“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
“In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”
A variation of this phrase comes up a couple times in the book of Job, and as we know, when there’s repetition, pay attention. What lessons can we glean here?
First, let’s go back to the context. Job has lost everything. By everything, I mean he’s lost his sons (7) and daughters (3). Can you imagine having 10 kids? And losing all of them? Whoa! And Job also lost his sheep (7000), his donkeys (500), his oxen (500), and his camels (3000). And by lost, we should clarify: he didn’t lose them as much as they were all taken from him. But you know what wasn’t taken from Job? His one nagging wife. You know what she said to him? Do you remember?
She said, “Curse God and die.”
Just give up. Throw in the towel. Leave your faith. Curse God. Die.
To which most men would respond…
Wow, honey! Thanks for the support and encouragement! That’s exactly what I needed.
Not! But here we see Job’s integrity even more. He doesn’t mock and disparage his wife. He also doesn’t take her advice. Instead, he responds with, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Right after is where we see the line that he didn’t sin in what he said. Why didn’t he sin in what he said? I think it’s because those things above, but I also think it’s because his faith wasn’t conditional upon everything going right and well. He’d still follow God in the tough times, as we’ll explore in future entries.
In this entry, however, there’s another truth worth pointing out. It’s super obvious when you think about it, but I think it sometimes gets lost in the story.
God is NOT the one doing the punishing.
God is NOT the one snatching all these things from Job.
God is NOT the one creating the hardships and loss and pain.
Which is a profound and important insight. Often, when bad things happen, w see the opposite response. People immediately start to question and accuse God. God, how could You?! God, why did You do that?!
In Job’s story, it’s crystal clear though. It’s not God doing the harm. The harm is coming from Satan. Satan is doing everything possible to destroy Job, and God is the one who protects Job’s very life.