Front Page
Meditations Contents
Series Theme: The Anguish of Job
Meditation No. 6
Series Contents:
Meditation Title: Even More!

1. Setting the Scene

2. God the Initiator

3. Satan the Destroyer

4. Mishaps of Life

5. Responding to Disaster

6. Even More

7. Options

8. Friends

9. Job's Lament

10. Be an example

11 to 20

31 to 40

41 to 50

51 to 60

61 to 68



1-10 roughly cover Ch.1-4

11-20 roughly cover Ch.4-7

21-30 roughly cover Ch.8-11

31-40 roughly cover Ch.12-15

41-50 roughly cover Ch.16-21

51-60 cover Ch.22-33

61-68 cover Ch.34-42


Job 2:1-6   On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason." "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."


There is a repetition in the first half of these verses that take us back to the first time Satan came into heaven and God questioned him about Job. Again, as we have observed previously, it is God who takes the initiative. This is now another day, obviously some time later, and we go through exactly the same process up until the point when the Lord says, And he still maintains his integrity. He has been given every reason to be upset but Job has maintained his integrity. He had not reacted adversely to having had everything taken from him.

There arise thoughts here about one of the key questions of creation. Why did God give us free will? Wouldn't life have been better if sin had not come into the world and the world then subsequently NOT ‘gone wrong'? So why did God make us with this capability of being able to choose whether or not to respond favourably to Him? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the apostle John's assertion that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16) because love seeks out love. When we truly love someone we want to give out to them, but we also want the fulfilment of it being reciprocated. Without free will there can be no love reciprocated because love is a response thing, a free thing, something that happens spontaneously, not forced.

Surely one of the key questions behind the thinking of the godhead when planning the world was, “How can we give man free will and yet also create circumstances whereby he will love back and enter into the wonder of our love?” Job is a classic answer, apparently, to this conundrum. Job loves God. He has every reason to; he is a much blessed man. OK, take away the blessing. Will he still love God? Yes! Love does not have to depend upon how much we have, although it genuinely is a response to being loved (1 Jn 4:19).

Look at how that first new verse continues: And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason. Bear that in mind in the coming arguments. There was no reason for this to come against Job. He had done nothing to warrant it! It wasn't his sin that provoked this. No, there are much bigger issues here. One of those issues is to do with the nature of Satan himself. See how God describes his activity: you incited me against him. Can God be incited? Can God be stirred up to act against His will? No, of course not! The point that the Lord is making is that that was Satan's intention, to stir the Lord against Job so that he, Satan, could go about his malicious business of harming God's creation out of spite, jealousy and pride.

Did God not realise that this was how Satan would act when confronted with God's exalting of Job? Yes, of course He did; that was the whole point. Job's love, his steadfastness, his integrity, his faithfulness, cannot be proved until the possible causes of all those things have been removed. Isn't that exactly the point that Satan made when he previously had said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” (1:9-11). He's only like this, he maintained, because you have blessed him! Here is the crux. Will people love God when they have little or nothing? That is what is under scrutiny here.

But the debate hasn't finished. So, OK, you've taken away his possessions, but I bet if you took away his health he wouldn't stick with you, is what Satan next says. Is God being forced into a corner? Don't be silly! Who took the initiative here? Who started off this conversation again about Job? Once He has started down this path (even before then actually!) the Lord knows this has got to go the full way. Yes, Satan could be allowed to take Job's life, but that would be the easy way out, really. Oh yes, there have been many martyrs. When you die, you get it over with quickly and move on into heaven, but the far harder path is to be taken right up to the doorway of death, but left suspended in ill-health and sickness, and the Lord knows that that is what His servant is going to have to endure for Job to go down in history as the man who held onto his integrity in the face of the most awful of trials.

The Lord knows it is not going to last for ever and He knows that He will eventually completely restore Job, but for the moment, from Job's perspective, this will seem like an ongoing suffering with no ending. In the past I have known immense back pain and at such times you do everything you can to alleviate it with no success and you just can't see a time in the future without it. That is what illness is like. You are utterly trapped by it and there is nothing you can do to get yourself out of it – except pray, and wait.

Does suffering have to have a reason? The disciples thought so when confronted by a blind man (see Jn 9) but Jesus refused to accept it as anything other than an opportunity to glorify God: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Living in a fallen world, things go wrong. Sometimes it's the work of Satan, sometimes the results of the activities of sinful men, and sometimes it's just because the world is fallen and it's no longer working perfectly, but whatever it is, for those of us who know the Lord, here is an opportunity to glorify Him by the way we respond to it. No, it's not nice. Yes, it is thoroughly uncomfortable. Yes, we'd much rather not have to go through it, but as children of God, will we consider it a joy (Jas 1:2) to be given the opportunity to hold on to the grace of God and respond well and to God's glory.

The apostle Paul was able to say, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 3:10) In other words the angelic beings will glorify God when they see the way we receive and respond to the grace of God. Similarly, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” (Phil 2:14,15). May we be like that!