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Mary Elizabeth Baxter :: Job's Wife—Job 2:9-10

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Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" (Pro 18:22). So says the wise man, and yet this "good thing" may sometimes prove the hardest test of a godly man's faith.

We are familiar with the history of Job, a man whose patience is proverbial even in the Word of God, a man whose home and family life was such that God testified of him as being "perfect and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil." Job's family, consisting of ten children, had already grown up, and some of them had families of their own, before his great troubles fell on him.

For God's own purpose-to bring Job himself into a relation to, and an understanding of his God, beyond what he had ever known before, Satan was allowed to apply to him every imaginable test; his farm‐stock, his servants, his camels, his very children, all were taken from him in one day. But with the dignity of a man whose will has been for years subdued to his God, "Job arose and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground," not to grumble, not to pity himself, not to complain to fellow‐men, but to worship the God who had smitten him! All the words which came from his lips were these:

"Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." It was God's own testimony to this His precious witness:

"In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

Oh! how intensely important it is, when a husband is passing through the furnace, that his wife shall be


and understand His dealings with her husband! But the continuation of his history is evidence that Job's wife sympathised more with her husband than with her God, and she helped to weaken rather than to strengthen him.

When Satan came a second time to present himself before the Lord, and the Lord asked him a second time:

"Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause "-Satan answered the Lord:

"Skin for skin; yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth Thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse Thee to Thy face."

Satan had his revenge to the full against the faithfulness of Job, who had not murmured about the sore trials which had befallen him, for the Lord said unto Satan:

"Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life." And so the enemy, with cruel malignity, went "forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown."

What should his wife do under such circumstances? How natural it is to a woman to sympathise! But, oh, how much of this sympathy is not only useless, but deleterious to those to whom it is offered! "How ill you look!" "How much I feel for you!" never helps a sufferer out of the suffering he is enduring. Human sympathy spends itself in indignation against the person or the thing which has caused the suffering; but this can never lessen it. The real help to a sufferer is to lift him on to another ground, and show him what God is saying to him.


with something or somebody, and when her husband "took a potsherd to scrape himself withal," and, in his deep humiliation, "sat down among the ashes," his wife said to him:

"Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die." As much as to say: "Why go on enduring such misery? It is better to get out of it even if by dying."

O! how terrible is the influence upon a sufferer of one who does not speak in the mind of God! O, how cruel is the influence of a worldly or a carnal spirit where the whole being is crushed down with suffering! Job's wife was no helpmeet to her husband. Job, with all his suffering and all the throbbing pain which racked his poor, afflicted body, had to sustain his wife's faith, when she was tempting him to give up:

"Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?"

"In all this did not Job sin with his lips." So much could not be said of Job's wife.

O! how many a Christian wife has failed to be a helpmeet to her husband, because, in times of trouble and temptation, she has failed to recognise the hand of God, and has sympathised with him as though the circumstances were accidental, or as though the persons through whom he was tried were wilfully malicious. A wife who comes to her husband in the spirit of a prophet, who understands what God is saying, and what God is doing, and who reminds him in his hour of trial of the Hand which is upon the mainspring of events, of the Heart which never ceases to be a Father's heart, of the good Shepherd's care over His sheep-is, indeed, a blessing to a tried husband.

It is no accident that when "the Lord turned the captivity of Job," his friends, his brethren, his sisters, his acquaintances, his sheep, camels, oxen, asses, and also his sons and daughters are named; yet Job's wife who had so signally failed,


The Lord make His children true in their family relationships, that He may say to them, as He did to Abraham: "I will bless thee…and thou shalt be a blessing." (Gen 12:2.)

Esther—Esther 4 to 7. ← Prior Section
Belshazzar’s Queen Mother—Daniel 5. Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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