Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Two friends were walking in the Northern Woods. They were enjoying their hike through a large meadow when they happened upon two bear cubs.
They froze in their tracks, then slowing began to back up.
Then all of sudden mama bear came barreling out of the woods on the other side of the meadow.
The two friends quickly made their way back up the trail. When they got to end of the meadow, one of them stopped, dropped his backpack and started frantically going through it.
“What are you doing?!?!?! She’ll be on us any minute! We’ve got to keep going!” said his friend.
Finding what he was searching for, the other friend quickly pulled off his hiking boots and started to put on his running shoes.
“Running shoes? That’s what you stopped for? You took so much time looking for your shoes you’ll never be able to outrun this mama bear!” his friend cried.
“I don’t have to outrun this mama bear. I only have to outrun you!”
Okay, that’s an old joke. I apologize!
With a two-part test, God allows for Job to lose all his wealth, his health, and his ten children.
The only things Job is left with – the only things God doesn’t allow Satan to attack – are his life and his wife.
There’s a very good reason for Job being allowed to keep both his life and his wife, as we’re going to see in chapter 42.
But in all the lessons the Book of Job teaches us, what gets missed oftentimes is Job’s wife.
She is just as affected by this two-fold test as Job is, except the health crisis.
She witnesses the loss of all that wealth, the health of her husband, and the death of their ten children.
She becomes like a mama bear who has just lost her cubs! But she can’t attack God, at least not directly. So she attacks the only one she can – Job!
In this, however, we see a difference between Job and his wife. Job, in his faith, never doubts God. He doesn’t blame God, he accepts all that has happened to him as God’s plan. And he certainly does not curse God – as Satan was betting he would do.
Job’s wife, on the other hand, sees things a bit differently. She can’t understand how Job can seemingly take all this in stride.
“Curse God and die,” she says.
Job recognizes this attitude as folly. He isn’t calling his wife a fool, just pointing out the folly of only being a faithful follower of God when good things happen and cursing God when bad things happen.
I’m inclined to give Job’s wife a little break here. After all, she had just buried her ten children. She must be grieving. I don’t see a lack of faith in her, just a grief that causes her to lash out like a mama bear to her husband.
For the rest of the book we will not hear from Job’s wife again. Job will only reference her twice in his various speeches.
But since she will witness restoration, she will be a mother again to ten more children with Job, we can be sure that Job continues to love her and doesn’t hold this lashing out against her.
Job keeps his focus on the fact that God is good. And Job’s wife will see that more clearly, having seen all that happened to Job.
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