Suffering and the Saint

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In Job Chapters 1-2 we get to peak in on a conversation between God and Satan.

God:      Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.

Satan (my paraphrase): Of course he is going to be blameless and upright – you protect him and his household and you bless him – if you weren’t so protective he would curse you to your face!

What a cynic. It is so easy to think the worse of someone instead of the best! (notably – a pattern we always see in Satan!)

But does he have a point?!

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What the devil…

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Satan appearing in the heavenly realms to address God (as we saw on Sunday in Job 1 and 2) raises more than just eyebrows! What do we know about Satan? What was his plan? Does he have any power over God (such that he can just appear before him)? And how can we know that Satan won’t cause bad things to happen to us?

What do we know about Satan?

The Bible doesn’t say as much as you would expect – I guess God is not that willing to give Satan air time in his word to us. For the record, I can count just 80 passages that refer to either Satan, the devil or the evil one.

That said, it may be worth also pointing out that the Bible might not tell us everything there is to know about Satan (it doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about circumcision, the end times, predestination or Ehud for that matter!). We can be confident that the Bible tells us everything we need to know concerning Satan.

What we can say may be helpful.

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I just read Ezekiel 8-11 – it is shocking!

I found myself wondering how I would have responded if I was Ezekiel. God lifted him up and showed him the sin of the house of Israel and the leaders of Judah – and repeatedly stated ‘you will see things that are even more detestable...’ (Ezek 8:6, 13, 15, 17). The sin and rebellion of the people was shocking – insulting really. To set up an idol and then bow down to it – and to do that in the very sanctuary of God! That would be worse than inviting a prostitute to join you in bed when your spouse was in it! Or giving the PIN number to your joint bank account to a thief without asking your partner!

It is no wonder God was angry.

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