One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan also showed up.
God singled out Satan, saying, "And what have you been up to?" Satan answered God, "Oh, going here and there, checking things out."
Then God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him, is there - honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn't work."
Satan answered, "A human would do anything to save his life.
But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away his health? He'd curse you to your face, that's what."
God said, "All right. Go ahead - you can do what you like with him. But mind you, don't kill him."
Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot.
They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes.
His wife said, "Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!"
He told her, "You're talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God - why not also the bad days?" Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God. Job's Three Friends
Three of Job's friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country - Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath - and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.
When they first caught sight of him, they couldn't believe what they saw - they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief.
Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)