Satan not only attacked God’s kingdom on a world-wide scale, but he opposed individuals who were part of that kingdom as well. Job is a prime example of this. He lived around the same time as Abraham, but not much is know about where he fits in historically or geographically. He is a picture of a righteous man, following God, facing his own warfare because he is faithful to God (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7).
One of the ways Satan attacks God’s kingdom and people is by bringing accusations of sin against believers (Zechariah 3:1-4; Revelation 12:10). Because God is holy and must judge sin, Satan tries to point out the sins of believers in order to bring God’s wrath upon them. However we are safe from condemnation because Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross (Romans 8:1). Still, Satan is forever tattling on us to God.
We don’t know how Satan is allowed in God’s presence, but in some way or form this must happen for he accuses Job to God (Job 1:1-6; 2:1-7). God allows Satan to attack Job, but with certain limites which God imposes (Job 1:12; 2:6).
LESSON FOR TODAY: All satan’s attacks against us are ‘Father filtered,’ allowed by God for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). This painful suffering of Job’s served as an example of faithfulness to all heavenly beings, and to the millions who have read of Job in the Bible.
One other item of interest in this account is the way Satan was able to attack Job and his family. He used evil men (Job1:13-15), nature (lightening, Job 1:16), hostile men (take animals, kill servants, Job 1:17), natural disaster (wind to destroy a house and kill Job’s children, Job 1:18-19), and sickness and pain against Job himself (Job 2:6). While we aren’t to fear Satan or give him credit for more power than he has, still he clearly has more ability to use nature, people and sickness than we often recognize. He has many weapons in his warfare against us.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Why does God allow people to suffer and struggle? How can a God of love allow so much evil to continue? God doesn’t defend Himself or explain what He allows. He gives us a free will choice as to whose kingdom we will pursue. Sin and the resulting evil are the natural consequences of turning from Him.
The fact of pain in the world is not a reason to see God as less than loving. Still, innocent people suffer. We can’t try to evaluate God’s person and character by these things for He has proven His character and love by leaving heaven, becoming a man, living on earth, then going to the cross to take on the punishment for every sin we would ever commit. That proves His love for us beyond a shadow of a doubt. If it weren’t for that we would all spend eternity in hell. So anything less than hell from now on is because of His grace and mercy. Why He seems to show more love and mercy to some than others is not up to us to judge. God isn’t accountable to us. We cannot stand in judgment of Him until we know all the facts as He knows them and see everything as He sees it. Many things seem unfair to little children but they must trust their parents. Getting an injection from a doctor, having a pretty shiny knife taken way, things like these seem to a child that a parent doesn’t love them. But a child doesn’t have the perspective to truly understand all that is involved and we don’t either. We do know that facing things we don’t understand gives us an opportunity to trust. Our faith is stretched and we grow. God is glorified as we see Him deliver and as others watch us continually trust Him no matter what happens. Spiritual warfare itself is often very painful. It is just one of many forms of suffering God uses for our good and for His glory. Often deliverance isn’t a sudden, complete act. God allows the struggle to go on for it teaches us to fight and to trust Him.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)