by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Job 1:1-12
Verses 1 to 5 are full of good news, wonderful blessing, business integrity, purity of heart, faithfulness of life. The man is spiritually mature, domestically diligent, and professionally respected.
As he sleeps, another scene opens to us that Job doesn't see. Similar things happen in our lives as well. When we're not aware of it, God is carrying out a plan that would amaze us and, on occasion, shock us. He is permitting things to get underway that we would have never expected. Without Job's knowledge, something is happening in the heavenlies. We are transported from Planet Earth to the third heaven to witness its occurrence.
As the Lord God looks about, He sees His angelic servants who have come to present themselves before Him. And why not? They're accountable to Him. They do His bidding as they carry out His divine will.
Suddenly the Accuser appears among the other angels. He is the evil one who accuses God's people day and night.
Pause and remember that Satan is not a little imp with a red body, carrying a pitchfork, and sitting on one of your shoulders whispering ugly little nothings in your ear. That's a medieval caricature that Satan would love for you to believe. Instead, he is the most attractive, brilliant, powerful archangel that God ever created. He has not lost his brilliance. He has not lost his power. He has certainly not lost his appealing beauty. He is also insidious. Satan's favorite method of working is behind the scenes. Because he is invisible does not mean he is not real. As we will see a little later, he has personality. And he is engaged in a relentless commitment to destroying God's people and opposing God's plan. It is this insidious adversary we find standing in the heavenlies among the group of faithful angelic servants.
Look at the permission slip He hands Satan. "All that he has is yours to deal with." He adds a caveat, "only do not put forth your hand on him" (Job 1:12). "Don't you touch his life. Don't touch his body or his soul or his mind. You can remove his possessions, and you can attack his family, but leave the man, himself, alone."
Satan departed from the presence of the Lord with a sinister grin. Keep in mind, Job knew nothing of that dialogue and the evil that would soon befall him. And remember this: we don't know what wicked schemes Satan is planning against us either.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.