job had 3 “friends” that came to “comfort” him during his trial. The reason for the parentheses is because these people who were introduced as friends were more like enemies to him. They came along and spent time knocking Job’s accomplishments down and accusing him of being a sinner. Lets go into the story to see what I mean…
Three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to visit him, sitting with Job in silence for seven days out of respect for his mourning. On the seventh day, Job speaks, beginning a conversation in which each of the four men shares his thoughts on Job’s afflictions in long, poetic statements. Job curses the day he was born, comparing life and death to light and darkness. He wishes that his birth had been shrouded in darkness and longs to have never been born, feeling that light, or life, only intensifies his misery. Eliphaz responds that Job, who has comforted other people, now shows that he never really understood their pain. Eliphaz believes that Job’s agony must be due to some sin Job has committed, and he urges Job to seek God’s favor. Bildad and Zophar agree that Job must have committed evil to offend God’s justice and argue that he should strive to exhibit more blameless behavior. Bildad surmises that Job’s children brought their deaths upon themselves. Even worse, Zophar implies that whatever wrong Job has done probably deserves greater punishment than what he has received.
This is something that made Job’s situation even worse. Only he and God know what it is that is actually happening in his life, yet others who have no clue of what they are talking about are accusing him of being a sinner deserving of even more punishment than he has received. I believe that satan had this planned because during Job’s time of trying, the fact that people were surrounding him and accusing him (which is the definition of the devil) was just fuel to his fire. He was suffering now mentally because the enemy used these three men to torture his thought and try to confuse his thought process. This has happened to me many times when i was in the middle of a storm in my life. The enemy would torment my mind with thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness that caused me to spiral even deeper into the abyss of sadness and pity. I believe that’s where Job ended up.
The next part of the story shows that the frienemies of Job were finally getting the best of him. Before they came along, Job seemed to be suffering, but with hope in God’s ability to bring him out. Now that these three came into his story, you see a different side of Job. It states: Job responds to each of these remarks, growing so irritated that he calls his friends “worthless physicians” who “whitewash [their advice] with lies” (13:4). After making pains to assert his blameless character, Job ponders man’s relationship to God. He wonders why God judges people by their actions if God can just as easily alter or forgive their behavior. It is also unclear to Job how a human can appease or court God’s justice. God is unseen, and his ways are inscrutable and beyond human understanding. Moreover, humans cannot possibly persuade God with their words. God cannot be deceived, and Job admits that he does not even understand himself well enough to effectively plead his case to God. Job wishes for someone who can mediate between himself and God, or for God to send him to Sheol, the deep place of the dead.Job’s friends are offended that he scorns their wisdom. They think his questions are crafty and lack an appropriate fear of God, and they use many analogies and metaphors to stress their ongoing point that nothing good comes of wickedness. Job sustains his confidence in spite of these criticisms, responding that even if he has done evil, it is his own personal problem. Furthermore, he believes that there is a “witness” or a “Redeemer” in heaven who will vouch for his innocence (16:19, 19:25). After a while, the upbraiding proves too much for Job, and he grows sarcastic, impatient, and afraid. He laments the injustice that God lets wicked people prosper while he and countless other innocent people suffer. Job wants to confront God and complain, but he cannot physically find God to do it. He feels that wisdom is hidden from human minds, but he resolves to persist in pursuing wisdom by fearing God and avoiding evil.
The fact that he wished for hell shows that Job was in a fragile place. He was no longer praising God and hoping for the best. Now he was just hoping that it could all end, even if that meant that he would end up in hell. This longing for death was probably in fact what satan wanted all along. I believe that we all have been to this point before. Sometimes even when we have made up our minds to place our hope in God, things around us look and feel so bad that we just hope for it all to end. But God had a plan for Job. In the midst of his friends’ doing so much damage to his mental and emotional well being, God steps in on time.
God finally interrupts, calling from a whirlwind and demanding Job to be brave and respond to his questions. God’s questions are rhetorical, intending to show how little Job knows about creation and how much power God alone has. God describes many detailed aspects of his creation, praising especially his creation of two large beasts, the Behemoth and Leviathan. Overwhelmed by the encounter, Job acknowledges God’s unlimited power and admits the limitations of his human knowledge. This response pleases God, but he is upset with Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar for spouting poor and theologically unsound advice. Job intercedes on their behalf, and God forgives them. God returns Job’s health, providing him with twice as much property as before, new children, and an extremely long life.
The story of Job was something that helped me many times to understand that even though God loves us and cares for us beyond reason, sometimes we have to face things that are painful. In the midst of the storms, we have to trust God because He is faithful to bring us out. I was once ignorant to the fact that pain is a tool that God uses to help us to focus on the good of our lives. It was during the most painful times in my own life that I was able to rediscover the love of Jesus Christ and all His goodness that He had done on my behalf. Beloved, if you are going through a Job season in your life, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.He will provide for you and bring you out and all things work together for the good of those who love God and to them who are called according to His purpose. He has a wonderful plan for you, trust Him.
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