Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Work of Satan

"One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them"
(Job 1:6).

Today we begin a study of the book of Job. One of the significant aspects of Job is that it gives us insight into the work of Satan in the life of the believer.

It is clear from Job 1–2 that Satan is an angelic being. He was created as one of God’s angels but fell into rebellion. It is important to understand that Satan is a creature because there is a current fascination with Satan that ascribes too much power to him.

When God asked Satan where he had been, he replied that he had been roaming about the earth (Job 1:7). For some reason, people have it in mind that Satan lives in hell, but hell is where Satan and all the wicked will be sent at the last judgment. Satan presently dwells on the earth.

Being a creature dwelling on the earth, can Satan be more than one place at a time? Obviously not. Job 1:7 makes this clear when it speaks of Satan roaming here and there. Satan cannot do more than one thing at a time, any more than you or I can. Satan is not omnipresent. Most likely Satan has never bothered with you or me; he has lots of subordinate demons to work on us.

What is Satan’s principal activity against us? He is the accuser. He and his followers also tempt humanity to sin, but their primary work is to accuse us. The word satan means “slanderer, accuser.” In Job 1–2, he comes before God and slanders Job.

Satan also slanders us before men. He tries to make sure that any good work done by Christ’s church receives a bad name. He attacks faithful pastors, active laymen, faithful employees, and anyone who is serving Christ in more than an invisible and minimal way. When we hear bad reports about fellow Christians, we should be instantly suspicious.

Satan and his horde also accuse us through ourselves. He wants to make us feel guilty about our failures and shortcomings. This can paralyze a Christian quicker than anything else. Satan wants us to doubt our salvation because to do so is to doubt the promises of God spelled out in His Word. Such doubt can drive us to despair and spiritual impotence.

The Holy Spirit also comes to remind us of sin, but always to encourage us to draw close to God for cleansing. When we are cursing ourselves and becoming depressed and alienated from God, we can be sure that this is part of Satan’s program. Resist such self-accusation, and beseech the Holy Spirit’s encouragement.