THE BOOK OF JOB INTRODUCES God’s adversary, Satan, his jealousy and hatred for humanity and his deceptive ways. God challenges Satan to observe in Job the triumph of divine grace and redemption. Satan reacts to God’s claim that Job was a godly and faithful man by assaulting both Job and God.
Satan questions Job’s motives in serving the Lord and therefore the reality of Job’s righteousness by insisting that his love for God was really self-serving, and that he worshipped God only because it profited him. Satan implies that Job’s love for God was not genuine. Satan further implies that God was naive and had deceived Himself, having obtained Job’s devotion by blessing and bribery.
“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:8-12
Satan is the ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN. I think about this most often when someone attacks and slanders a righteous man. When our congregation was under attack by outside forces, it helps to remember it is not people, but the demonic forces behind them that are the cause of the attacks. When someone attacks your walk with the Lord, remind yourself that they are just a tool of your real enemy.
This one thing will keep your heart soft and allow you to pray for those who despitefully use you and speak evil of you. They are blind and deceived to what they are doing in allowing the enemy to use them. Unlike humans, God cannot be deceived by Satan. He knows all, sees all, and will ultimately take care of it all. Do what is required of you in any given situation and leave the results up to the Lord. It may be that by doing good, you will silence the enemy and maybe even bring them to a place of repentance.
Back to Job. The primary questions of Job are put forth: Is it possible for God’s people to love and serve Him because of who He is and not just for His gifts? If you were stripped of everything, how would you respond? Is your love for Him genuine? Can the righteous maintain their faith in and love for God in the midst of unexplainable tragedy and undeserved suffering?
I have watched two different kinds of people react to this same scenario. One kind pressed into the Lord, never fully understanding the “why”, but refuse to blame God and continue to praise Him in the storm and they came out on the other side without even the smell of smoke on them. But I have also seen the other. They go through tragedy that cuts deep, instead of running to His presence; they get angry, bitter and resentful. They blame others and God and thus fall away from their only source of help.
Job answered wisely, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return: the LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD”. It was not really the Lord taking things from Job, it was his enemy. But he did not see into the spiritual realm yet still maintained the right attitude. You have a real adversary that hates God and hates you. Ask yourself these questions. Search your heart. The genuineness of your heart will be tested. What will you do if that day comes to you? Determine today to set your heart to be faithful to your Lord and Savior, no matter the cost.
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