As you go through the book of Job you may struggle with what you believe and why you believe it because we have all been taught false theology (study of God) and that theology has developed thinking patterns that could be challenged by the book of Job. I would encourage you to allow the word of God to speak and teach you the things God wants you to know. I am starting with the premise that the Word of God is true and that Job was a real person and not a fictional character. (Ezekiel 14:14 and 20; James 5:11)
Why we suffer is a question that many have struggled with and why many books have been written. Unfortunately, pain and suffering is also a reason that many people have walked away from God. When you hear your entire life that God wants to bless you then it does not make sense when tragedy and loss consume you. So as you walk through the book of Job you have to learn from this important book that God has given us for us to understand pain and suffering and how He works. Why does God leave us in our pain? Does God even care what I am going through?
One of the worse things we believe is that good guys should not suffer only evil people (whatever we define as evil) as we will see through the book of Job that is not the case. It will challenge you in many regards to your thoughts on God, the world and suffering.
Our focus today will be the enemy we all have that is behind the scenes that we sometimes forget about. We will look at this enemy and see how he plays a part in what is taking place in our world. We will look at the man Job was and what God said about him and the enemy that he faced.
Read Job 1:1-5
Job was Blameless and Upright
Although this is not implying that Job did not sin, it is implying that Job was looked upon by others as having been sinless. His outward life showed no signs of sin and no one could name sins that he committed.
Mother Teresa is looked upon as one of those people that you do not even picture her sinning. You think of all the good she did and how she sacrificed herself for others. So Job was like a Mother Teresa in that he was seen as a man who did not sin even though we know that everyone does sin. (Romans 3:23)
Feared God and Shunned evil
To fear God is not to be scared although that could to apply to having a fear of God. Fear of God has more to do with having a reverence for who He is. We show reverence to God when we listen and obey Him. Many times we have reverence for people because of their position and people are in awe of them simply for who they are. Celebrities, Athletes, and Musicians tend to get a reverence from us simply because of who they are.
To shun evil meant that he stayed away from evil and kept it as far away from him as he could. This is the calling we all have on our lives, to not be good enough but to strive for perfection through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Colossians 3 says that we are made perfect in Christ so when God sees us He sees us as if we obeyed everything perfectly. Romans 6 talks about how we are no longer the people who are slaves to sin. Job strove to not just be good enough he tried to be perfect, not to earn Gods favor because he already had God’s favor, but out of reverence for who God is.
Job was not just a good man; he was a very wealthy man who had become known as the greatest man of all the people in the east. The greatest man could also mean he was wise and as you study the book of Job you see that he was sought after by others for wise counsel. Job would have made all the fortune 500 magazines and the wealthiest people in the world list but with all of his wealth, Job did not love the money or the possessions, he loved God.
Take turns holding feast in their homes and would invite their sisters.
Job had 7 sons and 3 Daughters and they would regularly get together to celebrate with each other. They had celebrations which were either birthdays or some sort of festivals. The short glimpse into Jobs family showed that they were a close and loving family who loved spending time together.
Perhaps they have sinned in their heart
Perhaps they have sinned is not something I have to ever say about my children. Just like their father there is no indication of Job’s children sinning outwardly. Job was truly a good man who showed the example to his children that every sin matters to God, even the ones no one else may have seen in their hearts.
Job acted as the Priest of his own family making the necessary sacrificial requirements that God required on behalf of his children. Job loved his family and regularly met with them to show them the ways of God.
Job was a good man and father
Everything that has been talked about so far is to show that Job was a good guy and was even considered perfect by the rest of the world. If our thinking is that good people get to have a good life while evil people suffer then we are in for a rude awakening when it seems the opposite takes place. We have a mentality that God will bring health and wealth to those who are good but the book of Job lets us know that God cares more than about money and possessions because He cares about us.
Read Job 1:6-7
1) The Enemy is revealed
God asked where did you come from and Satan answered; From Roaming through the earth.
1 Peter 5:8 calls Satan a roaring lion seeking whom he could devour. Job was simply living his life totally unaware of what was going to happen to Him and little did he know his world would come crashing down. We get to go from the visible to the invisible just like in 2 Kings 6 when Elisha prayed for the eyes of his servant to open when they were surrounded by an army.
2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
There is a spiritual realm that we cannot see but God allowed us to know that it exist in His Word. If we are going to believe the teachings of Jesus Christ then we have to believe in Satan and fallen angels. (Matthew 4) We are not always aware of all that is taking place around us and the battles that are raging but God lets us know that they are happening.
“Satan’s two most effective ploys are (1) to get people to underestimate him so that he can lure us into a hidden snare, or (2) to overestimate him that we may be so intimidated by him that we are paralyzed by his threatening power.” (God’s Devil, Erwin Lutzer, PG 10)
What could be worse than having an enemy? Not knowing you have one or making him bigger than he is.
The Angels who carry out the work of God have to appear before God to give a report and Satan was there as well. The book of Job just like the book of Genesis reveals to us that there is an enemy that we need to be aware of who is wanting to destroy us.
Read Job 1:8
2) The Enemy is used by God
Have you considered my servant Job?
God is the one pointing out Job to Satan and I believe the passage indicates that Satan has tried to do things to Job in the past and God had restricted Satan from doing anything. God knows the enemy and what he is thinking and now God is getting ready to use Satan as an instrument for His purposes. This is where our view of God gets a little bit messed up because we cannot see how God can use evil in the world.
In the book of Genesis we see that Satan enters the scene pretty quickly and although Adam and Eve did not need to give into his lies we know that God had already foreseen what was going to happen and already had a plan in place. God had planned on a redemption plan of Jesus Christ way before sin ever entered the earth. (1 Peter 1:20)
Our lives are not in the enemies hands they are in God’s and He will use Satan for purposes that we may not be able to see at the time or this side of Heaven. Judas betraying Jesus is a perfect example of how God uses evil to accomplish His plan.
God uses Satan to Discipline Disobedient Children (Deuteronomy 28:47-48; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20)
We have to remember how much God hates sin and He will not allow His children to continue down a path of destruction that dishonors his name.The enemy knows if he cannot keep you from Heaven, he can at least keep you from being effective on earth. Nothing hurts the testimony of Christ more than when Christians do not live what they say they believe.
God uses Satan to Purify His Children (2 Corinthians 12:7)
When you see your trials are really from God you will see them in a differently and it will help you endure them. Paul knew his thorn of the flesh was really for his good even though it was painful and he wanted it removed. The thing that most would look at as a hindrance was used by God to keep Paul humble and reliant on God which in turn made him more effective in the work of the Kingdom.
God uses Satan to Teach endurance (Revelation 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:18)
We are to actively be going against the schemes of the devil because we are constantly in a spiritual battle. The war has already been won but we are to continue to fight until we get to Heaven. Perseverance among the children of God is written about throughout the Bible. Romans 5:3 says, we should rejoice in our sufferings because it leads to endurance which changes our character.
God uses Satan to Prove our loyalty to God (Matthew 4:1; James 1:13)
Satan wanted to disqualify Jesus and he wants to disqualify us and every time we say no to the enemy and yes to God, we show who our loyalty is to. As Christians we have changed Kingdoms and so we must change our loyalties and God will allow Satan to tempt us to make sure we belong to His kingdom and not the kingdom of the world.
Read Job 1:9-12
3) The Enemy brings false accusations.
Strike everything he has and he will curse you
Satan believed that the only reason Job was worshiping God was because of the blessings of God. Although Job would prove himself to worship God despite all he will lose, many people walk away from God simply because God is not doing what they thought He should do. Pain and suffering either draw people closer to God or push them away. Satan ask God to take everything from Job but God did not do it but He permitted Satan to do it.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers[a] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
There are different opinions as to whether Satan still has access to Heaven after Christ rose from the dead but he could still be there today until the end of time when he is cast into the lake of fire. Everything Job would go through would prove that He loved God and not just the blessing of God. Satan accused Job of loving God for the wrong reasons and he will accuse you as well. You have to know who you are in Christ so that you do not believe the lie the enemy will say about you.
4) The Enemy is limited in what he can do
God has limited Satan and there is nothing he can do without God allowing him to do it. Satan is a rebel and he would break the rules God sets if he could but he cannot go against the authority of God. These passages tell us that God is not in a tug- o-war with Satan over control. Many people see God as almost being helpless against some of the things that Satan is doing.
Ying Yang is basically the symbol that says good and evil balance themselves out. This is not something Christians believe in because there is no balance between good and evil, God is in control. The enemy is limited in his knowledge, power and his ability to be everywhere at once. God is all knowing, all powerful and all present and so Satan has restrictions where God does not.
Revelation 12:4 tells us that 1/3 of the Angels joined him in his rebellion against God and so they are part of the strategy that Satan uses to try and destroy people and discredit Gods people. Satan only has the time you are on earth to harass you and he harasses you because he hates God.
Even Jesus told Peter that Satan was asking for permission to destroy him but it was not given to him.
Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[a] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
The enemy can do nothing without getting permission first This is why we never have to fear. Jesus is our advocate and so call out to him for strength and deliverance.
If you’re following King Jesus, take heart. Your enemy was defeated (Col. 2:13–15), he is being defeated (Eph. 6:10–20), and he will be defeated (Rom. 16:20). Yes, he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8), but at Jesus’s death he was defanged, and at Jesus’s return he’ll be destroyed. (Gospel Coalition)
Maybe as I was going through this you started wondering if Satan is harassing you. We are not supposed to worry about those things but we should focus on the truth that God is bigger than Satan and our lives are in His hands. Do not take the enemy lightly but do not make him bigger than he is because he still has to answer to God and can do nothing on his own. Satan has been defeated and one day he will be destroyed. Why God allows him to continue on earth is beyond our knowledge and understanding but God has a purpose for it all.