Know Thy Enemy

In the passages Job 1:6-12 and Job 2:1-7 we read of face to face encounters between God and Satan regarding the man Job. The Hebrew word translated “Satan” literally means adversary.  From this passage we learn that Satan is a specific created being. He is called a “son of God” (Job 1:6). This phrase is used elsewhere in scripture to refer to other fallen beings who lived among humans (nephilim, Gen 6:4). We see Satan and his pals were able to enter God’s presence, communicate with Him, and even bargain. We learn he has no authority beyond what God grants. We also learn Satan cannot be everywhere at once. We see Satan spends most of his time on earth – though we don’t need to assume Satan walks about like a human. Satan is granted the ability to cause medical problems, even to the point of causing death. From the rest of the book of Job we know Satan is unseen and generally unaccounted for physically. Satan can only logically be accounted for as a spiritual being who interacts unseen with the physical realm. Most of Satan’s interaction with the physical is through negative influence and destructive force.

This same passage shows some of the wondrous characteristics of God. God trusts Job. It stands to reason that if God trusts a believer like Job, He will trust those of us who believe in and love Him. God knows already the heart of Job and knows what Job can withstand. Likewise He knows our hearts and our limits (1 Cor 10:13). God does not cause our troubles, but does allow them to take place. Our problems test us, strengthen and purify us, and draw us closer to our Creator just as they did with Job. Job did not understand the trial as it was taking place, just as we do not understand everything we go through, but Job stands as an example of faithfulness we can all learn from. We have hope in that God protects each of us with custom designed restrictions on the adversary. Job’s story reminds us how important it is we believe, for whoever believes in [Jesus] will not perish, but will have eternal life.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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