God and Satan decide to test Job by taking away his health. HIs wife tells him to curse God and die. His three friends arrive and sit with him in silence.
VERSE 1. Again, on the day when the God’s sons came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
VERSE 2. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
VERSE 3. The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil. He still maintains his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause.”
Have you considered my servant Job? The LORD God seems to be boasting about Job.
VERSE 4. Satan answered the LORD, and said, “Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.
VERSE 5. But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face.”
stretch out your hand now. This makes it seem like God and Satan are making bets about what Job will do.
he is in your hand. The LORD God authorized Job to be struck with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head.
It will be a long time before Job glimpses the truth of this matter:
Job 19:6. know now that God has subverted me, and has surrounded me with his net.
VERSE 7. So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head.
Satan … struck Job with painful sores. When people suffer, they often imagine that God has done this to them. Job does.
However, it was actually Satan who did it.
Yet Job continues to believe it was the LORD God who was afflicting him:
Job 6:4. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me. My spirit drinks up their poison. The terrors of God set themselves in array against me.
VERSE 8. He took for himself a potsherd to scrape himself with, and he sat among the ashes.
Renounce God, and die. Job’s wife is not helping the situation.
VERSE 10. But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job didn’t sin with his lips.
VERSE 11. Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come on him, they each came from his own place: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and to comfort him.
VERSE 12. When they lifted up their eyes from a distance, and didn’t recognize him, they raised their voices, and wept; and they each tore his robe, and sprinkled dust on their heads toward the sky.
VERSE 13. 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.
no one spoke a word to him. Keeping silence in the presence of suffering is the best thing that Job’s three friends do in the entire book.
his grief was very great. When face-to-face with suffering, most Christians talk too much.
Instead of listening to the person who is suffering, out Christians try to explain everything.
People who suffer need people to stop talking and listen instead.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.