Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 2

I’ve heard some say their greatest fear in the midst of this pandemic is to loose their health. They are uncertain of their financial future. They are terrified of loosing their health or even their life.

This is the question the hovers over Job chapter 2.

Did you notice the activity of Satan in this chapter? Verse 2 – “And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”” Satan wanders. He lacks direction.

This is totally a side note… Let’s not “wander” through this lockdown and pandemic. Let us, as God’s people, be a people of purpose, redeeming the time. There is much to be done and much that can be done to grow in our love for God and our love for others. This won’t happen by accident or if we just wander through each day aimlessly.

Anyway, back to Job…

We see again, it is the LORD – Job’s Covenant God – who brings Job to Satan’s attention. Notice the Great Accuser’s (Satan’s) accusation. Sure Job has continued to honour God though he has lost his financial present and future. But take away his health and he will curse God.

God gives clear direction to His lion on a leash. Satan is permitted by God to take Job’s health, but not his life. In a stroke, Job’s health is utterly decimated. To add to Job’s sorrow, even his wife thinks like Satan in this instance.

Yet notice Job’s response to his wife. He does not call his wife a fool. He says she is speaking like one of the foolish women. Even those words might, at first hearing, seem strong but the wording is significant. Job is not assuming evil of his wife or attacking her character. He is rebuking her and correcting her speech. He will then proceed to direct her attention to the character of God.

We need to be very careful in these days (actually any days) to grow as good listeners and to respond to people with prudence and patience. People will (I will), at times, say things that are less than true and theologically accurate. People, in their suffering and confusion will express emotions which are raw and unfiltered. We must be careful not to assume evil of the other, not to attack their character. Something that is said may need to be corrected, though perhaps not at that exact moment, but even when we must offer a correction we will want to point them to the character of God – not our own ideas or even the collective ideas of all the Internet, Social Media experts combined.

Job’s famous words in reply to his wife, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil/disaster?”, is a statement of one who wholly trusts in the character of God. The word translated by the ESV as “evil” is not the word for “moral evil”. God cannot sin or tempt anyone to sin. Yet evil in the form of disaster comes into all of our lives. Our health will one day suffer. But for the return of Jesus Christ, we will all one day die. Death is the last enemy.

Yet to loose one’s health and even to die is not the worst thing that can happen to one who has God. Job’s words here are words of one who, in the midst of suffering, knows that to have God is to have enough.

Job has questions, hard questions and he will ask them – we will get to that in due time. Yet, in all of this Job did not sin with his lips. Or as 1:22 stated, “In all of this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

As more and more of what we so often take for granted is stripped from us in these coming days or weeks, let us be ones who are so captivated by the glory and majesty of Christ in whom the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, that the things of this world will grow strongly dim as we rest in Him – and He is enough.

Soli Deo Gloria

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