Online Bible Commentary
Job 2:4 "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face." 6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life." 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (NIV)
Previously God allowed Satan to kill Job’s ten children and take all his wealth, even though Job was faithful to God and had done no wrong. Satan had claimed that Job’s faith was only because God had blessed him and if those blessings were taken away Job would show his true colors and curse God. Satan did his evil work, but Job did not curse God. He remained faithful. So Satan came back to God a second time, defeated but not swayed.
In this passage, Satan claims that Job only remained faithful because his own life was not threatened (v.4). He claims that if that would happen Job would surely curse God (v. 5). God, believing in Job’s faithfulness, grants Satan’s wish. He allows Satan to afflict Job’s health, but to stop short of taking his life (v.6).
So Satan afflicts Job with painful sores all over his body (v.7). The sores are so painful and inflamed that Job tries to stop the itching by scratching them with a piece of broken pottery (v.8a). He did this as he sat in ashes, humbling himself before God in meekness, offering his life to God if that was God’s will (v.8b).
Job’s wife sees him in this pitiful and disgraced state and, in a burst of disgust and anger, exclaims that he should stop being faithful to God and should just curse God and kill himself (v.9). Up until then Job’s wife had been supportive even through the death of their children and the loss of their wealth. But now, she finds herself in a state of being overcome with grief and in a state of weakness. She is ripe for the attacks of Satan, as he attacks us in our areas of weakness. Satan uses her to deepen the wounds already inflicted upon her husband.
Job surely is deeply hurt by his wife’s remarks, as she is the only one left from his family and he is especially in need of her comfort and support. Job stays faithful to the Lord and rebukes his wife for her comments. The Hebrew for the word translated “foolish” is to be morally deficient. Job’s rebuke is that she is acting morally deficient, outside the will of God (v.10a).
Job then instructs his wife that we should not expect God to bless us without also allowing some trouble along the way (v.10b). He is wise in the way of God and knows that, no matter how faithful we remain, we must expect some bad with the good. He had been a man who was greatly blessed, and now he was greatly cursed.
In spite of the hardships that God had placed upon Job, Job remained faithful. He continued to follow God, and he continued to be obedient to Him (v. 10c). Job knew that God was up to something. He was wise in the ways of God and knew that everything happens for a reason. He was determined to stay in the will of God.
So Job did not blame God for his hardships. Job had a mature faith. He was not swayed by the workings of Satan. Satan had tried to pry him away from God, but had failed again. It is Satan’s job to accuse, deceive, and lie to us; even to the point of using those we love the most, all to pull us away from God. It is our job to remain faithful through it all.