Cancer: no one wants to hear that word out of their doctor’s mouth. Cancer is elusive, persistent, dangerous, and life threatening. But what if our doctor tell us we have cancer? Or what if we have some other health problem? How should we deal with that? What is the right attitude? What is the right attitude towards God?
4,000 years ago there was a man named Job who was healthy, wealthy, and blessed. Then suddenly he lost everything. All his possessions were destroyed and all his children were killed on the same day, and then it got even worse, he lost his good health. His ailment wasn’t cancer, but it was painful, humbling, and debilitating. Job’s attitude toward his adversity is a good lesson for us in how to deal with our adversity.
Thanks for watching this episode of Bible Mountain dotcom. This is the third episode in a series on the book of Job called Why do people suffer. The book of Job can be divided into 33 sections. You may notice the blocks in this chart are different widths. The width corresponds to how many verses are in each section.
Most of the book is a dialogue that took place between Job and his friends or between Job and Yahweh about why people suffer. The first four sections set the stage for that dialogue. The first section is the first five verses of chapter one. This section introduces us to Job, telling us he was the most righteous and wealthiest man in the east. We looked at that section in the first episode of this series. In the second episode we looked at the second section. This section tells us Satan presented himself before Yahweh and was given permission to take away Job’s possessions and children to see if he would curse God. Job did not curse God. Today we’re going to look at the third section,the first ten verses of chapter 2, and see what we learn about how to deal with health problems.
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.
Notice the word again. Other than these highlighted words, this verse is identical to Job 1:6. This is Job 1:6. And this is Job 2:1. The word again tells us the sons of God and Satan presented themselves before Yahweh a second time. In the previous episode I mentioned the sons of God refer to angels. I explained the word LORD in all capital letters is a translation of Yahweh, which is the personal name which distinguishes the God of the Bible from all other Gods, and I demonstrated the name Satan tells us Satan is the adversary. Let’s go on to verse 2.
The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”
Satan’s response here was exactly the same as the first time Satan presented himself before Yahweh. This is Job 1:7. And this is Job 2:2. Now let’s go to chapter 2 verse 3
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”
Other than the highlighted phrase, this verse is identical to Job 1:8. This is Job 1:8, and this is Job 2:3. Once again, Yahweh bragged about Job, telling Satan there was no one like Job. This is actually the third time we have seen this description of Job. We saw it in the first section in Job 1:1, we saw it in the second section in Job 1:8, and now we are seeing it the third time in this section. Blameless means Job did not do the wrong thing, and upright means he proactively did the right thing. Job wisely feared God, and he turned away from evil.
This is where the story in this section diverges from the story in the previous section. Here, Yahweh was referring back to the story in the previous section in which Satan was allowed to take all of Job’s possessions and kill Job’s children as a test. Notice this phrase “without cause”. Yahweh pointed out to Satan that Job did not deserve the pain and suffering Satan inflicted on him. This is important because this series is called, “Why Do People Suffer?” One of the lessons from Job is sometimes suffering is not the result of our mistakes. In Job’s case, he was innocent. He suffered because he was the casualty of a battle between Yahweh and Satan. Notice this phrase, “he still holds fast his integrity.” Yahweh pointed out to Satan that Job was still following Yahweh even though Job lost everything he owned. Let’s see how Satan responded.
Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.”
Notice the words bone and flesh. Satan was trying a different accusation. This was Satan’s first accusation against Job which we looked at in the previous episode.
Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”
Notice the phrase “all that he has”. In Satan’s first accusation, he said Job would curse God if he lost all his possessions. Yahweh allowed Satan to take all Job’s possessions, but Job did not curse God. Now let’s come back to chapter 2. This was Satan’s excuse for being wrong the first time. “All that a man has he will give for his life”. Then Satan went on to say Job would curse God if Job’s body was afflicted. Let’s go on to verse 6.
So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”
Once again Satan was given permission to afflict Job. However, he was not allowed to kill Job. As I mentioned in the previous episode, Satan is a dangerous adversary, but we need to remember he is always under God’s control. Verse 7
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
And Job took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.
Notice the word scrape, and notice the word ashes. At one time Job was the wealthiest, most prominent man in the east, but after Satan’s attacks he was reduced to scraping himself while sitting in ashes. Verse 9.
Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!”
This is the first time Job’s wife is mentioned, and it’s not a very positive mention. She started off with this question, “Do you still hold fast your integrity?” She more or less told Job he was silly for holding on to his integrity, and then she basically told Job to give up. Verse 10
But Job said to his wife, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Let’s look first at Job’s statement to his wife. Notice the word foolish, and notice the word “as”. Job did not tell his wife she was a fool, he told her she was thinking foolishly at that moment and responding foolishly to their loss. She was being foolish because she wasn’t willing to accept adversity from God as well as good.
Now notice this line. In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Satan was wrong, Job did not curse God, even though Job lost everything and his body was covered with boils.
This is the end of this section. Let’s go back to Job’s question. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?“ Job had just been afflicted with boils all over his body, but he accepted bad health just as readily as he had accepted good health. This is similar to how Job responded after Satan’s first attack.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Job had just lost all his possessions and his children, but he let go of those possessions just as readily as he had accepted those possessions in the first place. So how should we respond when we have health problems? Consider
In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider — God has made the one as well as the other
This was Job’s attitude toward his health problems, and this should be our attitude towards our health problems. Our days of good health and prosperity are a gift from God, but He is not obligated to keep giving that gift.
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