"Curse God and Die" (Job 2:9)

     “Curse God, and die.” This is one of the saddest and most pitiful expressions to be found in the Bible. Bible students know that these words came from the mouth of Mrs. Job. We also know why she was moved to say such a thing.

     Job had been a very rich man. He had at least eleven thousand animals and “very great household.” He had a large and fine family of seven sons and three daughters. The Bible says that Job was “perfect (blameless) and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil” (1:1).

     The text paints a picture of a family and a business where everything was going very well indeed.
The text also describes Job as a man who was careful about his relationship with God. The Book of Job helps us understand how things were in the Patriarchal dispensation. Job lived before the Law of Moses came into being. He was the patriarch (ruling father) of his household and family. As such he was responsible for spiritual leadership and worship of God, which responsibilities he took very seriously. This we can see from Job 1:5: “Thus did Job continually.” Job’s faithfulness was not a once in a while thing.

     So it is we gain from the Book of Job some insight into the nature of the relationship men had with God before the Law of Moses. We are also provided with insight into the relationship between God and the angels. Job 1:6 reads: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” The “sons of God” have been identified in various ways. At times it is clear that these sons were the descendants of Seth who was born after Cain had killed Abel (Genesis 5 and 6). Other times it seems clear that the expression identifies angels, even archangels, which is surely the case here in Job 1.

     This view is bolstered by the presence of Satan. “Satan” means “Adversary.” That title indicates that Satan’s presence was not welcome. His very name indicates his state of rebellion against God as does the conversation with God that follows. In the old translation God asks Satan, “Whence comest thou?” Satan replied that he’d been “going to and fro in the earth.” We are reminded of 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking who he may devour.”

     God asked Satan if he had considered Job. In so doing God contrasted the faithfulness of Job with the rebellion of Satan (note Jude 5-11). We know what happened next. God allowed Satan to destroy Job’s possessions and his family. It was then that Job said what must be considered a most powerful expression of faith in God: “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21). Satan was not satisfied, so God let him attack Job’s body.

As he scraped his boils with a broken piece of pottery his wife uttered the words with which we began this study: “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die.” I cannot imagine what went through Job’s mind but we all know what he said: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.” And more significantly, the text then says, “In all of this Job did not sin with his lips.”

     The Book of Job is 42 chapters and each page has profound lessons for us today (Romans 15:4). But here at the beginning the lessons are brutally pointed: (1) God is God and man is not, (2) material possessions are not permanent, and (3) the significance of a life is determined by a person’s faithfulness to God. Read Job again and think about what Mrs. Job told him to do and the reasons why, thank the Lord, he did not do it.