“His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)
Back in Genesis, God created man. He placed this man in the garden to tend and watch over it and saw that he needed a helper. None of the animals created by God were found suitable. So God created woman to be man’s êzer. His helper.
In the Hebrew, the word êzer comes from the root word âzar that more deeply describes the helper as one who surrounds, protects, or aids. We are looking at this in the context of marriage and Job’s wife today, but please do not miss that woman was created as helper. I love the idea that God’s role for a wife is to surround and protect her husband but I also love that this characteristic is not limited to a woman who is married. All women are created to be êzer.
This explains so much about why a natural characteristic of women is to be nurturing. We were created with purpose to be helper and protector.
In Job 1, all of Job’s wealth, his family, and his good standing in the community is taken away. In the next chapter his health is compromised. He is in dire circumstances.
Did you ever wonder why Job’s wife was spared when every other family member was killed? She was spared because she was available to be Satan’s agent and he knew it.
In Job’s most desperate time of need, his wife, his êzer, says to him: Forget your integrity. Curse God and die.
Harsh words. The one who was created to be Job’s greatest ally, his greatest supporter, turned on him.
Other than this one statement from her, we know nothing else about her. Did Job promise her a large house, monthly pedicures, and a life of leisure as the wife of the town noble? When the tragedy struck and they lost their house, did she have to go to work to make ends meet? Was she more in the marriage for what Job promised her than for Job? We don’t know.
What we do know is that she was not the helper God intended her to be. Instead, she wanted out.
When my husband and I were married we vowed to love in sickness and in health; for richer and for poorer; for better and for worse; until death us do part. Job and his wife had enjoyed health, wealth and all things great. When the poorer came, and the sickness came, and the worse was upon them, she wanted out. In her disillusionment, she didn’t want Job to simply curse God. She wanted him to die.
Have you ever wanted out? Not enough to wish death on your spouse, but have you ever been so disappointed or disillusioned about where life with this person has taken you that you wanted out?
On the surface, Job was able to let his wife’s barbs land harmlessly. “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” But then we read this: “So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.” (v. 10b)
Several of the commentaries I use for studying hint that this wording is significant. After his first challenge, we read that Job did not sin by blaming God (implied: with his mind, heart or body). When the illness strikes and his wife abandons him we read that he said nothing wrong.
The implication is that he may have been harboring wrong things in his heart this second time.
Job’s wife’s words played a significant role. Her lack of confidence in him weakened his defenses and planted seeds of doubt. When his friends later attack his character, he is unable to stand confident in the Lord. That foundation has been shattered. If his wife didn’t believe in him and support him who would? He’s left to desperately try to defend himself.
Men need for their wives to believe in them. More than almost anything, men need for their wives to respect them. Our respect fuels their confidence to take on the world.
When we don’t respect them, they are undermined in every other aspect of their lives. We hold a lot of power in our husband’s lives, especially when life is hard, and we must wield it wisely.
When God created woman to be man’s helper and his protector, I believe He had in mind that we are to fight for our husband’s relationship with the Lord. We are to keep him pointed in the direction of the Lord. We are to encourage him to remember where his confidence comes from. We are to protect his honor.
I don’t know where this meets you today. As I contemplate my own marriage I recognize the presence of Job’s wife all too often. I know I have not always been the helper and protector God desired me to be. I easily recall words spoken to tear down and not build up. Circumstances when I have been a ready agent for Satan.
What about you? Are you êzer?
Let our prayer each day be: Lord, How can I be the helper to my husband that you desire me to be? I don’t want to be available to be Satan’s agent today. Teach me how to live into your very first purpose for me. Teach me to be êzer.
Linking up today with Crystal Storms & #intentionaltuesday