Since I started reading the book of Job a week ago, I’ve been pondering questions about Job I’ve had for years. I’ve been desiring the Lord to show me more and open my understanding. Sometimes it’s not enough to just have an answer to a question, at least for me. In the case of Job, I wanted to understand the role of Job in my life, so I could apply the wisdom of the answer into understanding that would glorify the Lord and help me to live better.

The book of Job says Job didn’t sin by cursing God (Job 1:22). Job did not, in fact, curse God. Nowhere through the book of Job does he curse the Lord. However, he does curse the day of his birth and laments his very existence. Job does sin, somehow. As I was reading through Job today the Lord brought some insight into Job’s state of mind that I’d like to share with you.

When Job’s friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, initially showed up to comfort him they were silent for seven days until he spoke. The first thing Job does, after those seven days, is curse the day he was born, and lament his existence, as we’ve covered. When Eliphaz responds to Job, he asks 10 questions. The most pertinent question, I believe, he asks is, “Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?” (Job 4:6 NIV)

Have you ever been around your friends, people who you believe to be like-minded individuals, and find yourself with a difference of opinion? These types of situations can make or break a friendship. How about being with someone, like a spouse, and not feeling like you have their support? How do we respond in those situations?

I’ve never thought much, before, about those seven days Job sat silently with his friends. Let’s take a moment and look at what happened right before his friends showed up. Before Job spends those seven days in silence, “His wife [says] to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9 NIV) Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, I cannot explain to you the agony of the soul that comes in a situation where even your spouse appears to be against you. Given all that had happened already to Job and his wife; the loss of property, status, and children, there’s the loss of Job’s health and the goodwill between husband and wife.

There’s a lot Job could have said to his wife. However, he keeps it short, and says, “You are talking like a [spiritually] foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10 NIV)

We have to understand that, what happens in Job, in the first two books, doesn’t happen overnight. Some time has passed after losing all of his property, but we don’t know how much. Job 2 tells us, “On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him” (Job 2:1 NIV). Therefore, some time passed between the two events but we don’t know how much time. We might think, as we continue reading the rest of chapter 2, that the rest of what happens does so in quick succession. That’s to say, Job gets afflicted, scrapes himself with a pottery shard, and is told by his wife to curse God and die. Then his friends show up and they wait together for seven days (Job 2:7-12).

However, Job lets us know it’s been months since all of this calamity has reigned down upon him.

So I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.

Job 7:3 (NIV)

Therefore, we can surmise, that after months of suffering, Job’s friends hear all about what’s befallen him, decide to visit him to cheer him up, and shortly before they arrive, Job’s wife says to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)

What Job lacked, after so many months of anguish, was hope. Everything but his life and his wife had been taken from him. Within himself, he had his hope and his integrity. While it might have cheered him up to see his friends, he had a lot to think about which is why he was silent for those seven days. Can you imagine losing all of your material goods and your children, then losing your health, and still maintaining your hope in God? When you have someone to go through hard times with you it can make all of the difference. However, we can only fully lean on God, and when we lean on anything else, we will fall down, hard.

When we lean on the temporary things of this world, we’re depending on houses made of sand. Whether you like it or not, your marriage, your friends, and even your brothers and sisters in Christ are fallible and can fail you. We can only rely upon God to never leave us or forsake us.

After Job’s wife told him to, “Curse God and die”, I think a lot went out of him. Hence, his seven days of silence. After seven days, Job concluded that it would have been better if he’d never been born. ““May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ (Job 3:3 NIV) I think Job still had some hope, which is why Eliphaz’s question, “Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?” is important (Job 4:6 NIV).

Job did have confidence and hope in his blameless ways. However, this is where his friends do not help him. They believe Job is suffering because of sin in his life. No one can believe that God would punish someone who hadn’t sinned. Since Job is suffering, and only God could allow it to happen, it must have happened because he sinned. Job, on the other hand, knows he hasn’t sinned. Therefore, the problem, in Job’s mind, must be that God isn’t just in His ways.

This is the principal conflict in the book of Job. Job’s righteousness versus the just nature of God. Job hoped in God and his own piety. Although he sees God as the destroyer of his hope; “as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person’s hope”, Job is unwavering regarding his own blameless state (Job 14:19 NIV). When Job no longer sees God as being just, he’s not seeing God clearly anymore.

One might wonder, was Job being prideful in the hope he had in his own piety? No, I don’t think so because he was right about his piety. He was blameless and without fault. This entire issue began because, “the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil'” (Job 1:8 NIV). Job wasn’t prideful, but he was misguided because of his own understanding.

My brothers and my sisters, I know life is hard. Some days we don’t understand why life is the way that it is. We look for answers when we don’t even know the questions. We turn to God, and it might seem like He’s not listening, and He’s not with us. However life might look, we must not rely upon what we think we know. Scripture tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).

I’m learning there’s very little I really do understand, and I’m okay with that. I’m okay because I know that even if I don’t know, God does. God knows, and I trust Him. I hold onto Him and His promises knowing He’ll never leave me nor forsake me, and, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, [and] who have been called according to his purpose” (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:28 NIV).

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.