Friday, April 6, 2018

Year 8, Day 96: Job 2

Theological Commentary: Click Here

Once more we see Satan coming into the presence of God.  He is roaming the earth, looking once more for anyone against whom he can act.  Once more God points out Job.  God demonstrates to Satan that in spite of the calamity Job is still worshipping God.  Satan argues that Job is only loyal because Job himself wasn’t touched.  God completely removes the hedge around Job and Satan strikes him with horrible disease.

For me, this is where the story truly gets interesting as a case for human study.  When this happens, Job picks up some pottery and scrapes his skin.  It could be that Job was cutting himself to try and release any evil within.  It could be that Job was looking to inflict some pain to help take his mind off of the agonizing sickness.  It could be that Job was simply scraping off puss and oozing wounds.  He could have been trying to use the ashes to dry out the skin and help get rid of the condition.  We don’t honestly know what Job was doing when he sat in ashes and scraped his skin with pottery.  What we do know is what Job never did.  Job didn’t stop believing in God.  Job never once questioned his relationship with God.  That’s utterly amazing.

Job’s friends come by.  They make a point to come and see Job.  Just to prove how bad his affliction had become, his friends no longer even recognize him.  They are so stunned at Job’s appearance and his suffering that they just sit with him in silence.  No words can make sense of what has become of this faithful man of God.  Job’s friends start off so well.  They simply minister in presence, not offering bad advice or shallow platitudes.

Then we see Job’s wife.  She comes to him, disgusted by what she sees.  She advises Job to just curse god and die.  This is why we don’t ever hear about the faith of Job’s wife.  She’s stuck in the awfulness of the moment.  She has no vision.  She has no ability to transcend the moment. She can see no easy way out, so she advises quitting, offering up a harmful last word in life, and dying.  What a perspective of absolute hopelessness from Job’s wife!

When hardship comes, we always have choices.  We can be a quitter with no hope and no vision like Job’s wife.  We can be a silent minister of presence like Job’s friends – for now, at least.  Or we can be faithful in the midst of our struggle, always looking beyond the moment for other things to come like Job.