Job’s Second Test

While my husband Frank and I were living in Pakistan many years ago, our six-month-old baby died. An old Punjabi who heard of our grief came to comfort us. “A tragedy like this is similar to being plunged into boiling water,” he explained. “If you are an egg, … More

Suffering
  1. Faithfulness requires more faithfulness (vv. 1-3). - Job proved his faithfulness at the end of chapter 1 by praising God even after losing his livestock, properties and children. You may think that faithfully serving the church for 20 years is good enough and that God will let you rest after retirement. What you don’t know is that faithfulness requires more faithfulness. The alternative would be unfaithfulness. In Job’s case God permits Satan to test Job again.
  2. Satan must respect God’s boundaries (vv. 4-7). - We can be confident that Satan can not do anything to us unless God permits it. Surprisingly, the Lord permitted Satan to afflict Job, but not to kill him (vv. 5-6). He knew  Job would not deny Him.
  3. Human pity without regard for God results in foolishness (vv. 8-10). - Some Bible scholars believe the reason Job’s wife told him to curse God and die was because she really loved him and didn’t want to see him suffer any longer. She had pity on Job, but was not at all concerned about what God was doing. Job recognized this as foolishness.

Job’s closest friends teach us four characteristics of comforters (vv. 11-13):

  1. Contact the person with the goal to comfort (v. 11).
  2. Allow the person suffering to be different than you have known them before (v. 12a).
  3. Empathize with compassion (v. 12b).
  4. Better to be close and leave out the cliches (v. 13).
Notice that all had to report to God. You and I are going to have to report to God some day. Remember that the Christian is going to stand at the Judgment seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10).

Application

When counseling I need to remember that silence can be far more blessed than any speech can be.

Job 2:1-13 (English Standard Version)


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