Chapter 2:9-13 (ESV) - Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
Question to consider: Why do you think his wife waited to say something until now?
I have been arguing for the idea that Satan chose the attacks he did against Job to mimic the judgments of God. At first, he attacked livestock and servants by the hand of enemy soldiers. Second, he sent a whirlwind to collapse the house of Job’s eldest son while all of his children were gathered to celebrate the eldest son’s birthday. The attack on the livestock may or may not have been seen as a judgment of God since the surrounding nations went to war all the time to advance the territories of their own gods.
The second attack, however, was a natural event which seemed to specifically target the house of Job’s eldest son. Something that personal and targeted would have raised the suspicions of everyone that someone did something to deserve this. The question would then be, “Who?” It could have been any one of the kids because they frequently gathered for such parties, and Job was constantly making sacrifices on their behalf. If it wasn’t them, it could either have been Job doing some kind of sin in secret, or maybe his wife thought she was responsible since Job appeared so holy.
It wasn’t until Job received the skin disease that his wife spoke up. My guess is that she saw the disease as definitive proof that Job did something to earn the judgment of God. The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) translation of Job has an extended version of her dialogue in verse 9, “And when much time had passed, his wife said to him, How long wilt thou hold out, saying, ‘Behold, I wait yet a little while, expecting the hope of my deliverance?’ For, behold, thy memorial is abolished from the earth, even thy sons and daughters, the pangs and pains of my womb which I bore in vain with sorrows; and thou thyself sittest down to spend the nights in the open air among the corruption of worms, and I am a wanderer and a servant from place to place and house to house, waiting for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from my labours and my pangs which now beset me: but say some word against the Lord, and die.”
Job’s wife thought that Job should go ahead and say something to curse the Lord so the Lord could finish him off. Maybe she thought she would fare better as a widow? It was bad enough that Job had to endure the loss of his livelihood and children and suffer through a loathsome disease. Now he had to endure the scorn of his own wife. It must have felt like a comfort to have friends who were willing to sit with him in silent support and help him bear up under this disease.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit to comfort us during times of difficulty and convict us of sin when necessary. Amen.