WITH A GREAT MAN
by Dee Wieninger
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Job 1:1 NIV
Anyone who really knows me, knows I have a very special place in my heart for Job’s wife. Maybe it comes from years of Clams vs.Crowbars, type struggles in our marriage including bouts of PMS – causing extreme mood swings! Or maybe it’s just that I’m an emotional female who ‘feels’ everything and can cry with Job’s wife’s tragic grief and loss! But, I like to think that it’s because God would one day give me By Faith Ministries and I would need this kind of compassion toward Job’s wife in order to receive tHis very special message!
In my 40 years as a Christian, every sermon I have ever heard on Job, the speaker always seemed to demonize his wife because of her response to her husband in THEIR equal and unprecedented grief and sorrow! Job understood her to be speaking as a foolish woman because she had just suffered the same loss he had! She lost her adored children too! She lost her servants and livelihood too, and now she was watching her husband suffer with this hideous disease that caused him to sit in ashes scratching. She was a woman in devastating emotional distress, resulting in her infamous “foolish” outburst, “Curse God and die!” (Was that the best he could do? I’m sure we judge her more harshly than Job did.)
We sing songs about love and grace, mercy and forgiveness, but do we really believe these words extend to anyone else but ourselves? In a Bible study I attended a man said that he believed God gave Job a new wife! WHERE IN THE WORLD DID HE READ THAT? How shallow is this kind of thinking? How shallow is this kind of love? Why is it we are so quick to click our tongues at Job’s wife, when we ourselves are unwilling to be any more committed than she? How many have given up on their marriages for far less infraction from your spouse? “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brotherʼs eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:1-3 NIV
Job’s wife may not have been righteous, but she was blessed to have such a husband as Job. A husband who feared God and shunned evil. A man who loved and honored God. A God who not only forgives those screaming, “CRUCIFY HIM”, but responds with the most loving, merciful words ever spoken, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
Here’s a thought! Have you ever once considered that Job offered outstretched arms to hold his grief stricken wife in order to console her when he said, “You speak like a foolish woman?” The same loving outstretched arms our God offers us? If Job was as blameless and upright as God declared him to be (and of course he was because God said so!) it’s quite possible that that’s exactly how he would have responded to his wife! Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” 1 Peter 3:7 NIV.
I received this epiphany as a visiting pastor was nearing the end of his message about Job and he made this statement, “Job was more blessed than before and hopefully, his marriage was in a better place.”! (This was one of the most gracious statements concerning Job’s wife I’d ever heard) Immediately, the Lord gave me the summation of By Faith Ministries’ message! Job was committed to his wife and stuck with her BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE FOR GOD not because of his love for his wife. Because of his commitment to God, they were both blessed! The culmination of By Faith stories drives home our theme of commitment to our Heavenly Father, not our spouse or others.
Will you“Do the Difficult on Purpose?”
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