Thursday, October 5, 2023

Satan’s Accusation (Job 1:6-12)

"So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” (Job 1:9).

In this passage we see the King of heaven and earth exercising His divine authority over the spiritual realm. Satan comes into the Lord’s presence after he had been walking the earth, no doubt doing mischief of one sort or another. It is likely that Satan boasted of his activities as if saying, “See, I am prince of this world, and I do what I please in the earthly realm.” God responded by pointing out that not every person on the earth had fallen subject to his wickedness. As long as there are those in the world who worship the one true God, Satan is reminded that he has not won the struggle for men’s souls.

Satan scoffed at God, maintaining that the only reason Job worshiped Him was because he had been so abundantly blessed. “If you take all that away, if you allow me to remove this hedge of prosperity,” Satan said, “then he would prove to be a hypocrite and follow me instead of You.”

God decided to prove Job’s sincerity by allowing Satan to strip him of his worldly prosperity. This allowance by God is difficult for many to accept. How could God give Job over to Satan? Henry writes, “It is matter of wonder that God should give Satan such a permission as this, should deliver the soul of His turtle-dove into the hand of the adversary, such a lamb to such a lion; but He did it for His own glory, the honor of Job, the explanation of Providence, and the encouragement of His afflicted people in all ages, to make a case which, being adjudged, might be a useful precedent. He suffered Job to be tried, as He suffered Peter to be sifted, but took care that his faith should not fail (Luke 22:32) and then the trial of it was found unto praise, and honor, and glory, 1 Peter 1:7. But, it is matter of comfort that God has the devil in a chain, in a great chain, Revelation 20:1. He could not afflict Job without leave from God first asked and obtained, and then no further than he had leave: ‘Only upon himself put not forth thy hand; meddle not with his body, but only with his estate.’ It is a limited power that the devil has; he has no power to debauch men but what they give him themselves, nor power to afflict men but what is given him from above.”

Read Deuteronomy 8:2, John 6:5–6, and James 1:1–3. Why does God test His people? Will God be surprised by the outcome of the test? What does James say should be the attitude of God’s people during testing? Is it unfair for God to test us? Thank God that He preserves and protects you in the midst of testing and trials.