Job 1:6-12 One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 7 “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” 8 Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”9 Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”12 “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.
This morning I was reflecting on these scriptures from Job. Job was a good and faithful follower of God. He lived a prosperous life, but a faithful life. He was devoted to God and continually prayed for God’s guidance.
When I read Job, I tend to focus on Job’s undue suffering. It is hard to focus on anything else. I mean he suffered severely for no reason. Today though, I read these verses in the Chronological Life Application Study Bible (NLT Version). In the footnotes, it describes Satan and God’s relationship. Specifically, it points out that Satan went to God for permission to test Job which signifies that Satan is accountable to God. Furthermore, it goes on to point out that Satan cannot foresee the future. This is obvious because he believes that Job will fail the test, but God knows differently.
Normally, I would have skimmed over this, but these facts stood out to me. If Satan is accountable to God, then why does God allow so much evil to happen in the world? There is a one word answer for this: sin. Sin has opened the door to evil. When we allow sin in our life, Satan has an open door to attack us. You know why? Because we have moved God to the background, and God can no longer protect us. “Sin has twisted justice and made our world unpredictable and ugly.” (Chronological Life Application Study Bible, page 94).
When we open our hearts to God and trust that He will find a way out of our suffering, then God can once again take over evil. When we continue to control the situation ourselves, then God permits evil to happen. Trust is the key.
Throughout the last year, Pete and I have tried to place our lives in God’s hands. We have turned our faith back to God and away from societal demands. Of course, we have played a tug-o-war game doing it, but ultimately, we are trying our best to give God the Glory that He so deserves. We are trying our best to trust God will lead us down His pathway through the suffering and trials. It is REALLY hard. What I can tell you is there have been some amazing things that have happened in our life over the last year since we have allowed God to lead us. AMAZING! I wish I had time to go into all of them, but God works wonders when you trust Him so deeply that you can push away societal values and demands. Placing God first can change your life.
Reading through Job this morning gave me a deeper understanding of why this works. It works, because our trust has been placed with God. We have acknowledged that only He has power and control – not us. We have given Him the strength to conquer evil. We are not taking on the burden ourselves.
Yes, Job was a good and faithful follower of God. That doesn’t protect Him from Satan. In fact, when you are doing powerful things for God, Satan will want to attack you, but by giving God complete control of your life – you will ensure that Satan will never win.