When we think of spiritual warfare in the Bible, one of the first places we think of is Job. His story shows that Satan has authority on this earth, but only as God gives him permission.
Job had it all – a beautiful wife, wonderful kids, sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, servants. He also had faith that God was in control.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. Job 1:1-5 (ESV)
Job also had character! He was upright. Blameless. Turned away from evil. Offered burnt offerings daily in case his kids sinned. We’ll see the tragedies that occurred in Job’s life on Thursday. Today, we’ll find out how those tragedies came about.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “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. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Job 1:6-12 (ESV)
Did you realize that Satan and God have conversations?
God was proud of Job’s righteousness and pointed him out to Satan. Satan told God that the only reason for Job’s uprightness was God’s hedge of protection. God granted Satan the power to do evil against Job. Satan couldn’t move a finger without God’s permission, and God specifically said that Satan wasn’t allowed to touch Job personally.
Does it cheer you to know that Satan couldn’t do anything without God’s permission? How does that apply to your life, today, in 2012 or 2013?
On Thursday we will hear more about what Satan did after God granted him permission to go after Job. Between now and then, take some time to thank God that there is nothing Satan can do to you without God’s permission – and that God is always there, watching to see that Satan doesn’t overstep his bounds.
See you Thursday!