Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”
It was a Saturday morning and I didn’t feel well at all. I was sick. Couldn’t keep my breakfast down. And I was running a pretty high fever.
By noon my fever was still high and I had a pain on the right side of my belly.
My wife drove me to the ER. Within two hours I was in surgery having my appendix removed.
She said that during the surgery, the doctor nicked an artery and that’s where all the blood came from. She also told me they were going to keep me an extra day to make sure the bleeding had stopped.
The next day I was still in pretty rough shape. I was resting in my hospital room when the phone began to ring.
However, it was on the other side of the room and I would have to get out of bed to pick it up. Being pretty weak and still in pain, I let it ring. I figured whoever was calling me would call back another time.
But the phone kept ringing. And ringing. And ringing.
Finally I struggled to get out of bed, shuffled over to the phone and picked it up. By this time I was in considerable pain, tired, and not a little irritated.
On the other end of the phone was the principal of the day school of the church I was serving. She was calling to ask if I was going to be at the school board meeting that evening.
She called me and let the phone ring and ring and ring until I picked up.
She called me at the hospital knowing full well that I had just had surgery and was recovering.
As I look back on my appendicitis adventure, I realize that God was testing the strength of my faith. Would I have the strength of faith to be able to deal with fellow ministry team members in a kind and compassionate way?
I failed that test on the phone that day.
Could this be the reason that two years later I had another stay in the hospital, this time to remove my gall bladder? I was serving the same church. I was in the same amount of pain.
But I did learn from the tests. I was much more compassionate and kind in my dealing with people after that surgery.
In part 1 of Job’s “test” Satan accuses him as only being a faithful man of God because he is wealthy and has a large family.
Satan tried to prove that Job was materialistic but fails when God allows for Job to lose all his wealth and endure the death of all ten of his children.
Satan comes back with another accusation. Job will surely curse God and toss his faith in God’s face if God were to allow Job to lose his health.
God knows better. God knows that Job’s faith is beyond both material and physical blessings.
In order to teach us this, God allows Job to be struck down with disease.
Still, Job does not give up his faith. He still confesses his belief and love of God, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ This is another way of saying that there is a greater plan in all of this.
And in this Job would be correct. This isn’t really about Job’s possessions, his health or his children.
Possessions are fleeting. Health is ultimately perishable.
The death of Job’s children is slightly different. And we’ll get to that when we explore the Restoration of Job in Chapter 42.
And still, Job will not sin by cursing God and giving up his faith in God.
We need to see all the bad things that happen in our lives as opportunities for our faith in God to be strengthen.
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