TO CHEW ON: " ' But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse You to Your face." Job 1:11
What an interesting drama we see playing out in today's reading: Satan intermingling with the good angels as they appear before God (Job 1:6); God singling him out with a question (Job 1:8); and Satan rising to the occasion with a challenge back to God (Job 1:9-11). It appears that one of the tasks he has set for himself is to slander the saints (something he continues to do - Revelation 12:10).
A short stroll through the Bible makes us privy to some of the other nasty things on his to-do list:
- Tempt people to be disobedient. He was behind Eve's and Adam's sin (Genesis 3:4,5) and he was also behind David's sin of commanding a census when God was not for it (1 Chronicles 21:1).
- Inflict disease. As we read further on in Job, we see the active role Satan played in Job's case of boils (Job 2:7).
- Oppose God's ministers—as Zechariah saw in his vision of priest Joshua in the temple (Zechariah 3:1).
- Tempt Christ (Matthew 4:1,3).
- Remove truth with falsehood. Jesus, in His parables, shows Satan removing the good seed or truth (Matthew 13:19) and sowing tares or what is false (Matthew 13:38,39).
- Torture those in his possession. The Bible is full of the mental and physical anguish of the demon-oppressed and possessed (Luke 9:42; 13:16).
- Lie, lie lie (John 8:44).
- Instigate sin. This is what he did in the heart of Judas to betray Jesus (John 13:2) and Ananias and Sapphira to lie about their offering (Acts 5:3).
- Hassle, persecute, and kill Christians. Paul attributed his "thorn in the flesh" as a "messenger of Satan" to "buffet" him (2 Corinthians 12:7). In Revelation, John sees those who have been killed for their faith--who "...overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).
- Hinder Christian activity. Paul blames Satan for keeping him from visiting the church in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
- Prey on people. Peter and John clearly alert us to this in 1 Peter 5:8 and Revelation 2:10.
Though we will probably never have as clear a behind-the-scenes clip of Satan at work in our lives as we get in Job, when we review the above list of his activities it's not hard to see his fingerprints all over our circumstances as well. Let's follow Peter's advice to:
"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
"Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world." - 1 Peter 5:8,9 AMP.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that Satan is , through Christ, a defeated enemy. Help me to live alert to his methods and schemes in my life and in the world around me. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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