God allowed Satan to thoroughly test Job’s faith. He struck his wealth, his family and even his body. We’re tempted to think that Satan has done his worse at the end of chapter 2, when we see him covered in leprous boils, scraping himself with a piece of broken pottery. But Satan had just begun.

Just as Satan used Peter to attempt to discourage Jesus and put it into Judas to betray him, Satan spoke evil words to Job through his suffering wife. The one companion who shared in his success and failure, who was there through all the ups and downs of his life, now points at his desperate situation and tells him to give it all up and die. Some even suggest that her words, “curse God and die,” contain a suggestion that he commit suicide. One might even argue that it’s her suggestion that they go together.

But Satan is still not finished. In chapter 3, after seven days of silence, Job lets us and his three friends, know what he had been thinking. Satan had used the seven days of silence to plant more pain and suffering in Job’s head. Ephesians six speaks of Satan’s attack as “flaming darts.” Paul often tells us that our thoughts can also be our enemies. Satan not only uses others to speak to us, he uses “ourselves.” Job had been listening to himself (or Satan speak to him through himself), and explodes with wishes he’d never been born. “The world would be better off without me.” “God is against me.” “My family and friends would be better off without me.” “I am a waste of space.” “The only difference between me and a bucket of slop is the bucket.” You could probably add your own thoughts to these.

Like us, Job should be talking to himself instead of listening to himself, as the Psalmist did. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so disquieted within me? Hope in God!” He is addressing himself. We often listen to ourselves when we should talk to ourselves. Satan plants negative little voices inside us, playing discouraging tapes in endless loops. We need to eject those tapes, take ourselves in hand, sit ourselves down, and give ourselves a talking to. Sometimes we need to learn to preach to ourselves.


“Job was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job 1:1