His wife (Job) said to him, “Are you still holding onto your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9
I can just hear the haughty snarl in Job’s wife’s voice when she spewed her angry disrespect. Considering the intimacy of one’s name, the power of a name, the usefulness of one’s name, God denied her the privilege of having hers recorded in holy scripture. She remains forever known as ‘wife’ (2:9, 19:17a, 31:10).
Up front, the book of Job says, “there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil (1:1).
God abundantly blessed Job with three daughters and seven sons, thousands of sheep and camels, hundreds of oxen and donkeys. Plus, a large number of servants…which, clearly, he needed.
“He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” Job 1:3
Despite his having a less than admirable wife, Job’s godly rep could have been the reason he was on Satan’s radar (www.maryfelkins.com). So God granted Satan permission to have his way with Job, though He maintained sovereign control over Job’s life. “…everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Job 1:12a
The first trial cost Job his possessions, his servants, and his kids, yet he never charged God with wrongdoing (1:22).
Taking a second swing at Job, Satan inflicted his entire body with painful sores (2:7). While Job sat among the ashes, scraping at his skin with a piece of broken pottery, his wife entered, stage left:
“Are you still holding onto your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9
Who says stuff like that? And how very interesting that Satan chose to wipe out Job’s things, his family, but spared that contemptuous woman.
Searching for further reference to Job’s wife, I found this little verse:
My breath is offensive to my wife. Job 19:17a
Yet what was Job’s attitude toward her? Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” (31:1) So, despite having little, if any, respect from his wife, it seemed Job loved her well.
Following all his troubles, God blessed the remainder of Job’s days, doubling the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys. He even repopulated his house with seven sons and three daughters, the most beautiful in all the land (42:15).
Huh. Why the reference to his daughters’ beauty? Why does that matter? I wonder if Job’s commitment to his wife transformed her heart at some point into “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (I Peter 3:4-5). Maybe his posture toward her drew her heart toward hope in God. And if Job’s wife was, in fact, the mother of his three new daughters, maybe her beauty was reflected in their lives.
Do I have a nagging, thorny ‘Job’s wife’ in my life I’d rather God remove? Couldn’t He just sweep the ‘wife’ off with a mighty desert wind? Put ‘her’ to the sword? Destroy ‘her’ by fire? Sure. But it would only cause me to rely on God less, casting me into the pit of fiercely independent idolatry, and might hinder another from coming to know Him. He loves me—and Job — and you — too much for that.
When God sends me a ‘wife’ like Job’s, it’s a gift, an opportunity to love well and turn a heart toward hope in God…’till death do us part.