Satan is not satisfied with the trouble he has brought to Job through the loss of his goods and his children, so he appears before God again. This time he asks to attack his health, for surely if he is attacked physically he will curse God. God allowed him to touch his body, but not to take his life. Satan struck Job with painful boils from head to toe. Job took a potsherd and scraped himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. His wife asked him the well-known question, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He called her a foolish woman and reminded her that one must accept good and adversity. Job did not sin with his lips.
Job’s three friends heard of his adversity and each came from his own place: Elisha’s the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zohar the Naamathite. They planned to come and mourn with Job and comfort him. When they saw him from afar, the did not recognize him, and lifted their voices and wept. They tore their robes, sprinkled dust on their heads, and sat with Job for seven days, saying nothing, because they saw his great grief.
This second stage of Job’s temptation and torment goes from attack without to attack within. Not only have Job’s possessions and children been taken from him, but now he has been attacked directly. In the midst of his pain and suffering, two additional factors show up, his wife and his friends. Without running ahead too much, it is fairly common knowledge that Job’s friends eventually bring accusations of sin against him. However, in this particular story, they are supportive by their presence and commiseration. It is Job’s wife who goads him to curse God and die, to which he responds with rebuke and defiance. It is such a powerful statement that Job stands true in his faith in God and in his trust that no matter whether God brings good or adversity, He is justified. So Job’s wife, and eventually his currently supportive friends offer little encouragement and even brings accusations and thoughts of surrender into the equation. You have heard the old saying, “With friends like this, who needs enemies?” In this case, his wife may have just been horrified at his pain and suffering, and certainly was also suffering her own pain at the loss of her children. Therefore, her comments may have been made from her own angst. Job’s friends came and wept with him for a full week, but then began trying to fix the problem (as we will see in the next several blogs) by blaming Job for his problems. If we take anything away from this story, it should be that even in the midst of adversity, opposition, attack, and discouragement, the believer should always trust God, for His is the only voice that will speak reality and resolution in the midst of trouble!