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7 So went Satan forth from the presence of Yahweh, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Then, in seeming heartless response by God to this loving and godly reaction, he was smitten from head to foot -- again obviously by the hand of God -- with the most painful, loathsome and abhorred disease known to man, inevitably fatal in terrible suffering in the natural course of events: a particularly repulsive form of consuming, deforming leprosy, universally regarded as a manifestation of God's especial wrath.
Bro Growcott - Doth Job fear God for nought
9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse Elohim, 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 Elohim, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job is ever a helpful illustration on this point. A man of the thoroughly approved stamp, God overthrew him in all his affairs without letting him know that he was being subjected to a test. Job, while asserting his integrity, took it all in submission, on the ground that God was supreme and did as He willed, and that man, as a created being, had no room to murmur if evil, as well as good were his lot.
In this Job took the right ground; for his judgment of the case was divinely endorsed as against that of his three friends, who argued that because Job had fallen into evil, therefore he must have been unrighteous. Now, why was Job's case recorded? Like all other ancient examples, it was "written for our instruction"; "it happened to them for ensamples (to us)" (I Cor. x. II). If so, it follows that we may sometimes be put to a similar proof if we are worthy of the test.
Consequently, we shall argue wrongly if we say God has forsaken us when something has gone wrong, or that things will always and necessarily go well with us. Can we expect to be better off in these things than the servants of God who have gone before? And what is their history? One and all, they came through sore trouble. The Lord himself was the greatest sufferer of all, and is it not written, "We must suffer with him"?
Nay, is it not the very characteristic of the great assembly of which we hope to form a part that they came out of "great tribulation"? Paul told the disciples that "we must through tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." We do not live in the days of their tribulation, but we must not marvel if we have our share, peculiar to our own times. It is a necessity if we are ever to be worth anything in the Master's service. What preparation is a bed of roses for the great muster of those who have been tried and purified and made white?
Bro Roberts - 'God a sun and shield.'
12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
When did we last sit with an afflicted friend 'upon the ground seven days and seven nights'. (They were committed friends!)
And so time dragged on wearily, with Job lying in misery in the ashes (2:8) (the Septuagint says "dung-heap," which is probably the meaning), until his three especial friends heard of his calamities, and assembled to comfort him. They were so struck with his misery and dreadful appearance that they sat around him in silence for seven days. Then, when he repeatedly implored their comfort and sympathy, they more and more heatedly condemned him and accused him of the vilest crimes and hypocrisies.
This is the background against which we must consider him. Truly, like Moses, under tremendous stress he "spake unadvisedly with his lips."
Job is throughout wrestling tremendously with this problem. Upon the shame and misery of his condition is heaped the smug and self-righteous condemnation of his closest friends. His friends' rejection aroused an over-reaction in what he said, but threw him more and more on God. He had sought their support and sympathy against the hand of God. They railed on him, thinking they were thereby earning God's favour. This added to his bitterness, but it showed him there was nowhere to turn for comfort and understanding but to God Himself.
The friends' condemnation was an essential part of the trial, and of the final result. Though it added immeasurably to his grief, it was probably more helpful to him (in a way opposite what they intended) than their sympathy would have been.
Bro Growcott - Doth Job fear God for nought