Job 2 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin
If the first chapter challenged all aspects of the wealth side of the health and wealth gospel, today’s passage challenges any aspect of the health portion. Satan’s argument is that Job still trusts in the Lord because of some benefit he receives from God, and that God himself is not Job’s reward. That is the challenge to all of us in the midst of our trials: is God enough for us, or do we demand to have some blessing in order to follow him? This test is given to prove that God is glorious in Himself and that He is our great reward.
This text also gives us some insight into how friends can minister to one another in the midst of their suffering. For instance, What do you say to someone who is in great pain or suffering in extreme anguish? Not much. Job’s three friends were terrific comforters, at least to the end of this chapter. Lacking the wisdom to know exactly what God was up to, they kept their theories and opinions to themselves and merely sat and wept with Job over his many losses while witnessing his ongoing suffering. If only God’s people were as slow to speak and as quick to weep as they were at first.
Sadly, the one person Job might expect to bring him the greatest comfort, his own wife, brought him anything but that. Instead of weeping with him and listening to him, she gave him evil counsel, saying, “Why do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” It is not an accident that those words sound just like the words of Satan, for they are his very words being given indirectly to Job through his beloved wife. As Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan,” when the ignorant disciple was providing his master evil counsel, so Job says to his wife, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak.” Notice, he doesn’t call her a fool, but he does infer that her counsel reflects such a heart.
I sincerely doubt that most of us would ever give such horrible counsel to anyone, at least not so bluntly, but we certainly have given foolish counsel to others when sharing our own thoughts and passing on well-worn clichés rather than speaking the truth in love to those who need to hear it. But even when we use Scripture, we sometimes use it to beat others down rather than to build them up. We are good at giving others the law and telling them what they ought to do but weak in pointing them to Christ and to the hope that we have in him, and even weaker in doing so with love, gentleness and patience. When we are not walking in the Spirit, even our attempts at counsel fall far short of the mark and our recipients are smarted by our wrongly dividing God’s Word and our incompetency to counsel. At the very least, we ought to pray before we open our mouths, asking God what we would have others do for us or say for us that we could do for them. We certainly don’t like it when others act super-spiritual or condescending or lighthearted with us, why then would we think that others would like such a thing from us.
With that being said, after praying and listening to someone who is suffering or struggling in their faith, there is a time to correct as well as to encourage. Notice how Job corrects his own wife by asking a question, saying to her, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil? Sometimes a well-placed question is all that is needed to go along with a hug and a prayer. Ultimately, we are seeking to point them to the suffering servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, for he is the beginning of wisdom. Not only can has he sympathize with us in our weakness and show us a greater purpose in our pain, he is the only human being who truly suffered without sin yet suffered for our sin in order to bring good out of evil.