Introduction: Last week we felt sorry for Job as he lost his children
and his wealth. Recall that while God permitted these tragedies, God
restrained Satan from harming Job himself. Job 1:12 (“on the man
himself do not lay a finger”). God won round one. Satan’s prediction
was wrong: when Job suffered these losses he did not curse God,
rather he praised God ( Job 1:21). Are you someone who could prove
Satan wrong? Let’s plunge into the story of Job and see how the
- Second Staff Meeting
- Read Job 2:1-2. Once again we find an account of a second
heavenly “staff meeting” where God receives reports from
the leaders of the galaxies. What would be a proper report
for Satan? (He should admit that he was wrong about Job.)
- Read Job 2:3. God realizes that there is an omission in
Satan’s report, so He mentions Job. What does this tell us
about God? (He pays attention to what is going on among
- Is God also taunting Satan?
- Read Proverbs 24:17-18. How do you reconcile this
text with what God is saying to Satan? It seems like
gloating or taunting, right? (If this is truly a
staff meeting, then this is not a private
conversation between God and Satan. When we
understand this, we see that God is promoting His
side of the controversy between good and evil.)
- Consider what a great warrior Job is for God!
Would you like to be God’s warrior?
- What does God reveal about His attitude when we
suffer at the hands of evil? (God sounds unhappy
about what has happened to Job.)
- Read Job 2:4-5. How do you explain the logic of Satan’s
argument? I understand the “give all [you] have for your
life,” but what has that got to do with cursing God?
(Job’s jewel in life is his relationship with God. If God
seems to give up on Job, if God wrongly punishes Job, then
Satan thinks that Job will give up his most important
asset, his relationship with God.)
- Read Job 2:6. Where would we be if not for God? (Satan
would have killed Job, and he would like to kill you.)
- The Attack on Job’s Person
- Read Job 2:7-8. What about this word picture makes you
feel sad? (No one is helping Job with his medical
problems. He is mourning, sitting in ashes, and scraping
- Would it be reasonable for Job to feel that God is
- Read Matthew 27:46. If you say, “yes, Job
should feel that God is punishing him or has
forsaken him,” then add that to all of Job’s
other woes. How would you respond?
- Read Job 2:9. Who is supposed to be the one who encourages
you and lifts you up when you are ill or discouraged?
- Let’s carefully consider the wife’s words. Is her
failure not properly encouraging Job, or does it go
beyond that? (She tells Job to die. There is
something seriously wrong here. Either she has a bad
relationship with Job, or she is hostile to God.
Perhaps both. Perhaps she is terribly angry about
losing her status as the wife of the richest man in
- Why didn’t Satan kill Job’s wife when he was killing
- Let’s look at the logic of the suggestion of Job’s
wife. She chides Job for holding onto his
“integrity.” Why is Job’s integrity part of the
- I looked at Strong’s understanding of the
Hebrew word here and it suggests that
“integrity” means “innocence.” Does that help
you to explain the wife’s statement? (Job’s
wife may be saying that Job does not understand
that God let him down. He does not understand
the real world, where gods are not your
- Re-read Job 2:3 and Job 2:9. Did you notice that we see
the same word “integrity?” According to Strong’s, it is
the same root word in Hebrew. What do you think God means
when He says, Job “still maintains his integrity?” (God is
not using the term in the sense of “innocence,” rather God
uses it to mean righteousness or devotion to God.)
- If Job’s wife uses this term, “integrity,” in the
same way God uses it, what is Job’s wife suggesting?
(She is telling him to turn away from God. That helps
us understand her “curse God” advice ( Job 2:9). Under
either of these meanings, Job’s wife recommends that
he forsake his allegiance to God.)
- Even if God has forsaken Job, or is not his
friend, how would you explain her
recommendation to curse God? (She is angry,
- Read Job 2:10. How do you think Satan reacts to Job’s
statement? (Satan is wrong again! Job remains faithful to
God. He is a true warrior for God!)
- Let’s consider in more detail what Job said. Since we
discussed the wife’s advice, Job’s response might
help us to better understand what she recommended.
What does Job say about her advice? (He says it is
“foolish,” which we might understand to mean
- The NIV has a footnote saying the Hebrew for
“foolish” means “moral deficiency.” Does that better
describe the wife’s advice? (Job’s wife has given in
to Satan’s attack. She is not only rejecting God, she
is attacking Him. This might feel good, but it is
- Since we have previously discussed the parallels with
the Genesis 3 temptation of Eve, do you think Satan
would have done as well if he tempted Adam first?
(Read Genesis 3:12. Adam is no Job.)
- Let’s look at the logic of the last part of Job’s
statement in Job 2:10. Did Job’s trouble come from God?
(God certainly was not the author of it. It was not God’s
idea. However, God permitted it. Job 2:3 shows us that God
is unhappy about what Job is suffering.)
- What does this teach us about our suffering?
- I often hear people say that they are suffering
because “God is testing them.” Is that a reasonable
conclusion based on what we have studied so far? (No.
Recall that Deuteronomy 28 tells us that we get what
we deserve – obey and be blessed, disobey and suffer
harm. This, of course, is how Job understands the
world. Job’s story provides us with a larger
understanding of the battle between God and Satan and
how it affects us.)
- Since we studied the end of the story first, we know
that God essentially said to Job, “I’m God and you
are not, sit down and shut up.” Why didn’t God use
that same response on Satan? “I’m God and you are
not. I tell you Job will not curse Me so shut up and
don’t harm him!” (Since this is at a staff meeting,
the delegates of the rest of the universe are paying
attention to this discussion.)
- Read Job 2:11. What is the agreed goal of Job’s friends?
(To sympathize with him and comfort him.)
- Read Job 2:12-13. What do you think about this approach to
bringing sympathy and comfort to those who are suffering?
- We are not going to go into detail now about Job’s
conversation with his friends. But, to consider the
kind of things the friends later said, read Job 4:5-9. How does this compare to the friend’s first
approach? (The friends later try to explain why Job
is suffering – and they think it is Job’s fault
because they understand the obey and be blessed,
disobey and be cursed theory. It was so much better
to just weep with Job and sit in silence with him.)
- What do you say when you try to comfort someone who
- Friend, what practical lessons have we learned for when we
visit those who are suffering? Sometimes just being there
and being sympathetic is the best thing. Explaining the
reason for the suffering is a dangerous task. The worst
thing is to undermine faith in God. Will you apply the
lessons from Job the next time you try to give comfort?
- Next week: God and Human Suffering.