The story of Job starts with a meeting between God and members of the heavenly court and Satan, the Accuser, tagged along. His presence spark a conversation.
“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
This particular conversation between Satan and God reminds me of 1 Peter 5:8. The devil really takes no rest from evil. He notices everything and everyone.
God didn’t hesitate to brag about his servant Job. God said, “ have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all of the earth. He is blameless-a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.
Of course, he recognised Job and just like the accuser that he is, he quickly identified the reason for Jobs steadfast love and consistent worship. The claim was that, God had put a wall of protection around him, his properties and his home.
Obviously, this gave Satan no foothold over the affairs of this honourable man.
Perhaps, Job had not given him the slightest opportunity to dance with him in the same room. His reaction meant he had tried everything possible but consistently failed.
This is how powerless God made the devil in his pursuit to get Job.
He knew Job and he knew he needed permission to get to him and so when the statement “you may test him” came, he roared like a restless lion ready to devour its prey.
God tests us. The devil tempts us. The difference between Gods reason for permitting the devil was inherently different from the devils objective to get to him.
God was testing his faithfulness which could build his character. The devil sought after his character in a way that could destroy him.
The devil could easily identify that uncertainties, tragedies and loss is a prerequisite for many to leave Gods presence. His confession said so. He had seen it happen to others and he believed that that could also happen for Job.
And so when he got the opportunity, he took from Job-the story of his loss started suddenly, unknowingly and rigorously.
All he wanted to do was prove a point.
The first attempt wasn’t successful and so he tried again; this time around he attacked his health.
We need to realize this, the devil knows. He was aware that if he couldn’t succeed with Jobs riches, he could with his health.
The thing about choosing to fear God is that it cannot be hidden. It shows in your lifestyle. People knew this about Job. His friends and wife did too. This loss made him grief so much. They saw him go through it. His health depleted astronomically. The devil took the very thing that could allow him grief his loss. He hit him with a disease that ripped him off of his comfort and made him very unrecognisable.
“Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes.”
If you could just imagine this, you’d realise how terrible the situation was for Job.
Now how do you still hold on so tightly to Gods word, when everything seems to be going downhill. How do you still lose hope and still hold on to hope?
First of all, Job was a very rich man. He owned 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 teams of oxen and 500 female donkeys. Prosperity was attached to his name but all of a sudden there comes this shift. He had seen riches. He had tasted of its fruits and now, he was left with nothing.
Remember what Jesus said in Mathew. Jesus said to the rich man,” it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to see a rich man in heaven.” It was absolutely very rare and close to impossible for that to happen.
This makes me realise that the devil was wrong. Job’s relentlessness had very little to do with what he had. This actually said a lot about what Job stood for-integrity, uprightness of heart and excellence.
Are we ready to surrender and still hold on to all we stand for. Are we ready to build our character to the extent that when we lose, we believe we have still won with God?
One thing we need to appreciate about this story is that, it’s a perfect example of Gods authority and power over his children. Jobs story is a good example for those who seek answers to the question, why do bad things happen to good people?
Also, becareful the individuals in your life you trust and love dearly when you hit your lowest point. They can influence you to make questionable decisions because you’re aware they may want the best for you. Don’t give in, it’s a trap-one of the devil’s traps.
Well, I don’t know about you, as for me, I want God to brag about me. I want him to say I’m blameless. I want to identify as someone with integrity.
This is not to say I am not sinful. I am. I’m sure you are too. This is not to say that I do not make questionable choices and decisions. I do. I know you do too. This is to say, we still have the opportunity to take a stand for God. It is to say that, Job was human and so are you.