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This loyalty of Job made Satan even angrier. He had always told God that it was impossible for anyone to love and obey God. Here was a man that Satan could not force to give up loving God. He went back to God and said that anybody would give up if their health was gone. If they were miserable they would reject God. God said Satan could test Job by making him sick but he was not allowed to kill Job.

Jobwife_bf5.gif (7678 bytes)Satan picked one of the most miserable sicknesses. He caused Job to be covered from head to foot with boils. A boil hurts very deep. It fills with yellow fluid called pus. As the infection gets worse, it causes much pain. Job could not find a way to sit or lie down without hurting. He used a broken piece of pottery to scrape the puss off his sores. Flies are attracted to wounds like this. The odor is terrible. Job's wife suggested that if Job would curse God and die, he would be better off. She let him down!! Instead of encouraging him, she was so sickened by how he looked, and by loosing all her children, and all their possessions that she had no respect for God.

Job's_friends_bf24.gif (8712 bytes)Then came the friends of Job. For seven days they sat and stared at him and shook their heads in amazement. They sat up night and day with him. They did not say anything for 7 days. Then when they did open their mouths they said the wrong things. They said the wrong things because they did not really know God. They were sure He was angry at Job. Why else would all these horrible things happen so fast? It was then believed that when you are wealthy it is because God is blessing you. If you are poor it is because of your own doing. If you sin, you will not be blessed. Because of this belief, they were sure Job had sinned a great big sin. He was getting his punishment like he deserved. They told Job if he would just ask God forgiveness, the punishment would stop.

They made Job feel worse. Job could tell they thought he was a very bad man. What friends!! Job told them how he had tried to be kind and thoughtful of others. This did not make the friends change their minds. They were sure some secret sin had happened. They hoped to find out what it was. Poor Mr. Job! He had no one who comforted him. He was all alone. Yet he said something I have repeated over and over. He said that even though he was tested, and tried, he determined to come out of it as a the precious metal gold. He had always prayed every day morning and evening for God to show him his sins and asked forgiveness for his mistakes. He cried to God. Then God talked to him. When God talked to Job, he agreed with God that he was not perfect, but he loved to do whatever God asked of him.

Jobprays_bf24.gif (10567 bytes)God was angry with Job's friends. They had hurt Job deeply. They had tried to tell him what a bad man he was. They said God was punishing him for how bad he was. This is not the right picture of God. The wicked bring their own destruction. Job was very obedient and loved God. They made it look like God was mean to His friends. It was Satan who had been mean to Job. Satan had caused the robbers to take his animals. It was not God. Satan had sent fire to burn his sheep. It was not God. Satan had sent the wind storm like a tornado to smash the house and kill Job's children. The friends had blamed God for doing it. God asked Job to pray for his friends. The friends were told to bring 7 rams and 7 bulls and sacrifice. There was one for each day they had sat staring at Job, shaking their heads and saying nothing.

It is very important to pray for people who hurt us. We need to pray, pray and pray some more, all the time. You do not have to pray out loud, you can pray in your mind. When you really want them to be helped, God knows it is safe to give you blessings. Pray so much that God does not get any rest. His ears are open to hear sincere prayers that keep on coming to him over and over.

When Job prayed for his friends, God stopped Satan's tests and began increasing Job's wealth again. Job had passed the test. He did not even know he was going to go through this horrible test. It was a surprise. Yet he never let God down. He said even if God would kill him, he would still trust Him. Job ended up with double of everything except children. He did get 10 more children. We know this takes years to have that many. Job's 3 daughters were so pretty, they were the prettiest in the world. The Bible says he lived another 140 years after his disasters. The Bible makes a point of saying that after the test, family and those who were just acquainted with him, came to his home and ate bread with him. They bemoaned about all the troubles he had been through. They each brought him a gift. But it is interesting that it says they also said God had brought the trouble. Job had many opportunities to tell them his secret. It is really Satan who is the executioner. Satan hates all who live on the earth. He hates the people most who love and obey God and want to share the Bible truth. God does not stand ready to smash people when He is upset, but He does remove His protection from those who hate and reject Him and His 10 commandments. SOMETIMES God removes His protection from people like Job to prove a BIG POINT. The point is about who is really causing suffering. It is Satan. God takes a lot of risks to win our love by making the truth easier to see. God knew Job was a very dear friend. He knew Job would not understand what was happening but would hang on until the end. He risked loosing a real special friend by allowing all these troubles. Job passed the test. He hung on and fell into the arms of God for his only comfort.

Now what is your answer? Is sickness and disaster caused by God or by Satan? Job's family, friends and acquaintances all thought that it was caused by God. When God stops protecting you, Satan can do all of the mean things to you that he would like to do. If God's angels are protecting you, Satan and his angels cannot do anything.

God protects everyone. Sometimes, people rebel against God enough that He gives up on them and cannot protect them any longer. God does not force His presence on anyone. Job loved God, but a test was done because Satan said that God was not fair. Job would keep loving God even if God took away His protection. Job passed the test! Would you keep on loving God even if your house was destroyed or your family got sick or hurt? Would you pass the test? I hope so.

We have been put a similar test for the last 9 years. I hope we pass with good grades.