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Job 2:7-10 meaning

Job Perseveres through Physical Pain: Satan afflicts Job's body with boils from his head to his feet. Job sits in ashes scratching his sores with broken pottery. His wife asks him why he won't blame God and succumb to his illness by dying. Job rebukes her as speaking foolishly, and accepts the good and the difficulties God allows into his life.

To this point, we have seen two instances where God brought Satan's attention to Job and bragged on his righteous living. But Satan refused to admit that Job had integrity in his faith, only claiming that God has a transactional relationship with Job. Satan accused God of bribing Job with material success, and asserted that Job is only serving Him because he gains immediate benefit. We will see that Job's righteousness is rooted in a true perspective about the reality that God is our Creator. Satan claims otherwise, that Job's behavior is not an example of good character, rather a mere exchange of value.

In this section we will see that Job manifestly maintains that his worship of God is for another reason altogether. Job recognizes that God is the creator, and therefore deserves our service; the created thing has meaning and purpose only if it is serving the intended purpose of its maker. We will see later that even though Job does not believe God is treating him justly, Job believes it is his proper place to acknowledge that God has the right to whatever He pleases, given that He is the author and creator of life. Job's worship of God is rooted in his recognition of reality, that he is a created being. Job has a true perspective that transcends circumstances.

Satan has now received permission to ruin Job's health. Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head (v 7).

Satan chooses a way to strike Job that is highly visible, inflicting him with sore boils. This would not only make Job miserable, but also alienate him from normal interaction with others. He would be an eyesore. These sore boils covered his body from head to toe. They were apparently oozing sores, since Job is scraping himself. This would make Job all the more unable to circulate among others: And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes (v 8).

A potsherd is a broken piece of pottery that would make a good scraper. That Job was sitting among the ashes might indicate that he was mourning (2 Samuel 13:19). It would be appropriate for him to be in mourning, as in Chapter 1 he lost his beloved children and all his possessions.

At this point we might get an idea why Satan has spared Job's wife. Now Satan opens a new attack, apparently getting Job's wife to be the instrument to pose the temptation to Job to curse God to His face (Job 2:5). Satan had bragged to God that he could manipulate Job to curse God to His face, now:

Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!"

We have no indication that Job had more than one wife. It would follow that it was with this wife that he had ten children and shared abundance. So, we can presume they had been together for a long time. Satan successfully tempted Adam through Eve. It appears Adam was "with her" when she was tempted and fell (Genesis 3:6).

We know from the New Testament that Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). But we also know from Genesis that when Eve offered the fruit to Adam, he ate (Genesis 3:6). Men have an intense desire to be respected by women, and go to great lengths to avoid their rejection. This is likely why Satan chose to move Job's wife to exhort him to curse God.

This does not mean that Job's wife was an unbelieving woman. We see in the New Testament that Satan successfully plants in the mind of the Apostle Peter thoughts that result in him tempting Jesus (Matthew 16:23). That episode occurred immediately following Jesus telling Peter that he had been blessed of God (Matthew 16:17). We can infer based on this passage in Matthew that Job's wife had allowed her thoughts to lead her to think in a manner that was of the world, rather than of God (Matthew 16:23).

Incredibly, Job recognizes this, and gently rebukes his wife:

But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job's response here is quite incredible. Even though dramatically weakened by disease, he does not yield to his wife, as Adam yielded to Eve. But in correcting his wife's error, he is gentle. He does not accuse his wife of being foolish in her statement. Rather, he tells her that You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Job is raising her up—telling her "You are better than this—you are not a foolish woman, so do not speak like a foolish woman."

Job repeats his assertion that God is God, and humans are His handiwork, therefore it is for us to accept our lot, and be grateful, whatever it might be, saying Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity? This is similar to Job's statement after he lost his children and possessions in Chapter 1, where he said,

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
(Job 1:21)

To be "righteous" is to line up with the proper standard. Job here is recognizing the reality of the universe: the Creator has an absolute right to do as He pleases with His creation. As a wise and righteous person, Job recognizes this. He simply accepts that, "God made us, so it is futile to resist Him, we should be grateful for whatever our lot might be, because He is God."

While this is completely true, and is the core of Job's righteousness, we will see that, while true, Job's understanding of God is substantially incomplete. One of the things God will do is expand Job's understanding of Him—even to the point where Job is in complete awe. Job will come to see God in a manner he could not have otherwise understood, and in doing so, gain an eternal benefit. But at this point, Job is simply acting by faith based on what he knows.

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