Job found himself stripped of his wealth, family, and health, but the one thing the devil could not strip from him was his self-righteousness. Only God could do that. We have all heard of the patience of Job. God allowed the devil to plow into him – and he did. Job’s wealth was stripped from him. His children were killed when a hurricane destroyed the house they were in. What was Job’s response? Consider the patience and faith of Job. He said …

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. [1]

When this happened, the devil asked God if he could plow into him some more – and he did. Job’s health was stripped from him. 

Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. [2]

A potsherd is a piece of broken pottery. So, here’s Job – stripped of wealth and children and health – sitting on a pile of ashes and scraping the pus of the boils off his body with a piece of broken pottery. Yuck! Yet look at the patience and faith of Job. 

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. [3]

Yes, the patience and faith of Job are legendary – until we get to chapter three. 

Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.” [4]

Yes, patient, faithful Job really said that. And for much of the rest of the book Job is impatient with God and his faith grows thin. Job became a Fist-Shaker. Though there are a few high points of faith in the book of Job, most of the book has him shaking his fist at God. But in the end of the book, God reveals Himself to Job and Job is humbled before the Lord and all the blessings of wealth and health and children are restored to him. In the beginning of the book, Satan seeks to bring Job low to destroy his faith in God. At the end of the book, God seeks to bring Job low in order to restore his faith. 

Probably not since World War II have so many people suffered and endured the same set of unpredictable and ever-evolving circumstances as in these last several years. We have been brought low through disease and death and debt and depression. A pandemic, social pandemonium, and political partisanship have brought America to the same pile of ashes that Job sat upon as we seek to scrape the residue of the COVID years off our collective body. Many have become Fist-Shakers. The faith of many has been tested and more than a few have become Fist-Shakers. Yet there is good news!

God loves Fist-Shakers and is not offended at them nor intimidated by them. Those who shake their fists at God at least acknowledge His existence, presence, and ability to do something about whatever needs to be done.  And THAT is a tolerably good beginning to faith. Yet, as Job revealed from chapter three until the end of the book, Fist-Shakers are full of themselves. Job found himself stripped down to little more than survival, but the one thing the devil could not strip from him was his self-righteousness. Throughout the book of Job, Job maintains his innocence and that God is wrong in taking from him all that was taken from him. Basically, Job said, “God’s got a lot of explaining to do.” That is something self-righteous Fist-Shakers say. 

At the end of the book, God reveals Himself to Job and speaks to Him and sets Him straight. After one of the most powerful encounters between God and man in the Bible, Job says to God,  “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” That is not something self-righteous Fist-Shakers say. 

May you begin to live in the same manner that Job finished the book named after him – with a hearing ear becoming a seeing eye and a self-righteousness replaced by a God-righteousness. May shaking fists of anger and defiance be replaced by arms raised in worship and adoration.

[1]  Job 1:21-22
[2] Job 2:7-8
[3] Job 2:9-10
[4] Job 3:1-3

4 thoughts on “Fist-Shakers”

  1. Carole Johnson

    I just discovered that scriptures referred to in the commentary can be clicked on to actually read the passage built right in. It’s in blue print and is another study feature of the commentary. Thanks Enduring Word for adding an additional study aid to the new commentary!

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