We're studying through the book of Job on Wednesday nights at Grace. A couple of things struck me during last night's message...
Satan is not some all-powerful evil, warring a touch-&-go battle against God and against God's people. He, too, is subject to the sovereign, all-powerful Creator. In the "courtroom" scene beginning in verse six, a couple of things stand out. First, as Brother Billy pointed out, in the presence of God, Satan does not speak until spoken to. Satan is clearly greatly - infinitely - subordinate to God. Second, Satan is required by God to give an account of what he's been doing. Also, Satan's power is restricted, limited by God himself.
Another thing that jumped out at me as we considered this passage: It was God who singled out Job to be tested. It was God who first brought up the name of Job and asked the question, "Have you considered my servant Job...?" God pointed Job out to Satan - not the other way around.
Peter says this about our adversary: "...the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (Sounds very much like the answer Satan gave in Job 1:7 where he tells God that he has been "going to and fro on the earth and ...walking up and down on it.") Have you ever felt like Satan's hot breath was on your neck, like he was just waiting to spring on you like a lion and tear you limb from limb?
In Zechariah 3:1, the prophet describes this scene: "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him." Have you ever felt like that, like Satan is standing right at your elbow, jumping at every opportunity to accuse you, to weigh you down with guilt and shame?
Do you stand accused once again before the judgment seat of our holy God? How then shall we answer our accuser?
What shall we say to these things?
"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?" (Are you listening, Satan?!) "It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?" (Are you listening, Satan?!) "Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." - Romans 8:31b-34
Are you feeling bloodied and torn, like you are caught in the teeth of a lion?
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels [remember, Satan is a fallen angel] nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:35-39, words in brackets added
I find tremendous comfort in the knowledge that my loving heavenly Father ordains and designs the trials that I must face in this life - it is not Satan, the enemy of my soul, who chooses what hardships I will encounter. If God singles me out to be tested, I can be confident that He is doing so for my good and for His glory.
And I am so grateful that in Romans 8, God gives me a sound defense against my accuser. Romans 8 positively shuts the snake up, drives him from the courtroom.
I do not always understand what God is doing in the trials He sends me, nor do I find them pleasant, and I often do not bear them graciously. But assured of the sovereignty, goodness, and love of God, I agree with Job: "Though He slay me, I will hope in him."
4 weeks ago