When it comes to angels, whether they assist us individually or collectively, we as God’s people are in good hands. Such is encouraging because Scripture says we have an adversary, namely Satan, that “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pt. 5:8)I realize that there are some who do not believe this. I’m not sure what the official designation of such a posture is. They’re not atheists who say there isn’t a God. They’re not necessarily agnosticswho say you can’t know. Really the best word I know to describe them is vulnerable. If there’s an enemy seeking the destruction of everyone you hold dear, it’s in your best interest to learn all you can to combat him.
Once again the Bible takes us “behind the veil,” this time in the Book of Job. The main character in the book, besides God, is Job. As the book points to God’s sovereignty and the question of evil, pain and suffering, we see from the very beginning that Job was God’s man. He was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned from evil.” (Job 1:1) To this devout believer, Satan paid a visit. Interestingly, the text reveals that Satan didn’t pick Job, rather God did. The Lord said, “Have you considered my servant Job?” ( Job 1:8)
If you were to read through chapter one you’d find that Satan was familiar with Job. He asserts that the only reason Job serves his Creator is because he’s so blessed: “Does Job fear God for no reason? 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.” (Job 1:9-10) Satan’s point is clear: if God were to take away Job’s blessings, Job would lose his faith.
Now if you’re familiar with the story you know that God then allowed Satan to afflict Job. First Satan is allowed to take Job’s prosperity and children (Job 1:13-22) and then came Job’s health (Job 2:1-8). Friends, so many times this problem of suffering is a stumbling point for people. When confronted with evil, pain or suffering some allow it to pit them against God. “Where was God when my child died?” “How could God do this to me?” “Why would a loving God allow this to happen?” “When is He going to give me some relief?” You’ve heard it; perhaps even in a time of pain, you’ve said the same. Job did; he vented his frustration, asked his questions and demanded his answers. Yet, and this is important, he never gave up on His belief in a redeeming Creator (Job 19:25).
Now back to our adversary, in this most interesting text we learn two very important things about Satan. First, he is not omniscient (all-knowing), for he made a knowledge claim that was false. He said that if God were to remove Job’s blessings Job would curse Him to His face. (Job 1:11) That was clearly false! Job questioned; Job vented; Job challenged, but he never gave up his faith in God. Second, we see that Satan is not omnipotent (all powerful). Remember, it was God that permitted him to afflict Job. Thus, although Satan is a foe that must not be underestimated, he is in no way equal to God.
I believe the apostle John said it so well: “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4) We must, as the ole time VBS song suggests, take our Gospel chariots and “roll right over him”! And with God’s help, the Word’s guidance and the Spirit’s presence we can!
You are loved!