Learn from Job to Worship God in Your Suffering (Part 2)

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Now we come to calamity number two and test number two in Job chapter 2. So listen to Job's story as recorded in Job 2:7-8 and see what the Bible tells us about this calamity.

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. 

Job doesn't even have time to recover from the first calamity that has hit him. In the first calamity, Job had lost all his wealth.  He had even lost all of his 10 children. As if that was not enough, he now in this second calamity contracts a horrible disease. He is afflicted with purse producing boils which are spread all over his body. In great pain and misery, Job takes a broken piece of pottery to scrape away the purse.

Look at  how Job is describing his loathsome condition in Job 7:5 

5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt...  

You see the dust would just stick to the purse that was oozing from the horrible boils on his skin.  And then after describing his physical condition and saying, "my flesh is clothed with worms and dirt..." Job continues on in that same verse and talks of his horrible disease saying:

"...my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh"

What a description!  Is this the reward Job gets for victory number one and passing test number one in Job chapter 1?  And again we are astounded by what we read.  We are again confused by this second calamity and in the midst of our perplexity, we inquire saying, "What in the world is going on?" And again, like in the first instance, God says, "You can't know what is going on and you can't get any answer from this world". 

And so again, the Holy Spirit takes us to the throne room of heaven and in the control centre of the universe to get the explanation of what is going on here in the life of Job.  Look at Job 2:3

 3 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? 

Now that is exactly similar to what God said in the first test in Job chapter 1.  Now still speaking of Job in the above verse, God adds:

He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason."

God is here again bragging about his grace in Job.  God is again looking at Job as his prized diamond that is in the glass showcase right in the centre of his jewellery store.  God talking to Satan and bragging about his servant Job. God is clearly pointing it out to Satan that his prized servant Job is still standing, still shining and still glowing in spite of the calamities that Satan had inflicted upon him. In essence, God is telling Satan that: "Job still has his integrity, Job still loves me,  he still treasures me, he is still delighting in me. He holds fast to his faith and his confidence in me.  My grace is still strong in Job. His heart is still right towards me due to my grace that has given him that new heart."

And then, in Job 2:4 we read the following:

 4 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face."

So again, Satan is challenging God's grace. He is challenging God's worth and he is also challenging God's values. Satan is asking God, "Does Job love you, or the gifts you give him?" And in this case, the gift that  Satan is referring to here is the gift of health that God has given to Job.  So Satan asks God, "Does Job really love and treasure you for your own sake?"  "Okay God", Satan continues on, "Job did pass test number one and he got victory number one.  I cannot deny that. I agree that you are more valuable to Job than his possessions. You are more valuable to him than his wealth, and he has even proved beyond doubt that you are more precious to him than his own children.  But now, God, I want us to move to another serious level.  Let's play some real football.  We have done enough of this village football.  Let us become more serious now and move on to the premier league." I hope you are getting Satan's line of reasoning here. Village football is one kind and when you go to the premier league then you have gone to the other end of the spectrum.  In comparison to village football, the premier league is the real game.  In America, we have a game called "Baseball", and we have a game we call "Softball", and then we have another game we call "Hardball".  And the superstars that are on the premier league standard play "Hardball". 

And so in a sense, Satan is saying to God that, "Let's play a real game here now!  Let's really do a more serious test on Job. Why don't we proceed to another level and deal with Job's health this time? A man will give away everything to protect and to preserve his health.  Does Job treasure you God above his health?  It's one thing to suffer the loss of possessions and family but what about Job losing his own health?" 

So Satan wants to test Job with personal, physical, pain.  The largest organ on Job's body is his skin. The skin is the largest organ on every person's body. That is where all your nerve endings are.  That's where you have the capacity to feel things including the ability to feel pain.  

This test of chronic physical pain that Job is going to undergo in this second calamity is the most difficult form of suffering to endure.  Chronic physical pain can break down and wear out the strongest faith. Has anyone of you ever endured chronic physical pain for a long period of time?  If so, you have an idea about what I am talking about here and what Job was going through. 

Times of chronic physical illness are times when it is very difficult to have your faith stay strong. So God gives his servant Job into Satan's hands.  Look at Job 2:6

 6 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life"

And so with God's permission, Satan goes and attacks Job's health. He inflicts on Job a horrible disease that turns his skin into massive boils that cover the whole of his body. These boils make Job's skin to get rotten and it begins oozing with stinking pus!

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