We read in Job that-
His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. (Job 1:4-5).
What a sweet picture of Job, in these pre-Patriarchal times, performing his function as priest over his family. His ten children certainly had a father upright in integrity and faith in the one true God. Job was concerned not just with their behavior in terms of moral vs. sin, but their thought life. Have they cursed God in their hearts? Are they holding on to some sin for which they have not repented? Have they cursed God inwardly? Job continuously sacrificed to God as a cover for them.
As we know from so many biblical examples, people can appear as moral but inside, in their mind or heart, they can be holding on to many sins. The Rich Young Ruler claimed to have obeyed the commandments, yet he was revealed to be holding on to greed and materialism. The Pharisees tried to appear holy on the outside, but inside they were raging hypocrites, uncaring for widows and sinners and their fellow man in general!
The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are hidden inside a person’s mind and heart. The bottom line is, people are good actors. There are some we will never know if they are truly saved or not, until the Day. (Matthew 7:21-23).
We can surmise that perhaps Job’s ten children were indeed faithful to Yahweh. They loved each other, didn’t seem to have in-fighting, liked to spend time with each other. They lived near by enough to partake of family doings on a regular basis. No prodigals, in other words.
We know Job was a righteous man. Ezekiel 14:14 declares Job one of three most righteous men (along with Daniel and Noah).
It’s Mrs Job that was a problem.
Job spent time covering his children’s sins with daily sacrifices…but what of Mrs Job? When the pressure became unbearable and the grief too deep, she showed her true colors. Rather than a gentle help-meet who encourages and supports her husband, she suggested to Job that he curse God and then die (by his own hand).
An excellent wife, who can find? (Proverbs 31:10). As Matthew Henry says of an excellent wife,
She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. … Above all, she fears the Lord.
Inward sin will not reveal itself until or unless there is pressure. Whether it is the pressure of too much unrepentant sin, or the pressure of circumstances, the sin will eventually be revealed. Mrs Job, and indeed Mrs Lot too, showed that despite living with biblically-declared righteous men, they had sin inside lurking within them. Their disdain for the Holy One, Yahweh was fatally revealed for Mrs Lot when she turned to look back at her life in Sodom, and in Mrs Job when her excellent husband needed her most.
What lurks within is ugly. We should take care of sin daily, by picking up our cross, slaying our sin, and repenting. (Matthew 6:12, 2 Corinthians 7:10).
Don’t be a Mrs Job or a Mrs Lot. Deal with what lurks within. Your husband and children need you.
Illustration by William Blake