‘Satan answered the Lord and said…”All that a man has, he will give for his life! But put forth Your hand now and touch his bones and his flesh — and he will curse you to Your face!”…. So Satan went…and smote Job with sore boils, from the sole of his foot unto his crown…. Then his wife said to him…: “Curse God, and die!” But he said to her…: “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God — and shall we not also accept evil?!” In all this, Job did not sin.’ Job 2:4-10.
Satan then told God Job’s trials involving the loss of his possessions and his children, were not sufficiently close. ‘Just touch his own skin! He will then give all that he has, for himself!’ So Satan then went and smote Job with sore boils, from head to toe.
Probably, this disease of Job was the leprosy called elephantiasis,. It starts with tubercular boils, and ends up resembling cancer. It swells up the limbs and blackens and corrugates the skin. It first breaks out below the knees, and then spreads over the whole body. The ulcers result in an itching so intolerable, that Job used a broken piece of pot to scrape the sores which bred worms (7:12), and to remove the pus. Apparently incurably ill, Job’s own friends could not recognize him (2:12). His breath turned fetid, and emitted a stench which drove everyone away.
The patient was haunted with horrible nightmares (7:4-14), unearthly terrors (3:25), a sense of choking (7:15), and weariness (7:1-4). His bones felt like fire was in them (30:30). His limbs felt like he was being tortured in the stocks (13:27,), or wrenched off of him (30:17).
Job’s wife now told him to call upon God for the last time, and then die. Her words are not recorded for her sake, but show how those surrounding Job behaved. They show the strain to which his faith was put. But Job simply commented that here she spoke like one of the foolish women.
Mrs. Job wondered how he could still maintain his piety. She counselled him call upon God and then die — for nothing but pain and death now awaited him. Call upon God, and die! Bring down His final stroke of death at once — to end all the suffering!
But Job replied: ‘We receive good from God. Shall we not also accept the pain He sends?’ We receive good from God, not due to us! Shall we not also worship Him, whenever He brings pain upon us? In all this, under all these severe afflictions of his body, Job did not sinfully murmur!
Not one but several successive and diverse waves of feeling passed over Job, in regard to his afflictions. If suffering be the trial of righteousness — the trial, if borne patiently, must bring an accumulation of spiritual gain.
“Call upon God for the last time, and die!” — said Mrs. Job foolishly. But in all this, Job did not sin. Instead, he committed himself more deeply to the care of God — Who finally restored his health; gave him another ten children; and extended his life another 140 years! Job 42:12-16.