Read Job 1 -- 4
Without the Holy Scripture, we cannot understand the reason for suffering. Job, the 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 sin as his friends accused him. Our Creator, who knows our innermost thoughts, declared that Job was perfect and upright, and one who feared God, and eschewed (habitually abstained from) 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). This reveals his restless, continuous effort to destroy all that is good. But Satan is under the continual surveillance of God and can do nothing without His permission.
Satan is true to his nature as the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10) and quickly accused Job before the Lord, saying: Does Job fear God for nothing? (Job 1:9). Satan assumed that, like every self-serving person, Job was faithful only because God would reward him. Since Satan is a created being, he cannot read the mind of a child of God. He can only judge according to his own evil mind. Satan first accused All-Holy God as less than Holy because He enticed people to serve Him by giving them gifts. God allowed Satan to test the sincerity of Job's faithfulness first through the loss of his children and his possessions. Then Job was even more severely tested by the loss of his health and by the cruel day-after-day slander of four men.
During this time of intense suffering and testing, Job's wife even suggested that he curse God, and die (2:9). She too had suffered loss, but it seems that her greatest loss was faith in God. Job realized he was not the owner of all he had, not even of his children, but he was merely a manager of those 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).
Job's sufferings were attacks of Satan but God permitted them to test the genuineness of Job's loyalty to Him. Eventually through his suffering, God revealed to Job how desperately his friends needed his prayers (42:7-8).
Just as Satan used Job's "friends" to belittle and condemn him, Satan still delights in using family, friends, coworkers, and even fellow church members to do the same today. Satan still motivates some people, as he did Job's friends, to misuse what we say in confidence to spread gossip and sometimes to create slander. 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 as a lion, and his roaring is all bluff.
Our God, the Master Planner, is in full control. Our Creator has provided all things that pertain unto life and godliness (II Peter 1:3).
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: Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).
Word Studies: 1:20 rent means tore; mantle means robe; 2:8 potsherd means piece of broken pottery; 3:16 untimely birth means stillborn; 3:24 roarings means cries, groanings; 4:2 assay means venture; 4:4 have upholden means helped.
Government Officials: Rep. Richard Larsen (WA), Rep. Adam Smith (WA) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS) · BPM Staff: Mark Ketterer · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KBCL-AM, Shreveport, LA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of my Sister, Mary Chris Langendorf · Country: Malaysia (21 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Malay and English · All Christian witness to Muslims is illegal · 49% Muslim; 39% Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese religions; 4% Roman Catholic; 4% animism, magic, and some headhunting; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Fast, sanctify yourself, and unite in prayer with others as you cry unto the Lord (Joel 1:14).
Optional Reading: Galatians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:21