Through this series of looking at some of the great questions in the Bible, I have been trying to answer the question posed, and give a reasonable exposition of the scripture at the same time. When it comes to the Book of Job, and the question posed by Job’s wife, I am left with more questions than answers.
“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die”” (Job 2:9 (ESV)).
At the beginning of the book, Job is described like this. “And that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1b (ESV)).
So Job was not an evil man, yet …
… yet God allowed satan to take away all his possessions, to kill his children, and then to inflict Job himself with loathsome sores. Job was reduced to sitting in the ashes scraping his sores with a pot shard.
But Job was not an evil man.
His reply to his wife — “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10 (ESV)). And the scripture continues, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
As you read the Book of Job, you find that Job did maintain his integrity, and never once did he curse God, or wish to die.
Job’s friends repeatedly told him that for God to be treating him this way, he must have done something really bad. I think sometimes we think the same way. We expect that if we are really good, we deserve to lead a trouble-free life. Why me? Is a cry we might make when things go wrong.
Job’s attitude was that we might enjoy blessings from God, but is that any reason why things should not go wrong also? But, that isn’t fair! I hear you say. The question is, though, who promised you fair?
God rebukes Job’s friends for attacking Job and for presuming on God’s sovereign will. Then God rebukes Job by reminding him that only God is perfect in all His ways.
Included in God’s presentation of His greatness are many questions: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4). (Which is another great question that we will consider next month)
I know people who suffer greatly in this life, yet maintain their integrity, because, in Job’s words, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25 (ESV). Colin R. Vine