The Misfortunes of Job (Part 3)
The narrative continues in Job 2:1-10:
"Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' So Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.' Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.' So Satan answered the LORD and said, 'Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!' And the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.' So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips."

Satan again appears before God. God has won "Round 1" in Satan's testing of Job. The great patriarch's faith was unwavering. He held fast to his integrity even after losing his wealth and children in one day. Would you hold fast to your faith in these circumstances? God proceeds to again praise Job's character. Satan sought to ruin Job, and the Lord notes that such was without cause. The devil serves no noble purpose (cf. John 8:44; I John 3:8).

Satan answered - "Skin for skin!" (Job 2:4). Satan is affirming that he failed because he was prohibited from touching Job physically. Satan still believes that every man has his price. Satan then encourages God to harm Job's flesh and bones and see what happens.

God permits Satan to have more authority in Job's life. However, even then the devil was not allowed to take Job's life. With this sole limitation, Satan doesn't waste any time. He brings painful boils to Job's body and magnifies his suffering dramatically. No longer would Job's pain be mental and sentimental. Now every part of his body would be in agony.

As Job sat in ashes and scraped his wounds with a broken piece of pottery, his wife is introduced. She asked Job bluntly - "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (2:9). Job's wife is the perfect illustration of how Satan wants us to respond to adversity. Other than the boils, she had suffered in the same ways that Job had. Their wealth and children were gone. Evidently she blamed God and believed her husband should do the same. This is a good example of how individuals must choose their reaction to circumstances. Job suffered more than his wife, yet she is the one who turned her back on the Lord at this time. Fidelity to the Lord is a choice.

It would appear that the only reason why Satan allowed her to live was so she could test Job further. She was of more value to Satan alive than dead, it would seem. Satan hopes to work indirectly through her to accomplish his aim. But, Job realized the irrational nature of his wife's words and would not heed her advice. Job rightly labels her words as foolish. In all this, he did not sin with his lips.

Job 2:11-13 records the arrival of Job's friends - "Now when Job's friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place--Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great."

It is not surprising that a man of Job's former position and wealth would be known abroad. Job's friends had learned of his devastation and had agreed together to come and visit him. Even without the internet or television, news of this magnitude spread with great speed via word of mouth. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar traveled great distances to be with Job. They came to mourn and comfort him. They cared enough that they lifted their voices and wept. These are genuine friends who love Job, even if they make some serious mistakes and accusations later against the great patriarch.

They begin by sitting down and not speaking a word. They did not speak for a week. Sometimes the best way to comfort someone is to simply be there for them.