It’s a busy day in Heaven. Satan comes strolling in and starts a conversation with God. God holds up Job as the gold standard and Satan replies, “Really?”
First of all, I don’t like the thought of Satan being allowed to even THINK about walking into Heaven, let alone the presence of God. But here we have him doing just that. Before Jesus’ work on the cross, Heaven hadn’t been cleansed of the stain of Satan. Satan, or Lucifer used to be one of God’s angels. Lucifer was the most beautiful of all the angels but he tried to place himself above God. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well. He wasn’t completely locked out of Heaven until Jesus’ blood was applied to Heaven itself. Satan and his followers were then permanently prevented from entering Heaven again.
While Satan was in Heaven, God struck up a conversation with him. “Have you considered my servant Job” (verse 8b). I have wondered why God would choose to hold up Job to Satan. Thinking about it now it seems a logical thing to do. Satan had just admitted that he had been “walking up and down” the earth, probably looking for some mischief to get up to. God pointed out the best of the best to him as any father would brag about his children. God was VERY pleased with Job and He held him up as a gold standard to Satan.
Instead of being remotely impressed Satan challenged God’s estimation of Job. “Of course he loves You. You protect him and bless him. Take that away and he will hate You and curse You to Your face” sneers Satan.
“Won’t happen” replies God “because I know this man’s character. But, just to be fair I’ll let your try. You cannot touch his life or personal health though.”
“Deal!” says Satan as he rubs his hands together in anticipation.
I’m going to say it with complete conviction; I DON’T want to be the ‘gold standard’! I’m MORE than happy to be middle of the pack if this is what the gold standard gets. But God KNEW Job’s heart. He knew how Job would respond. He knows beginning and end of ALL so He knew how this challenge would turn out all along.
Getting back to the conversation between God and Satan, did you notice that Satan asked God to do the evil Himself? “But stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face” (verse 11).
God told Satan that he could do it himself BUT not to touch Job’s physical life. All the things God allowed Satan to ‘touch’ belonged to the world, even his children if they were not following the Lord. Satan was given dominion over the earth when he was cast out, so he was about to be ‘playing with his own toys’.
Just in case you can’t tell, this story is NOT one of my favorites! I don’t like seeing that Satan still had access to Heaven. I don’t like seeing God give Satan permission to do anything! I know I can take myself out from under God’s protective umbrella with my own actions but Job doesn’t appear to have been ‘at fault’ in his actions. Maybe I have as much to learn as Job did. I’m praying I learn it an easier way!
Father God, I don’t know what to think of this conversation with Satan and You. My heart tells me You had a ‘good’ reason for allowing all that is about to happen to Job. You had growth in store for him. I know this from previous experience with his story but I have never understood it. I pray You give me that understanding as I read his story again. I pray You NEVER hold me up for such a deep inspection! No matter what, I trust You! Lead my heart as I study Your word, especially in this book.