The patience of Job is something of legend. The stage is set in Job 1, where Satan approaches God to talk about the people down on Earth and God directs his attention to Job.
Satan is quick to tell God that the reason that Job worships him is because God has richly blessed him:
- Family (7 sons and 3 daughters)
- He had much cattle
So God decides that to show Satan just how great his servant is, he will let Satan take away all of his possessions.
Through a multitude of different events, Satan attacks every possession (including children) that Job had, and each time he left one person alone to tell Job. (Job 1:15-19)
Imagine with me, for a moment, what it would have been like to be one of the witnesses. We don’t know what happened to these men, but we can imagine that their heart broke for Job. Though they were servants, they could see this man lose everything. Such an upright man would have treated them well—and they would have known that he didn’t deserve this.
Job wanted to be left alone to talk with God, but his friends would not have it.
- Job 7:16-19 – Job is wallowing in his sorrow and bitterness and wants to be left alone.
- Job 10:20 – He wants to be left alone, not told that he’s in sin.
- Job 13:13 – Only God could answer what Job is seeking.
Though Job wanted to be alone, in a good way having friends around could have encouraged bitterness. It could have fostered self-pity and regret.
When we know of someone that has gone through loss or that are in pain, they need comfort, for God alone knows the answer. Those in pain do not need to hear their sin rehearsed.
God, alone, provides the strength in time of trouble.