What is Satan up to when life takes a turn for the worse? I believe the answer is found in one of the most fascinating passages in the Old Testament: Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-7. This passage reveals that . . .
I. Satan Still Has Access to Heaven.
‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan came also among them. ‘ Job 1:6 ‘Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord . ‘ Job 2:1
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 that Satan used to be a powerful archangel. But shortly after the week of creation he led 1/3 of the angels to rebel against God and take over Heaven. The devil and his angels were soundly defeated and cast out of Heaven. So Satan currently resides on earth. He no longer has a home in Heaven, but he is still allowed to visit heaven and dialogue with God. For what purpose?
II. Satan Visits Heaven in Order to Accuse You.
‘“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” ‘ Job 1:9-11 ‘“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” ‘ Job 2:4-5
Do you see what Satan is getting at? He’s saying, in effect, “The only reason Job is devoted to you is because you’ve been good to him. Stop blessing him, let him suffer, and he will curse you to your face.”
And that is the accusation Satan makes whenever your name comes up in one of those meetings between God and His angels. I’m sure he words it differently, but the accusation is still the same: “He (or she) is in it only for the blessing. God, they’re not interested in you. All they’re interested in is what they can get out of you.”
Is that true? Do some serious soul searching and think about it. Does God deserve your love and devotion simply because of who He is or does He have to buy your love and devotion by what He does?
Does Satan have something there? The only way for you to know for sure is to be tested. That’s why God allowed Satan to strike Job and that is why He allows Satan to strike you from time to time. He wants to test you so you can see how devoted you are to Him.
III. Satan Returns to Earth in Order to Afflict you.
‘The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord . One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said,
More Afflictions than One man could endure!
“The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” ‘ Job 1:12-19
What a Wife!
‘The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” ‘ Job 2:6-9
Who was responsible for these tragedies? Satan was. The Devil struck Job and shattered his world in an attempt to shake his faith. And he, along with his demons, will do the same thing to you. Satan is cruel and vicious. He will do whatever he can to shatter your world and shake your faith. But don’t get depressed and discouraged! Why? It’s Because . . .
IV. Satan is Still Under God’s Authority.
‘The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord . ‘ Job 1:12 ‘The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” ‘ Job 2:6
The Devil would love to do to you what he did to Job. He would love to chew you up, spit you out, and grind you into the ground. However, He can’t lift a finger against you until God gives Him permission!
You ought to fall on your knees and thank God for all the times He told the Devil “No.” God and His angels are talking about you and the Devil says, “Let me at ‘em” – and God says “No.” You ought to thank God for that!
Are Your Ready?
But what about the times when God says “Yes”? What about the times when God allows the Devil and his demons to strike you? I want you to know that it can be a grueling and painful experience. It can shatter your world and shake your faith, but God will see you through if you’ll just trust Him and hold on.
When the devil strikes you, you need to resolve in your heart that you will trust God through thick and thin, that you will stay devoted to God in good times and bad times, and that you will prove the devil wrong when he tells God you’re just “a fair weathered follower”.
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