Examining the book and the character of Job In three parts: Part 2
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Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012
by Joel Hendon
If the reader did not read part one of this subject, it is recommended that it be read before this one to assure better understanding of the book. (Click here for part 1).
Our article ended when God allowed Satan to afflict Job physically to test his faith and strength. This, after having destroyed his children, his holdings, which were many since he was very wealthy. But the loss of those things, though mentally trying on Job, never caused him to sin or to speak against God even though he believed it was God’s doing.
We know that he was covered in boils from “the sole of his foot to his crown” (2:7) and they itched because it tells us that he took a potsherd (a broken piece of pottery) with which to scrape himself. (2:8) We also know that these boils were disfiguring since his friends could not recognize him when they came to visit. (2:11-12) And it caused them to “lift up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.”
He looked so bad and was suffering so, that his wife asked him to “curse God and die”. But even this did not deter Job, read here his response to his wife:
“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10 KJV)
The arrival of three of his friends creates a totally different aspect of the book. Even though they were his good friends and were deeply sorry for him when they found him in such miserable condition, they became involved in a long and rather discouraging accusation of him. Although they began mildly suggesting that he must have sinned to cause this calamity to come upon him, it later developed into strong words. It would be well at this point for the bible student to read the next 35 chapters here to be read the extremely long accusations and Job‘s denials of them. (Job 3:37 KJV)
In those chapters, both sides of the argument brought out strong philosophical standpoints. A number of times, Job made statements of wisdom. It is all interesting reading and much can be learned in this section. Following are a few of his quotations which have embedded truths:
“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” (Job 14:1-2 KJV)
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. (Job 3:20-26 KJV)
"Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?" (Job 6:8-13 KJV)
These are but a few of the mournings from Job as he discloses the depth of his miseries and his discouragement. Only a strong man could have endured all of this without taking his own life or placing the blame on God.
It is not revealed, how much time elapsed from the time his livestock, servants and children were destroyed until God took the situation in hand. Some contend that it was at least several months, but there is no way to actually know. We do know that it was some distance from the locations of the three friends abodes to him and that several days, at least, had passed by the time they heard of his problems and arrived at his home. Then we also know that they sat down on the ground and said not a word for seven days (ch.2, v 13).
It is also likely that the time between the loss of his assets and family and that of Satan afflicting him with the diseases might have been considerable.
This second part has dealt primarily with the visitation and accusations of his friends and his defense. The third and final part will cover the period of God’s intervention, his chastising the
friends of Job and also reprimanding of Job, Job’s repentance and God’s rewards for him. Again, if you have not read part one, we suggest you do so now, click here.
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