June 15, 2004
Read Job 1 - 4
In Today's Reading:
Job's wealth and godliness; Satan permitted to afflict Job; critical counsel by Job's wife and his three friends
Without the Holy Scriptures, we would never understand the reason for suffering. Job, the faithful servant of the Lord, was stripped of his family, possessions, reputation, and health. But his suffering was not misfortune or bad luck, nor was it punishment from God for his sins as his friends mistakenly assumed. Our Creator, who knows our innermost thoughts, declared that Job was perfect and upright, and one that feared (revered) God, and eschewed (shunned) evil (Job 1:1).
Behind all the world's evil is Satan, going to and fro in the earth . . walking up and down in it (1:7) in his continuous effort to destroy all that is good. But Satan is under the constant surveillance of God and can do nothing without His permission.
Satan assumed that, like every self-serving person, Job was faithful only because God would reward him. During his intense suffering and testing, Job's wife even suggested that he curse (renounce) God, and die (2:9). She too had suffered loss, but it seems that her greatest loss was her faith in God. Job realized he was not the owner of all he possessed, not even of his children, but he was merely the Lord's manager of things entrusted to his care. From there, it was just one more step of faith for Job to accept that God, in His infinite wisdom, had the right to reclaim His possessions anytime He chose. Instead of cursing God, Job worshiped Him, saying: The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD (1:21).
Just as Satan used Job's "friends" to criticize, belittle, and condemn him, Satan still delights in using family, friends, coworkers, and even fellow church members to do the same today. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). But Satan is not a lion; he only appears like a lion, and his roaring is all bluff.
Our God, the Master Planner, is still in full control. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Hebrews 13:8).
Christ Revealed:
In the conversation between Satan and God Almighty (Job 1:6-12). We can see the meaning of Christ's statement to Peter that Satan wanted to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31). It is comforting to know that Satan cannot test us beyond the will of God.
Word Studies:
1:20 rent = tore; mantle = robe; 2:8 potsherd = piece of broken pottery; 3:16 untimely birth = stillborn; 3:24 roarings = cries, groanings; 4:2 assay = venture; 4:4 have upholden = have helped.
Pray For:
Staff: Jim Ryan · Government Officials: Rep. Richard Larsen (WA), Rep. Adam Smith (WA), and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS) · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant 

Prayer Suggestion: When discouraged over material or financial loss, praise the Lord for preparing and providing an eternal home (John 14:1-3).
Optional Reading: Galatians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:17