Satan’s Additional Charge, 1-6
2:1 Again the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also arrived among them to present himself before the LORD. 2:2 And the LORD said to Satan, “Where do you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 2:3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly to his integrity, so that you stirred me up to destroy him without reason.”
“You stirred me up to destroy him without reason” – According to Dan Barker, this is one of ‘the 10 worst Old Testament verses’: ‘God made a bet with Satan that Job, a good and blameless man, would remain faithful even if he killed his children and ruined his life. Here we see God indicting himself for the crime, openly confessing that he destroyed a family “for no reason.”‘
But this passage is just one more illustration of ‘the mystery of evil’. Evil exists (on that we all agree!). How can this be reconciled with the existence of an all-loving and all-powerful God? I will not pursue the argument here, apart from to say that it is lazy to simply pull single verses out of the Bible and claim, ‘Gotcha!’. Dan Barker, conceding that most Christians are decent people, thinks that they can never have actually read the Old Testament, or they would be as horrified as he.
2:4 But Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! Indeed, a man will give up all that he has to save his life! 2:5 But extend your hand and strike his bone and his flesh, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
2:6 So the LORD said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power; only preserve his life.”
Job’s Integrity in Suffering, 7-10
2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and he afflicted Job with a malignant ulcer from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. 2:8 Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape himself with while he was sitting among the ashes.
2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!” 2:10 But he replied, “You’re talking like one of the godless women would do! Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” In all this Job did not sin by what he said.
v9 Gurnall remarks: ‘Satan chooseth such, as by relation or affection have deep interest in the persons he would gain. Some will kiss the child for his nurse’s sake, and like the present for the hand that brings it. It is not likely David would have received that from Nabal which he took from Abigail, and thanked her. Satan sent the apple by Eve’s hand to Adam. Delilah doth more with Samson than all the Philistines’ bands. Job’s wife brings him the poison: ‘Curse God and die.’ Some think Satan spared her life, when he slew his children and servants, (though she was also within his commission,) as the most likely instrument, by reason of her relation and his affection, to lead him into temptation. Satan employs Peter the disciple to tempt Christ; at another time his friends and kinsfolk. Some martyrs have confessed the hardest work they met with was to overcome the prayers and tears of their friends and relations; Paul himself could not get off this snare without heart-breaking; ‘What mean you to weep, and to break my heart?’ Acts 21:13.’
The Visit of Job’s Friends, 11-13
2:11 When Job’s three friends heard about all this calamity that had happened to him, each of them came from his own country—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to come to show sympathy for him and to console him. 2:12 But when they gazed intently from a distance but did not recognize him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. 2:13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.