There was a day when I was awake in the early hours of the morning. With no warning, God brought a verse from the book of Job into sharp focus! I had been thinking about how Satan hates us. Then, with astonishment, I was aware of something that I had never perceived before. The Holy Spirit had given to me new insight into the phrase, “Have you considered my servant Job”, which the Lord God had spoken to Satan.
Note the underlined text:
Satan Allowed to Test Job
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:6~12)
A Similar Scenario In Chapter 2:
Note the underlined text:
Satan Attacks Job’s Health
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” (Job 2:1~6)
Think With Me For A Moment:
God created Lucifer (Satan). God could have destroyed Satan and all of the fallen angels (demons) with just a thought. Instead, He deliberately allowed these rebellious creatures to continue in their wicked ways.
Certainly God, who “knows the end from the beginning”, was aware that Lucifer and his followers would rebel against Him.
I am intrigued by the question God put to Satan — TWICE:
God asked: “Have you considered my servant Job”.
It’s as though God was actually inviting Satan to wreak havoc upon Job and his family.
But the question lingers: WHY?
What was God’s plan?
I like to start with what I KNOW to be true:
- I KNOW that God loves ME! Jesus suffered horribly and allowed Himself to be crucified in MY place because He wanted ME to enjoy the delights of heaven with Him.
- I KNOW that nothing surprises God. You will never see Him looking from heaven with astonishment saying, “Oh – my – ME!! I did NOT see that coming!”
- I KNOW that God always has a plan. But our problem is that we usually do not know what His plan is.
- I KNOW that part of His plan is to use the adverse situations in our lives to strengthen our faith in Him!
A Lament over the King of Tyre
11 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:
“You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. 16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.
18 By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. 19 All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.”
Two pieces of the puzzle:
1 Lucifer was a created being: “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 11:15)
2 Lucifer became filled with pride: “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 11:17)
Lucifer’s problem was his PRIDE!
In this next Scripture passage, we’re given a look into Lucifer’s “heart” (verse 13~14). Notice the “I will” statements:
12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12~14)
What did Lucifer say?
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;”. (The term “clouds” refers to the glory of God such as during the exodus from Egypt, when the glory of the Lord in the form of a could led the people of Israel in the wilderness.)
“I will make myself like the Most High.” (Lucifer refers to the Most High God Himself.)
Seriously?? Ascend above the “clouds”? Make HIMSELF like God? Are you kidding me??
Clearly, Lucifer’s ability to reason logically was so blinded by his pride that he actually believed that he — a created being — could make himself equal to (or greater than) the God who created him!
Back To The Question of WHY?
Here is my candidate for an answer:
Recall that God had TWICE asked Satan: “Have you considered my servant Job…?”
God foreknew Job would NOT curse Him to His face.
And why was God so polite as He interacted with the devil?
God was BAITING Satan!
God was enticing Satan; drawing him in; allowing Satan to — as it were — “hang himself with his own rope!”
His purpose was to demonstrate that inferior creatures — namely humans with free will but walking in obedience to God — would bring more glory to Himself than the superior angelic creatures that chose to rebel against Him.
This demonstration continuous to this very day! Every one of us is part of the demonstration!
This is why the universe and the human race exist! Our TRUE purpose is to glorify God.
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:16)
And so the conflict / contest began:
In order to demonstrate that He was indeed had judged Satan fairly, God set up conditions for Adam and Eve similar to the conditions that the fallen angels failed to uphold.
- Lucifer and all the angels of heaven were perfectly created beings — with immortality. Adam and Eve were perfectly created beings — also with immortality.
- God instructed all of the angels as to their assigned tasks. God also instructed Adam and Eve as to what to eat and what not to eat.
- Lucifer and all the angels of heaven were in a perfect place in the heavenly realm called “Eden”. Adam and Eve were in a perfect place in the natural realm called “Eden”.
- Lucifer and all the angels of heaven had a free will, the ability to choose to obey or disobey. Adam and Eve also had a free will. They were not restrained from choosing against God’s command.
- Lucifer and the angels had direct, intimate fellowship with God. Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening.
- After Satan and his followers sinned, they were cast out of Eden in the heavenly realm. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from Eden in the natural realm.
One more similarity:
The Bible teaches that the eventual destination for Satan and his fallen angels will be eternal punishment in the “lake of Fire”. Sadly, the Bible also teaches that humans that choose not to accept God’s free gift of eternal joy in heaven with Him will get what they wanted on Earth: separation from God. Their destination will also be in the Lake of Fire!
The Theme Of Suffering Occurs Throughout The New Testament
Two examples from the book of Romans (of the MANY available):
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3~5)
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16~17)
The sin of “pride” overcomes humans also. For example:
Paul’s Resume Of Suffering:
21b But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? (2 Corinthians 21b~29)
Paul’s “Confidence In The Flesh”:
3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:3~6)
Paul’s “Thorn In The Flesh”:
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7~10)
Paul finally GOT IT!! Once God revealed to Paul that He (God) had a purpose behind the suffering, Paul made a 180 degree turnaround. Paul’s new attitude was as if to say to the devil, “BRING IT ON!! The more misery you inflict on me, the more glory it will give to God!”
There is some good news:
The Antidote to PRIDE Is HUMILITY!
A search on Bible Gateway found 81 verses on the topic of humility.
The Apostle Peter Commands:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:b)
What should Our Attitude Be?
This was Job’s Attitude:
From chapter 1:
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20)
I love that phrase: “[Job] fell on the ground and WORSHIPED.”
From chapter 2:
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9~10)
From chapter 13:
Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him… (Job 13:15a)
From chapter 23:
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. (Job 23:10)
The Apostle Peter Asks:
11b …what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:11b~12)
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10)
Hey, THAT Could Happen Tonight. You Ready?