God used Job as an example of a good and faithful man
when Satan came before Him.
Satan used this information to taunt God as Job’s protector. Even deeper behind the scenes, there may have been a backstory that involved Satan’s past.
Hypothetically, God might have been saying to Satan:
“Look at the situation we are in. I created you in all your splendor with great advantages, abilities, and beauty. You had everything from the beginning, including great favor with Me. Then, you turned on me. You really messed things up. Look at Job, this descendant of my Human type creation. He has it together, in spite of not having the position and knowledge that you have.”
Whether or not this hypothetical comment is true, Satan, in essence, replied to God, “Maybe he is good and faithful, but Job serves you because you are protecting him. If he has problems in his life that are severe enough, he will curse You!” Satan then complained in Job 1:10 that God was unduly protecting Job with a hedge of protection and blessing. He revealed one of his strongest characteristics, jealousy. Satan is accusing God of giving Job an unfair advantage. Then, he pushes further and accuses Job of being fickle. He tells God that Job will turn on Him if He will simply take away Job’s possessions. The next interchange between God and Satan in Job 1:12 gives us even more insight into the struggle that is occurring in the spiritual realm.
Job 1:12 (NKJV)
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
God told Satan that Job’s possessions were in his power and that he had power over them. God specifically stated that Satan did not have authority over Job’s own person, however. God restricted Satan’s activity from touching Job, himself. How is it that his possessions, his family and their possessions were in Satan’s power but his person was not? This verse clearly gives the impression that Satan had the capability of bringing evil against Job’s person, but in this situation, he lacked the authority to use it. His tail was tied so to speak.
God is very precise about words. To God, semantics is a very serious issue. He says what He means and means what He says. He does not speak idle words and only honors words that are accurate or legal. Legally, we will see that Job’s words and actions opened the door for Satan to exercise authority over him, and in essence, he gave his permission. God heard the complaint of Satan in Job 1:10-11.
Job 1:10-11 (ERV)
You always protect him, his family, and everything he has. You have blessed him and made him successful in everything he does. He is so wealthy that his herds and flocks are all over the country. But if you were to destroy everything he has, I promise you that he would curse you to your face.
Satan only brought up issues surrounding the work of Job’s hands, his house, and his substance. Satan did not bring up anything about Job’s person. God already knew that Job had unknowingly allowed Satan to have authority over him in both his possessions and his person. However, God protected Job by not revealing any more about the situation to Satan than what he had already discovered. The principal that can be applied to this situation of protection is actually articulated in Proverbs 29:11.
A fool utters all his mind: but a wise man keeps it until afterwards.
God was looking out for Job by not revealing any more than was legally required. Job was under the power of Satan as a result of his own words and actions. It was not sin that made him vulnerable. Rather, it was fear and doubt. God never allowed Satan to have access to Job. God chose to limit Himself, to make Himself powerless to prevent it because He made man with free will and because of His commitment to His own spiritual law. (This concept is discussed in greater detail in chapters 18 and 19 of Ideolatry.) God also could not prevent Adam and Eve from committing their sin due to their free will. However, He could protect Job from things of which he was not yet accused.
Nonetheless, there are consequences for being contrary to spiritual law, and a lack of knowledge on the part of Job could not prevent those consequences. We are all responsible for our actions and our words, whether they be words of faith or words of fear and doubt.
Next week we will go a bit deeper into the issues that Job faced.
I invite you to read Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem
to go deeper into Job's challenges in
Chapter 11 - Trials and Tribulations
Learn how Ideolatry can distort your view of Truth.
May God richly bless you in all that you do! - Dr Rich Masek
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