Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9-10)
The Plight Of A Grieving Wife And Mother
A mother’s love for her children is unmatched for its deep devotion and sacrifice for the child born of her body. No man will understand this. The relationship of a godly woman to a godly man is also unrivaled in its character of devotion and sacrifice. Job was man of unique character but not set apart for self-righteousness. He was commended by God before Satan as no one like him in the world. His life was prefaced by shunning evil, fearing God, and seeking righteousness in everything he did. He was married to a pretty terrific woman also for a man of his character would only thrive with this kind of companion.
We know very little about Mrs. Job. What we do know is often summed up with scorn because of her admonition to Job to give up. I do not suggest knowing her heart but I want to try to understand her. It would be fair to say she loved her husband. They enjoyed ten children together – seven sons and three daughters. What joy that must have brought to their hearts. She lived a quality life tempered by a man who was a godly man. Job had married a beautiful lady and treasured her as a godly man to his wife. But then the day came when everything changed. It did not happen over a few weeks, months or years. It was ONE day.
The Sabeans raided his home taking away the oxen and donkeys killing the servants. Another calamity follows when fire from heaven burned up the sheep and the servants consuming them. The Chaldeans attacked the house of Job taking the camels and killing the servants. A lot of people died that day. A lot. But then came the most horrific news. Their ten children – count them – died at the same time. And remember this all happened in ONE day. So many bodies, so many families grieving, and so much loss – ten bodies for Mrs. Job to bury. A mother’s grief. How can it be measured?
Time passed but there was no easy path to walk with such grief. The sound of her children was gone. What joy there was in her daughters was dead. Her strong boys were dead. She was inconsolable. But it was not over. All of a sudden Job got sick. He became violently ill with boils from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. She could do nothing for her beloved husband. His breath was repulsive to her. Losing her family and now seemingly losing her husband was a burden of unbelievable proportions.
Critics can level charges against Mrs. Job for her statement to her husband but why not? She was crushed. Horrible things had happened and she was having a hard time. She did not hate God. Like Job she was trying to understand it all. What man or woman could endure such tragedy and not feel a strain of “WHY?” I feel so sorry for her because of the tears she wept. First her family and now her husband.
Sometimes we may suffer like Job but sometimes we suffer like his wife. And we may not say and do the right things in the heat of the moment. Our faith is challenged and we cry out to the Lord, “How long O Lord, how long.” This does not make us sinful people but those people of God who are having a really hard time and just need some help to understand it all. And sometimes we don’t get an answer. Faith continues on. The end of the story is that she was blessed with ten more children and her daughters were just as beautiful as she was. Her joy came back because she never gave up on God. She argued but she retained her faith. We may argue and ask the reason why and burst out in tears and still be faithful to our Lord. It is just hard sometimes.
There is no remembrance more blessed, and nothing more blessed to remember, than suffering overcome in solidarity with God; this is the mystery of suffering. (Soren Kierkegaard, Christian Discourses, 1847)