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Archive for January 23rd, 2013

desrais_claude_louis-job_on_the_dung_hill_scolded_by_his_w~OM421300~10000_20090708_L09640_62The picture to the right was created by Claude Louis Desrais. It is a depiction of Job, sitting on a dunghill, being scolded by his wife.

I don’t want to be that kind of wife …

Job lost just about everything. He lost his livestock, his servants, his ten children. What God had blessed him with, was taken away.

Then, “his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”(Job 1:9).

I don’t want to be that kind of wife …

But …

… she lost too. Her ten children were dead. Her husband’s livestock and servants gone, leaving little to no means of survival. Job was not the only one suffering, she was mourning, she was up to her neck in the depths of despair.

It is in the response that Job gave to her that I understand him better:

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 1:10)

Job did not say, “you ARE a foolish woman” he said “you are talking LIKE a foolish woman.” This would indicate that maybe this was not a normal response for Job’s wife, but that maybe she had reached her breaking point. Then Job says, “shall WE accept good from God, and not trouble,” his statement was one that included her, and he was reminding his wife, reminding himself, that God had indeed blessed them with good things, and that just as they had trusted Him in the good, they both needed to trust him in the bad.

Then Job’s health was affected, with soars covering his body. In all of this suffering Job not longer heard God’s voice … something he so longed for. Now it seemed that everything was taken from him.

Then his wife said to him, “are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)

I don’t want to be that kind of wife …

Just when he is knocked almost completely to the ground he came from, his wife kicks him in the ribs with her words.

I don’t want to be that kind of wife …

Then he replied to his wife again, similarly to his previous reply, “you are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)

Oh, how easy it is to be a foolish wife (or husband, or child, or …). How easy it is to see someone we love suffer, and look to whatever way possible to relieve that loved one of their suffering. Sometimes we are so desperate that we suggest that which is simply … foolish.

I don’t want to be that kind of wife …

We do not hear of his wife again in the account of Job, other than the report that when Satan was done with Job, God restored everything to Job, including ten new children, who we are left to suppose were also children of his wife. What I wonder is if she understood the foolishness of her words to Job.

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