Explore the Bible
June 2, 2013
Gerald W. Nash Jr.
Job 1:1-3, 8, 11, 20-22; 2:7, 9-10
A few months ago my daughter-in-law was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer. Because his wife is a faithful Christian, my son couldn’t understand why God would allow this.
I told him the truth: “I really don’t know.”
Job was the most righteous and godly man in the world (Job 1:8; 2:3), and he suffered (Job 1:13-19; 2:7). Satan accused God of having a hedge of protection around Job (Job 1:9-10). He argued if God would remove His protection from him, Job would curse Him (Job 1:11). God allowed Satan to strike Job but not to harm his person (Job 1:12). The results were devastating. Job lost all his livestock, servants and his children.
In spite of these devastating losses, Job says, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, NKJV).
Job did not lash out at God, nor did he sin (Job 1:22).
Later God allows Satan to strike Job’s body so long as he spared his life (Job 2:5-6). Satan strikes Job’s entire body with boils (Job 2:7).
In Job 2:9, Job’s wife asks, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
In Job 2:10, Job responds, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
Does Job ever ask, “Why?” Yes, in the form of complaints. God isn’t listening to him (Job 13:3). God is punishing him (Job 6:4). And, God is allowing the wicked to prosper (Job 21:7). After much debate, God weighs in and speaks about His power, wisdom and sovereignty. He makes no personal reference to Job’s personal suffering. Why? He wants Job not to focus on his suffering, but to focus on what he can learn from his suffering. He wants to teach Job that He is sovereign over Job’s life (Job 37:23-24).
Rather than asking, “Is this really happening to me?” perhaps the better question is, “Now that this is happening to me, Lord, what do You want me to learn?”