Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Study of Job: An Excellent Wife, or Maybe Not

It's interesting that this month I am doing a series on the wisdom of Proverbs on Instagram and Facebook, posting a verse (or a few) from each chapter in Proverbs for the 31 days of July.

There is so much in Proverbs focused on wisdom and how it applies to marriage. One of the verses I posted a few days ago was Proverbs 12:4.

I don't know about you, but I would much rather be a crown of my husband than bring hi shame and be like rottenness in his bones! (Don't worry, this will all tie in by the end of the post, just file this away in your mental memory for now).

In the first part of Chapter 2, we see Satan gathered again with God. Again, Satan is attempting to provoke God by upping the ante on Job's righteousness. The enemy says to God, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But, stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 2:4b-5).

Again, I am going to compare this to a parent-child relationship (I really have to stop using my children as an analogy for Satan).

I think it is important to note that in both Job 1:11 and Job 2:5 Satan challenges God to reach out and cause destruction and devastation in Job's life and both times God gives him just enough rope to hang himself. God is not driving the devastation in Job's life, Satan is. God simply let Satan have his way, like an unruly child, knowing all along what the outcome would be. I believe it was God's way of showing Satan just how limited his knowledge and powers are and how great and mighty are the powers of the Lord.

So Job is now afflicted with boils from the "sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (Job 2:7b). defines boils as "deep, localized skin infections that begin as reddened sore areas". Sounds fun, right? (I thought about including a picture here, but figure that might cause digestive issues for some of you).

Having dealt with a chronic illness for several years now, I understand the high value of good health. I have cried out to God to take away the pain, exhaustion, and other issues related to my illness. I have questioned Him, the Great Physician, as to why He won't heal me when I know He can. "Why me, Lord?" is the cry of my heart.

But Job did something different.

"And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes." Job 2:8

While I have not tried this particular treatment-I have, recently, determined that my life with chronic illness is never going to be the same as my life before chronic illness. I can, however, choose to control the things in my life that are still within my grasp, namely my faith and trust in Jehoveh Rapha, the Lord who Heals. I can also treat the body that He has granted me with more respect and fill it full of His good things both physically and mentally.
One thing that I see in this chapter that was not revealed to me in my youth is the role of Job's wife. Once her husband is physically afflicted, her sage and loving advice is to "curse God and die" (Job 2:9b).

Now, I am sure Mrs. Job is a lovely lady and is likely just frustrated by the sudden paradigm shift in her formerly stable and comfortable life. But Job does not cut her any slack, "You speak as one of the foolish women speak. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10b).

Well. There ya have it.

He made it clear that she was, as we say in the South, "showing out" and she needed to "put her big girl panties on a deal with it." So now, refer back to the beginning of the post (feel free to scroll up if this has already fallen out of your memory as frequently happens to me). Mrs. Job was not a crown to her husband here! On top of losing all of his material possessions and children and now covered with boils, he is afflicted by a wife who brings him shame. I am pretty sure Satan saw this as an added bonus to his devious tricks.

The last sentence of verse 10 proves, once again, that Satan's power is all smoke and mirrors. The enemy has no real power over us, only what God allows. God is power. He doesn't have power, He flows with it, produces it, burns with it.

"In all this, Job did not sin with his lips."
-Job 2:10b-

I don't know about you, but when I am in pain or stressed, I sin with my lips. I am short-tempered, I am snarky, and I lash out at those closest to me. I am not Job. But God loves me, just as He loved Job. His grace is sufficient to cover the sin of my lips. His grace repairs the damage and heals the wounds (not always completely as there are consequences to my actions). His grace restores me. His grace is power.