“Are we to accept the good that comes from God but not accept the bad?” Job posed this to his wife after she questioned his continuing commitment to God, the source of all the calamity that had befallen them. “Curse God and die!” she exclaimed. In the course of a day more than 10,000 of Job’s animals were stolen or destroyed, his servants were killed and a collapsed house crushed his seven sons and three daughters. As Job sat on the outskirts of town scraping his recently acquired skin disease with a fragment of broken pottery, his wife in whom faith did not run so deep, held not for God the same loyalty or affection that Job possessed.
Many of us hypocrites may rush to judge Job’s wife. How can she curse her own husband and God? Let’s ignore our self-righteousness for a moment and consider this woman too, lost everyone she loved and everything she had. Now also her husband has been stricken with illness and appears likely to die. What more can God take from them?
The story of Job is a fascinating account of God’s willingness to allow pain and suffering. How can a good and loving God inflict such calamity? Whether you are dealing with the extreme pain of losing a loved one or are furious with your flat tire on the way to work, no disaster, disease, heartbreak or hiccup is usually welcome. I am as guilty of shaking my fist at God as Job’s wife and I have lost far less.
Consider the story’s beginning and what God asks of Satan. “Have you met my servant, Job? He is a very good man! Unlike any other on earth. He so believes in me that he seeks in all things to honor Me and deliberately avoids evil in all of his affairs. His character is spotless, his integrity unquestioned.”
Satan was sure if catastrophe befell Job that he would turn from God, yield to what Job’s wife had suggested and curse Him. God picked Job as his champion to prove the devil wrong. Yes, this victory came at a high cost, but God blessed Job once again before he passed and on that day of judgement, Job will reunite with his sons and daughters once more.
When hardships strike you, consider that you are being accused and quite possibly God has selected you as his/her champion. The next occasion you sit weeping in the dark, insert your name in for Job’s and hear God’s voice as he speaks to your accuser.
“Have you met my servant, Kyle? He is a very good man!”
“Have you met my servant, Shannon? She is a very good woman!”
“Have you met my servant, Paul? He seeks in all things to honor Me.”
“Have you met my servant, Danielle? Her character is spotless, her integrity unquestioned.”
The losses and pain we inevitably experience in this world are devastating but compared to the rewards God offers us throughout eternity, our suffering in this age shall feel no more painful than a mild splinter….if only we can remain faithful and endure. Remember who willingly suffered in our place to ensure our victory.