Are you critical and judgmental towards the wife of Job? Most who read Job immediately dismiss her with one stroke of condemnation. But have you REALLY considered Job’s wife? Her famous outcry of:- curse God and die.. is not right at the start of her ordeal. The Septuagint version of the Bible says much time having elapsed….. Much time had passed until she reached her personal breaking point.
Along with her husband, she had received all the fury of Satan’s initial attack. Along with Job, she had suffered the loss of their home, their goods, their land. Most painful of all, her tender mother-heart had been broken.. utterly shattered – broken and shattered, by the loss of each one of their ten, precious children. I was once broken by the death of my own daughter – but would I have endured such added grief as Job’s wife faced? – Would you?
The Septuagint bible captures the essence of this tender-hearted woman’s anguish. In Job chapter 2 we read, those sons and daughters, whom I brought forth with pangs of sorrow, and for whom I toiled in vain, are vanished from the earth; and Job – thou, thyself sittest among the putrefaction of worms, all nightlong in the open air, while I am wandering about or working for wages, wishing for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from the sorrows I endure. Job.2:9 (Septuagint translation)
These bitter words were not spoken following Satan’s first murderous attack. This cry of despair was much later - only uttered after his second, viscous assault. No wonder she crumpled and broke under the strain of such enormous calamities. No surprise that she was unable to endure the consequences of life’s bitterest blows. Can we truly and coldly censure the crash of this traumatised woman? Can we honestly judge her without also condemning ourselves? Oh yes, we know from James 5 that Job alone depended on God’s tender mercies. We know that Job alone endured – until God had His end through His way in Job’s life. And though he sinned not with his lips, Job’s questions lacked true understanding.
We know his wife spoke foolishly and unadvisedly through her imprudent outburst. We know she cried out without understanding and wisdom in her troubled talk. We know she allowed Satan to sift and seduce her – to utter those words of despair. But remember.. even the apostle Peter allowed himself to be a tool of Satan. Even he was sifted by the enemy to speak against the redeeming Cross of Christ. Even he was rebuked by our Lord to Get thee behind me, Satan. Matthew 16:23 In all honesty, have we not also allowed our own words or actions to condemn us? Haven’t each of us permitted the devil a foothold as we confront our own traumas? But as for the apostle, despite such a fall, God’s grace is never irrecoverable – for His tender kindness and loving-mercies toward us are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22
If we, like Job are to be counted among the faithful intercessors of the Lord.. we like Job must be prepared to stand in the gap …’ to stand in the gap’ for others in their trying times. When we are really willing to allow God to carry out His work in us; when He has fashioned us after His own will, to have Christ live in and through us; when He has brought you to an end of yourself and broken all your self-will and when God is given full authority over every jot and tittle of your very being... you may, at last, recognise how much like Job – or like Job’s wife you have been. You may realise what resistance you have put up, as He cut you like a diamond. You, like Job, may see that your lamentations showed a lack of understanding.
Will you, like Job, be able and willing to stand in the gap for another? Will I? How precious if He used you or me – to make the difference for another soul. Contemplate these thoughts the next time you are overwhelmed by the facts of life. Contemplate these thoughts the next time you drop to your knees, to pray.
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