Job 2:10(2)

Sermon preached on September 13, 2015 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

When I was growing up I read a delightful story, Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, by Mary Mapes Dodge. It was first published in 1865 and The novel takes place in the Netherlands and is a colorful fictional portrait of early 19th-century Dutch life, as well as a tale of youthful honor. It's a great story. But what I remember most about the book is a story within the story about a boy who put his finger in a hole in dike and saves the dike from collapse. When he saw the little leak in the dike, he knew that the only way to save his people was to stop it right away. If he failed to stop the leak immediately it would have grown worse and the whole dike would have collapsed and been destroyed. So the boy kept his finger in it all night until he was found and the dike was able to be repaired.

Sin is like that leak in the dike. The nature of sin is that it spreads and gets worse. It's like an avalanche of snow. If you have seen videos of them you'll know that it's just a little bit of snow that starts moving—but it falls, affects other bits of snow and the next thing you know there's this huge mountain of snow charging down the side of the mountain.

How should you as a Christian deal with the beginnings of sin? The first part of verse 10 shows us how righteous Job dealt with suggestions of sin. He said to his wife,

"You are talking like a foolish woman."

Job firmly rebuked her. And he is a good example to us. The great lesson we see from Job's words to his wife is that

we must vigorously resist suggestions of evil.

Jesus died not only to save us but to make us holy. There are two ways we should resist evil. First, we need to do it with words. Secondly, we must cultivate an inner attitude against it.

Job's wife was trying to get him to do evil. There is no question about that. A few weeks ago we examined her suggestion that Job should curse God. We saw that cursing God is one of the very worst things that people can do. God is the source of all good. All people everywhere should be lifting His name high and be blessing Him. There is no one like Him and His praises should always be on our lips. So her suggestion to him was most evil.

You should verbally confront those who suggest that you do evil.

That's the first line of defense. Notice at how forcefully Job rebuked his wife. With one sharp reproof he put the matter to rest. His words were so pointed, and correct, that it apparently stopped her in her tracks.

If only Ananias or Sapphira had done this. One of them came up with the idea to tell a lie about the amount of money they got from selling their land—and that person suggested it to the other. You know what happened. The other agreed. They lied to the church about it and they were both struck dead by God. (Acts 5:1-11) If only the one who heard their spouse suggesting the evil idea had rebuked the other as Job did his wife. That one could have saved them both.

We need to vigorously resist suggestions of sin from others because of the nature of sin.

The nature of sin is that it grows uncontrollably if it is not checked. It's like some types of cancer. Some types of cancer grow and spread very rapidly. From what I understand, the best thing to do, the only thing to do with that type of cancer is to get rid of it—to cut it out. The surgeon doesn't want to leave any of it there, because if he does, that little bit that he leaves will grow and spread and kill the patient.

If Job had let his wife continue to speak like that—her words and attitude might have eventually worn him down. Thus he spoke very sharply to her.

In Ephesians 4:27 the apostle Paul told us,

"do not give the devil a foothold."

That also applies to sin and temptation. We must not give it a foothold. We must not toy with it. As Proverbs 6:27–28 asks,

"Can a man scoop fire into his lap without
his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?"

It's astonishing what can happen if you don't put much energy into resisting evil. I'm sure you've heard of the Ashley Madison hack. Unfortunately many Christian men, including some pastors, at least one Reformed theologian and a seminary professor have been caught with accounts on it. I read that the seminary professor committed suicide on August 24. His family is devastated.

Ashley Madison's motto is,

"Life is short. Have an affair."

What a terrible piece of advice. If you don't forcefully resist such suggestions—who knows where it will lead? Look at what sin did to that seminary professor. I don't know the exact details, but we can surmise what happened. He heard about the site. But he didn't vigorously resist the temptation to go to it. In a moment of possible weakness he registered. Perhaps that was all he did. Perhaps he never sought out to meet anyone. Maybe he even thought better of what he did and decided to deactivate his account. I think if you paid $20 the site promised to delete your account, your email and everything. But they didn't. Then someone hacked the site and his name was exposed. His name was on the list. The shame that came over him. The embarrassment. Can you imagine what his wife and children thought when they found out? Can you imagine how his students felt about him. He lost so much respect. I suspect he was going to lose his job at the seminary. It could well be that he would lose his family.

That's what sin is like. Once it starts it's very difficult to stop it from spreading. You can't put it back into the box. It leads where you don't expect. It could be that that professor would never have actually had an affair. But he toyed with it. What harm could come? It was a secure and private site. His sin had such unintended consequences.

We have any examples of this happening in Scripture. One night David was walking on his roof. He probably didn't go up there with the intention of sinning. But he saw a beautiful woman bathing. Unintentionally seeing her was not a sin. But David indulged himself and continued looking. He sent for her. He committed adultery. He got her husband drunk. He then had her husband killed. What horrible consequences came upon David because of that.

It all started with a look that should have been resisted. How good it would have been if David had followed Job's example. In Job 31:1 Job said,

"I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a girl."

Those who do not vehemently resist temptation can fall into such sin, sin they never intended.

You'll remember Balaam. King Balak of Moab sent messengers to him asking him to come and curse the Israelites who were on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. Balaam asked God what to do and God told him not to go with the men and not to curse the Israelites. So Balaam did not go. But, (Numbers 22:15–17)

"Then Balak sent other princes,
more numerous and more distinguished than the first.
They came to Balaam and said:
'This is what Balak son of Zippor says:
Do not let anything keep you from coming to me,
because I will reward you handsomely
and do whatever you say.
Come and put a curse on these people for me.' "

God had already given Balaam his answer but when the second group of princes came to Balaam didn't vigorously resist the temptation to go with them. He perished because of it.

So when someone tempts you to do evil—you must powerfully rebuke them. Leave no doubt in their mind that you will not do what they want. You will not sin.

John Calvin said, "Sermons on Job: Chapters 1-14."

"If we see a sword drawn and thrust at us to kill us, what are we to do? Will we let ourselves be killed without any reaction? No! But we will try to deflect the blow and repulse it if we cherish our lives. So when Job sees that he is persecuted that way by his wife and that she is disposed not only to causing some harm to his body but also to sending him to the depths of hell, he resists her vehemently."

Rebuke anyone who suggests that you sin.

But it may not be enough to verbally confront those who urge you to do evil.

The problem is that those who want you to do evil will often not be put off by a rebuke. Joseph rebuffed the suggestion of Potiphar's wife to go to bed with her. His words to her were powerful. He said, (Genesis 39:8–9)

" 'With me in charge,'he told her,
'my master does not concern himself
with anything in the house; everything he owns
he has entrusted to my care.
No one is greater in this house than I am.
My master has withheld nothing from me except you,
because you are his wife.
How then could I do such a wicked thing
and sin against God?"

But that didn't stop her. According to the Bible she kept nagging him about it. Day after day she kept after him.

The point is that not only are you to be ready to verbally rebuke those who want you to do evil, but

you must know assuredly that disobedience to God's commands is foolishness.

Job rebuked his wife. He was not negotiating with her. He knew what was right and good and he knew what was foolishness.

Job defined disobedience to God's commands as foolishness.

We should have this firmly impressed upon our hearts. Disobedience to God is foolishness. No matter how logical disobedience sounds, no matter how much we are suffering—disobedience to God is foolishness. To deviate from God's commands is foolishness. Stand upon them no matter what. Jesus met every temptation from Jesus with the words,

"It is written…"

The wisdom of the world is foolishness. But the words of God, about Jesus, about His will—they are life.

The world today flaunts God's commands. Many people are interested in money. Success is defined as being rich. Yet you'll remember how Jesus described the rich man who had so many goods that his barns couldn't contain all his crops. He was going to build bigger barns and take life easy. Jesus described him this way,( Luke 12:20)

"You fool! This very night your life
will be demanded from you."

Those who deny God's existence and try to get you to believe that we're all the result of evolution, an accident, who came into being all on its own. Psalm 14:1 describes them this way,

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' "

There are many people who lie, cheat and steal in order to try to get ahead in this life. Proverbs 10:23 says,

"A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct,"

Or consider how Job's wife urged him to die.

We're not sure what she meant. Some have suggested that she believed that if he cursed God, God would put him to death. Others have suggested that she thought that Job was near death and that he should do this one act of defiance toward God before he died.

But no matter which alternative is true, Job's wife was clearly telling him—

there is no point in living. You're only suffering. You should just die.

She perhaps viewed death as the end of his suffering.

Our society today often expresses the thoughts of Job's wife. Many are in favor of euthanasia. They see no point in suffering. Some see no point in old people being an economic burden to society. In some countries doctors are being called upon to end life. They think that ending life is good.

They're like Job's wife. They're talking foolishness. We must not kill. Life and death are in God's hands. Are you doing a favor to someone who doesn't know Christ if you kill him and you send him to eternal fires? No. So much better to tell him about the good news of Jesus Christ.

Or if a Christian is suffering—should they just end it? No. God can use suffering for His glory and bring so much good out of it. Joseph suffering—and consider how he was able to save his family. Paul and Silas suffered and because of it the Philippian jailer and his family were saved. Peter suffered greatly just before he died—and he brought great glory to God. Job suffered, and persevered—and brought great glory to God and hope to generations of God's people after him. Elijah suffered, and wanted to die—and yet he would never taste death—because God had plans to bring him to glory in a whirlwind. Perhaps you're like Elijah and you think you know when the best time for you to die is. But you, like Elijah will be wrong.

Trust Jesus your Good Shepherd. He knows what He's doing. He died for you. He loves you. He will take you to glory in His perfect time.

For those who aren't Christians, the Bible says that the message of Christ crucified is, (1 Corinthians 1:23-25)

"a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom,"

You need to see the beauty of Christ, the beauty of the gospel—and go to Jesus for salvation. Ask Him to save you. He's the only One who can.