Sore Afflicted

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Job 2:1-10

“Curse God, and die.” (v. 9)

As if losing wealth and family were not enough, Job now loses his own health. Job is afflicted with loathsome sores from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. He sits among the ashes, symbolic of sorrow and grief, while his wife advises him to “Curse God, and die.” Since you, Job, are indeed a righteous man—a person of integrity, not deserving of all that has befallen you—why don’t you just curse the God who has caused this to happen, and be done with it.

Before we are too hard on Job’s wife, we should remember that her response was natural. When bad things happen to good people, it is easy to blame God. It is also tempting to play the game of theodicy—of trying to justify the ways of God in the face of unjust human suffering. How can an all-good and all-powerful God allow such evil? But Job will have none of it. There are no easy answers, no “explanation” of why God allows Job’s suffering. There is no attempt to rationalize human suffering. There is merely the example of Job—the example of honest, faithful endurance. So Job refuses his wife’s advice. He may die, but he will not curse God.


O God, the One who in Jesus was afflicted for us, to you we cling in times of trouble.