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May 16, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.”—Job 2:7–8 (NKJV)
We’ve journeyed with Job through one of the deepest valleys in the history of the human experience. The blessings acquired over the course of his lifetime evaporated in the course of a single day. But bankruptcy didn’t stop there. The most sensitive chord in the human heart, a parent’s love for their children, was unforgivingly struck as the lives of his sons and daughters were claimed by calamity.
Yet even then, in this place of emotional misery, Job still had his health. That now changes. Suffering is launched on a new front as Satan is given permission to attack Job’s body . . . which he does straightaway by causing him to break out in boils from head to toe.
We’ve all been through some sort of physical ailment at some point in our lives. Some of us have suffered more than others; but we all understand that there are certain things that are so bad that they dominate our focus. We cannot just “switch off” and go on as normal. The depth and extent of pain is so severe that escaping it through some form of relief becomes our first priority.
That’s the kind of physical suffering Job is experiencing now; and notice how he tries to find relief: “He took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself.” What’s a potsherd? It’s “a broken piece of ceramic material.” That doesn’t sound very relieving to me! All he can do is settle in the ashes that have come to define his once-beautiful life.
But let’s look beyond what is happening and examine why it’s happening: Satan is afflicting Job’s body so that he will cry “Uncle!” by cursing God. If Job does that, he will prove Satan’s theory that man is only into God for the blessings. He’s trying to break Job’s spirit, his connection with God, via the avenue of his body.
Now, not all physical suffering is the work of the devil. But let’s learn a principle from this. Our adversary’s ultimate objective is the same in our own lives. His goal is to break our connection with God, to get us to cry “Uncle!” and to turn from Him as pressure is applied. Don’t do it! Don’t let anything in this life, suffering included, break your spirit or your devotion to the God who is faithful in the end.
DIG: How does Satan expand his attack on Job? Why does Satan take this measure?
DISCOVER: What principle can you take away from this?
DO: Are you going through a trial? Ask the Lord for the strength to persevere and remain devoted to Him. Is someone you know suffering? Pray for them!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.