The Blasphemy of Despair
Job 2:9
Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die.

Job's wife is typical of a class of persons that has always existed in the world. Such persons lose sight of all that is bright in life, hem themselves in with the blackest gloom, seek a path only in the darkness where no star shines, allow distrust to take entire possession of their souls, and hatred to reign supreme in the domain of their affections, and then end their career like Pope's reprobate knight, of whom the poet says, "And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies." In human life we often meet with persons whose gloomy minds throw a shadow on everything with which they come into contact. We protest against pessimism as being false in theory, and impossible in practice. Even dark things have a bright side, which can be seen if looked for in a proper spirit.


1. False views of God. A man's theology very largely influences his life. Spiritual ideas are at the root of all others. Whatever a man thinks of God and religion, will largely mould his character. Despair arises from two causes: the pessimism of men who are opponents of God, haters of God; and the hard, encrusted, stern, unbending Calvinism, which professes to be overpowered by God's love, which love is, however, always limited to those holding the doctrine. The pessimistic raving is indicative of a despair which has taken a fixed and settled position in the soul. Hope has fled, and all the brightness, even to the last spark, has departed from life.

2. Misanthropic notions respecting the human race. The loss of faith in our fellow men is a prolific cause of despair. We place confidence in men, and we are betrayed; we trust them, and they deceive us. So we lose faith in mankind: we sink into a condition of sullen moroseness, which is but the forerunner of despair.

3. Denial of God's existence. Atheism is a gloomy creed. To take away God is to deprive the world of hope, to rob it of its highest consolation, and consequently to plunge the human race into the blackest despair.


1. It shuts out of view possible changes for the better. The clouds encompass us, the darkness hems us in, we see no light, and we lose hope, never dreaming that behind the mists a sun is shining, which will sooner or later dispel the gloom and illumine the world with its beams.

2. It injures the soul. Like all evil passions, it grows with what it feeds on.

3. It is a rebellion against God. Evil is not the universe. Goodness is eternal. God lives, and His mercy fails not. Despair is rank blasphemy against heaven.

III. THE REMEDY FOR DESPAIR. It is the religion of Jesus, with the great and eternal truth which it enunciates — God is love. Recognising the fact that there is a God, and that His mercy is over all that His hands have made, how can we ever despair? We know that we are in His hands, and that therefore we are sure. Let us then leave the demon of despair to atheists, and those who have neither faith in God nor confidence in man, but for ourselves we must cling to the eternal truth that God is love.

(George Sexton, M. A. , LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

WEB: Then his wife said to him, "Do you still maintain your integrity? Renounce God, and die."

Job's Wife
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