The book of Job is depressingly inspiring. One of the characters that contribute to the book’s gloomy air is Job’s wife who makes her first and last appearance in chapter 2:9 with those infamous words, “Curse God and die!” It can be said that she had a right to be bitter and angry. After all, Job wasn’t the only one going through a series of very unfortunate events; she was too. But Job’s wife was angry at the wrong person.
Let’s not be so quick to condemn Job’s wife though because if truth be told and we lost all the things and people who are near and dear to us, it’s highly likely that we would follow her suggestion instead of following her husband’s upright behavior. Here are two things we can learn from this woman who suddenly found herself drowning in misery:
1. Job’s wife was ready to break up with God. The Bible focuses on the pain of Job, but his wife was equally affected. The both lost servants, sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, and their ten precious children. Then Job lost his health and his wife was stuck with a sick husband to care for. Not to mention she had to accommodate three unsympathetic friends while they berated her husband for being the cause of their sudden calamity.
When just one little thing goes wrong in my life, I’m almost always quick to point a blaming finger at God. At least Job’s wife waited until she had nearly lost everything. It’s funny (in an embarrassing sort of way) how we are quick to give up on God as soon as storms wreck our comfort zones. But God never thinks once about giving up on us. Don Francisco said, “God visited us… and… well… we killed him. Funny thing is, He didn’t stay dead. And… not only did He not stay dead, when He got back up, He still loved us.”
On Sundays, we go to church and hear uplifting spiritual clichés – “If God is for us who can be against us?” “God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” “You have a hope and a future.” “God works all things together for the good.” Amen, amen, amen to all the aforementioned statements. God does work all things out for our good, but we might have to go through some ugly stuff first. We might have to experience pain before we begin to prosper.
Why does God allow hardships and bad things to happen to us? He allows them because He is busy making us more like Him. He is developing our character to reflect Christ. He is getting us ready to live with Him forever in Heaven. Derek Prince said, “God is more concerned with our character than with our achievements. Achievements have importance only in the realm of time. Character is eternal. It determines what we will be through eternity.”
Without any earthly pain we’ll never experience any Godly gain.
When going through a trial or difficult test, don’t give up. Keep going. Resist the suggestion of Job’s wife to break up with God just because times are hard. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
2. Job’s wife endured and was blessed. Even though she isn’t mentioned anymore, from the ending of the book of Job we’re going to assume that all turned out well for her. God gave Job and his wife plenty more sheep, camels, oxen, and donkey. They had ten more children together. Job’s health was restored and his wife had a healthy husband once again.
Having double blessings dumped on her, Job’s wife probably regretted saying what she said against God. But she hung in there. She toughed it out and God was gracious to overlook her foolish talk and restore her losses. It is just as James 1:12 says – if we persevere through painful times, we will be richly blessed. Both in this life and in the life to come.