Job Chapter 1: Satan’s Evaluation

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Satan’s Evaluation

The Lord asked Satan if he had considered his man Job and Satan’s answer proved that he had indeed considered Job at every angle. He was prepared with his answer when he quickly replied, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”

You can almost see the sneer on his face as, true to his character, he throws doubt on the integrity of Job’s motives in being “blameless and upright” and “abstaining from everything evil.” Satan claims Job follows God because of all that he receives from Him. It has nothing to do with how great God is.

That’s nothing new, though. Satan did the same thing to Eve when he convinced her God was being unfair and “holding out” on them when he withheld the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: “Hey, God knows that when you eat that fruit your eyes will be opened. In fact, you’ll be like God yourself, knowing all about good and evil.” His tactics haven’t changed a bit today. However, his tools are limited. The only tools he has at his disposal are limited to your mind. Think of the acronym of “TIS”: Thoughts, Ideas, Suggestions. If you take authority over your thoughts, he can’t plant the ideas or suggestions that trip you up.

One of the tools he often uses is to tell people that there is always a selfish motive at the back of all service to God. “They’re all out for the money!” “They’re all crooks!” Disinterested and unselfish love and devotion, whether from God toward his people or from his people toward God, is beyond Satan’s understanding, as well as those under his power. To the world, Christian devotion and commitment is foolishness and His followers are simply a bunch of morons. I have never expected understanding from the world, only judgment and ridicule.

Satan claims to have proof to his accusations because Jehovah had “put a hedge around him (Job), his household and everything he has.” You know that the prince of darkness was speaking out of experience because he must have met that Divine environment on whatever side he had tried to attack the servant of God. Satan must have been walking around chomping at the bit for a chance to break through that hedge God placed around this “man of God.”

On top of that, Satan also complains that God not only put a hedge around Job and protected him, but He had “blessed the work of his hands, and increased his substance in the land.”

In Satan’s view, what opportunity did Job have to prove the authenticity and sincerity of his devotion? Sure, the Lord could see his heart and knew he was loyal to the core, but who else could believe it when all they saw was prosperity and blessing on every side?

Very few Christians experience such an outpouring of disasters as those Job has. However, that does not mean an ordinary person, going through ordinary struggles and setbacks of life cannot identify with him. Think about it, Job in his suffering is essentially a figure like Christ on the cross. He is a person with whom everyone can identify with in spite of his absolute uniqueness. We do not have to have nails driven into our hands and feet to know what a cross is. A cross is a cross. To be crushed is to be crushed. Countless people have committed suicide with far less provocation than Job had, and what to one person seems a feather is to another a millstone. Even feathers, when blown about by the Devil, can stir up quite enough trouble of their own.

When Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” He was talking about everyone’s day. Yet, who hasn’t caught themselves wishing that they could fight more glamorous battles than the ones they actually face? As asinine as it sounds, I have. I have foolishly challenged the troubles to come. “Come on Devil, give me your best shot.” Glamour is one of Satan’s great drawing cards. However, in reality, what good is it to beat the Devil at cancer only to lose out to the common cold? It is just as important to beat him at the corner store as in the concentration camp.

There can also be a dangerous false humility (in other words, spiritual pride) in saying, “I really have nothing to complain about, especially when I think about so-and-so or with all the starving children in the world.” The real question is whether I myself, in my own unique set of circumstances, am giving glory and thanks to God from my heart. If I am not, then it doesn’t make any difference whether the problems I face are big or little. Even the smallest of complaints can spoil fellowship with God. Just one. We see this principle plainly illustrated in marriage. Just one unresolved tension, just one episode of stubbornness, just one dirty sock or unmowed lawn can be enough to provoke a bitter argument. The point is not how big or how little the problem is; the point is the quarrel itself, the wrecked relationship. The point is whether one’s own particular burden is being borne in the bitterness and pride of the flesh, or in the grace of God.

So, quit being trapped into comparing lots, whether in terms of troubles or of blessings. As Paul put it, “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” Whatever our trials are, we are not to begrudge them; but we also should not make the opposite mistake of underestimating or belittling them. Jesus did not sing happy, joyous choruses on the cross; He hung there and suffered.

If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.

Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.

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