Tuesday, October 31, 2023


  No 27 The Word from His Mouth

Job responded to his wife’s words―Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die (Job 2:9) in a kindly manner. His response is built on respect and love for his wife. He said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh (Job 2:10). He did not call her a foolish woman. He said she only spoke as a foolish woman speaks. I hear kindness in his response (as indicated in my following paraphrase); “Sweetheart, I know you so well. You’ve been my loving wife all these many years. I know your heart. But right now, in this moment, you are talking like a foolish woman.”
When Job’s wife made the impious statement in Job 2:9, Job did not immediately run out to get his lawyer to write up divorce papers from Mrs Job. In Job’s mind (verse 10) they are still a couple. Notice: But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we . . . They are still a “we” in Job's view.
Job and Mrs Job
We established in the last post that while Mrs Job has generally been viewed as a bad person by many Bible students, I look for a fairer view than that. She is not an evil woman. She is, quite possibly, suffering even more than her husband Job himself. Job had lost all his wealth and his ten children. She lost those as well, and additionally, she lost Job, you might say. She cannot care for him as a loving wife would want to do. He is not even living in their home, it seems, for he is outside town sitting in ashes at the city dump.
This, in itself, may even have been a feature of their committed love. He may have chosen to quarantine himself from her for fear she would catch the mysterious and unknown malady that he has. At the least, he can console himself that “she doesn’t have it.”
Job Continues
Job’s reply continues: What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2:10). Please allow my paraphrase to continue. It is as if Job is saying, “Honey, shall you and I, shall we, receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil from Him as well?” 
It may be in the realization of her deep pain that he says to her, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” My paraphrase continues: “Haven’t we not received so many good things from Him? We have had a wonderful life together. Our home together. Our kids together. We accepted those good things from God joyfully. Shall we not accept the other side of goodness from Him just as joyfully? Let’s keep our faith together as well.”
The Other Side of Goodness
We want the good life from God. We balk when it is not so good. We want the rain to water our crops. Sometimes the rain is so plenteous it floods. We love the cool breeze on a hot summer day. Sometimes the wind is so strong it blows things down. This takes us to the issue in Job. It’s easy being a Christian when things are swell. It’s easy following God when He takes us where we want to go. It’s wonderful having no pain. But God is much too loving to let us determine what is best for us. God is much too wise to let us think we know everything we need to know. 
Job is Ahead of His Times
Job asks his wife a simple question. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? This question becomes the battle ground for the rest of the Book of Job. This question is asked in the chapter 2. The next 40 chapters (the remainder of the Book) are involved in the answering of this question. Job will work on the answer. Eliphas will offer the solution. So will Bildad and Zophar. Elihu gets involved and offer his views. God, even God, gets involved in the answering.
But this is ahead of where we are. We will explore these later. The first question for us to answer is where did Job get his spiritual stuff? He had no Bible to turn to (there was no Bible). Job had not learned his truths because he was old and wise. His friend Eliphas may have been twice Job’s age (and Eliphas will remind Job of this fact). What Job had learned was not necessarily truths learned from prior experience with pain. Pain had not been his teacher. Trouble was not his acquaintance. Question. Where, then, did Job learn these precious and valuable insights? Answer. He received them from the Same Source as you and I. He learned from God Himself. 

Job and God
From the outset, let’s establish Job’s relationship with God. This is crucial. This has every bearing for our lives as it had for his life. What does Job tell us? Here are his words: But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
Job was very clear on the doctrine of "gold-i-fying." He knew that faith must be tried. Gold becomes precious when it is pure―when it has been refined. Faith becomes reliant when it has been tried. And that is the course God has set out for him to take. And God and Job both knew that he is on course―He knows the way that I am taking. My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined (Job 23:11).
Job’s life was following the path God had set out for him to travel. Job is saying, "My feet are holding to the steps He has ordered. I am keeping His ways. I have never said 'No' to anything that God has ever wanted me to say 'Yes' to. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:12). 

Job said, "I have never turned aside from keeping His commandments." [Remember―the giving of the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai had not yet occurred.] Job was accustomed to hearing God from His own lips. God was his teacher―His Spirit was his Guide. And Job had lived a life of obedience―never went back. The things that God had shown him―the things that God had told him from His very own mouth―was more important to him than his necessary food. That food he needed. That food his body required. Necessary food is the food one needs to sustain physical life. It’s just what we need to stay alive. No more than that. This means Job valued the Word of God more than life itself. Job was committed to obeying God even it it meant death to himself (like not eating necessary food). Job valued the words from God's mouth that much. He prized with his very life the words from God's lips.

To esteem something means to regard it highly. To value it. To cherish it. To guard it. To protect it. To lay it up in store. Job lived his life knowing that someday―somehow―a crisis might come into his life. He lived with that in view. And he prepared accordingly (as we should). He hinted at this in Job 2:10: Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

What?  Are we to think that life will always be a easy and a bed of roses? Are we to think that trouble will never come our way? We cannot expect that a crisis will never come. In modern parlance, Job was a "prepper." He was not one to lay in store food, bread, gold, silver, guns and ammo in his underground bunker. Job did lay up the Word of God―he laid up the Word of God in his heart.

Just Like David
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
The only way that Job could have stood in that hour (Chapter 1 and 2) is because God had prepared him for the crisis. God had hedged him in. God provided spiritual strength which Job treasured and stored in his heart. That Word from God's lips was more precious than life itself. The Holy Spirit had taught him to patiently continue in the way of the Lord. He was prepared for crisis of any sort. And when crisis did come, it was no surprise. Job held on to his integrity.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 2:10 In all this did not Job sin with his lips.  
What God Waits For
God is waiting for a church full of Job-like people today. God is waiting for a people who will stand before the rest of the on-looking world, and say, in solemn vow to Him, I will. A people who will say
You can take my house.
You can take my land.
You can take my Medicare.
You can take my Social Security.
You can take my health.
You can take my life.
Take everything, but give me Jesus.

I have to ask myself―do I have that kind of relationship with God? Have I purposed this in my heart in my heart as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego―that I would rather die than dishonor God?

Do I value more than anything to have God, as a Friend, come to my tent, and share companionship with me and tell me that I am His own? And that I can tell Him He is my own?

That is my prayer, and I pray, as well, that it may be yours. Do you wish the same for yourself?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359. 









Tuesday, October 24, 2023

No 26  Job and Mrs Job

I believe that Job and Mrs Job were―
    equally yoked in marriage
    equally strong helpmeets to each other
    equally strong in faith
    equally worshipped God together
    equally partnered in love and family
I believe the above statements characterize them
    before the Book of Job was written
    from the beginning of the Book
    in the middle of the Book
    at the end of the Book
    and even in Job 2:9,10
This, of course, is opinion on my part. I can only give evidence for my belief as you continue to read. 
Job 2:9,10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job’s wife’s role in the story of her husband’s suffering is very brief. She speaks only a single time. But for the one time she does speak, she has been maligned through the ages since as a bad person. I believe she deserves fairer judgment than that. She was not in the habit of annoying or antagonizing her husband. She was a very spiritual match for Job. I believed she loved Job very deeply. I believed he loved her equally as deeply.
She Lost More Than Job Lost
She―too―had lost ten children.
She―too―had lost possessions and wealth.
But she lost one thing more than Job had lost.
She lost her companion.
No more intimate moments with her husband.
No more romantic conversations by the fireplace.
No more long walks in the evening together.
No more watching the sky ablaze with the dazzling colors which only God can paint a sunset.
[I am deeply indebted to someone else for these last four sentences.] 
Job now lives at the city dump (and presumably not with her). I believe she was suffering (a different kind of suffering) with her husband, and, as much as her husband. She was grieving hard. With such sores from his head to his toes, she could not soothe nor apply balm for healing. Her grief was understandable.
She sees all her dreams implode. This is more than she can take. She had no inkling her situation will ever change and get better. As she sees it, life can never yield good again. Mrs Job bears Job’s suffering with him. She was deeply affected by Job’s experience. She endures, in a sense, what Job was enduring―enduring as any mother hurts when her child is hurting. There is no going back. You can't take that away from a wife and mother.
What Hurt Her More Than Anything 
If there is anyone who knows Job personally and intimately and his ability to persist, it is she. If there is anyone who knows Job’s integrity, it is she. And no one knows better than she how good Job has been. No one understands better that Job did nothing to deserve this suffering than she.

It is because she so loved and so cherished her husband that Mrs Job more effectively served Satan’s purpose. She comes to Job, however unwittingly, as Satan’s advocate. If there had been a voice more persuasive than her voice, Satan would have used THAT voice. If there had been a history of disharmony between the two of them, her words would have meant nothing. Mrs Job’s advice, though she could not see through it, bears Satan’s seal and stamp of approval. Satan’s signature is written in her words. Of course, it is the wrong advice and Satan’s purposes are served by her statement. But Job saw through that! It may have been Satan's words Job heard, but it was her heart he read.

Job's Response to Mrs Job is Banked on a History of Love and Respect
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh (Job 2:10). This sentence turns on a single word―the word “as.” Job did not call his wife foolish. Job said she was speaking "as" a foolish woman speaks.
Every translation of the Bible I have available uses either as or like in this sentence. 

ASKJV, KJV21, ASV, AMP, AMPC, BRG, CSB, ESV, HCSB, JUB, AKJV, LSB, NABRE, NASB, NASB1995, NKJV, NLV, NRSVA, OJB, RSV, TLV, WEB, WYC, YLT, Leeser, Tanakh, JPS1917, Lamsa-AEM, BSB, Boothroyd, Hebraic Roots, Lighthouse, Palmer, KJVA, LITV, MKJV, RV, TS2009, Webster, ABPen, EBR, ESV2011, LSV, RNKJV, ISAB.


And what does the lone GNT say? Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God (Job 2:10, Good News Translation). 
Job calls her words foolish, but not her as a persontoo much love and respect to do that!

In the context of this document, allow me to suggest a very loose paraphrase of Job 2:10.

But he said unto her, “Honey, I know you very well. You have been my loving wife all these many years. But right now you are talking like a foolish woman talks."

Job asks his wife to think through the implications of her words. Job’s reply does not disparage his wife. His reply does not reflect earlier domestic disharmony in the Jobian household. The word foolish here does not carry the implications of our present word foolish.

        It does not mean ungodly.
        It does not mean impious.
        It does not reflect stupidity.
The implication---the inference---here is that under stress she has spoken out of character. The sentiment she expresses does not accord with her personality. The sentiment she expresses does not accord with her usual faith. 
I believe she wore “the badge of innocence.” I believe she was unwittingly used. She does not demand. She suggests.
What prompted her words? I believe she believed in his integrity and wished to shorten his suffering. If God is against him, he might as well allow his miserable life to come to an end. How many times have we sat at the bedside of a loved one during their intense suffering and prayed for the mercy of death? Mrs Job may have spoken the words many people have felt in a similar situation. Job's wife implies that death is preferable to such a life as Job now leads, and must expect to lead for the rest of his lifethere is no end in sight for this suffering. "God should take his life and put him out of his misery."
Was it out of bitterness toward God for allowing Job’s suffering that she advised Job “to take the easy way out?" Or was it because she wanted her husband’s misery and suffering to end? There is a difference! The first question here blames God. The second question is love for a husband.

Consider thisif Satan had killed Mrs Job right along with the ten children, grieving Job could at least comforted himself by believing she would have stood by him and comforted him (if she was alive).

Mrs Job was married to a good and godly man. There was a lot of loving going on in that household. She bore him ten children. She and Job had reared their family to love the Lord. The issues of the Book of Job are considered, and at the end of the book, restorations are made. Things settle back to normal. There will be a whole lot of loving going on in their household again. Ten more children will be born to them. And she and Job will rear them in the love of the Lord.  
Job did not sin as Satan said he would―by cursing God publicly. Job’s suffering, as horrible as it was, did not blot out his memory of the grace of God. His faith remained steadfast. Suffering did not shake his confidence. I want that same experience for my life. Don't you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

Addendum No 1
In what ways are Mrs Job and Eve similar? (Mrs Job has been called the second Eve).
Satan spared Mrs Job for the purpose of tempting Job as he had used Eve to tempt Adam. Both speak Satan's speech. The curse Mrs Job advocates is the very one Satan suggested and predicted Job would make. As Eve made Satan’s speech to Adam, so Mrs Job makes Satan’s speech to Job. As Eve was deceived, Mrs Job advised her husband in evil as Eve did to Adam. And why has Mrs Job been so detested through the centuries when Eve has been forgiven?

But note the outcomes: Job resists the evil as Adam might have done.

Addendum No 2
I am always looking for Bible writers who give Mrs Job an understanding review. I have collected such through the years. But all that work was for my personal study. I never did foresee that I would one day write a blog on the Book of Job, and here I write with poor and inadequate documentation of the many writers who did wonderful work before me. To all of you I am grateful. Please forgive me that I cannot provide credit for your work.













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