Biography – Job - Trusting God Despite Suffering!
What role did Satan play in your suffering?
Mark Siebert has shared good news. I also have good news. The funds for Stone #2 have been designated to help The Sam Bish Foundation, The Mushayamunda Village in Zimbabwe and Life Christian Mission. September has been designated Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and I am so excited to present a check to Mike & Cindy Bish for $2000 to help them help families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I have more good news. Do you remember Carter Vantassel? Carter is the son of Art and Crystal Vantassel. Carter was born on June 2 and weighed in at a whopping 1 lb 9oz. Carter now weighs 7 lb. 12 oz. He is scheduled to g home today. I have even more good news. October has arrived and October around here means Trunk or Treat! Trunk or Treat is a great family, community Halloween outreach. We’re talking games, inflatable’s, prizes and of course food. Kids and adults can where costumes but we are requesting you don’t wear scary costumes. Now what would be an example of a scary costume? The back of this guy’s head? JASON! FREDDY! SATAN! Dressing your kid to look like Satan doesn’t seem wise to me! And this little guy looks conflicted. Am I good or am I bad? This may sound crazy or fun but let’s talk Satan for a bit. Open your Bibles to Job 1:6. If you need a Bible just raise your hand right now. We are now three weeks into our Job series. Job trusted God despite his suffering and today I’m curious about Job’s thoughts when it comes to this question. “Mr. Job, what role did Satan play in your suffering?” And Job’s response would be “Huh?” I have no idea what you are talking about? And here’s why! Verses 1-5 take place on the earth, but verses 6-12 take place in the heavenlies. Somewhere none of us have ever been! Look at verse 6 – (Angels!) A 2008 Harris Poll revealed that 71% of Americans believe in angels. Do you? Does your word “angels” have a footnote? Angels are called the sons of God. The Life Application Bible shows us “angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out his work on earth. Angels bring God’s message to people (Mary). Angels protect God’s people (Daniel). Angels offer encouragement, give guidance (led Peter out of prison), carry out punishment, patrol the earth and fight evil.” [i] But know this – there are good heavenly beings and bad heavenly beings. Let’s keep reading – vs. 6.
Satan or “the Satan” is one bad cherub[ii]. Ezekiel refers to Satan as one bad angelic being! Isaiah tells us Satan fell like morning star. Not a celestial body but a light bearer. The evidence that Job is the oldest book in the Bible is staggering which means Job introduces us to Satan. Just who is this one we call Satan or the devil? Bodie Hodge wrote a book called The Fall of Satan and he said, “Satan literally means adversary in Hebrew.”[iii] An adversary opposes another person or being. How might Satan oppose God? Did you see the footnote by the word Satan in verse 6? Satan means “accuser.” We get a better picture of “accuser” in verse 7. Man, is that verse eerie similar to what Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Who is the “someone” in 1st Peter 5 and in Job 1? It does not appear to me that the Satan is out for a joy ride. There is a purpose behind his wandering. He was then and he still is today looking for potential victims. He’s looking for servants of God to accuse! He’s accusing them of being unfaithful! Look Almighty Yahweh, this one won’t be faithful to you and neither will this one! I have always been puzzled why God brings up Job in the first place. But now I know why! Find verse 8. Job is God’s proof. These people I’ve made; my creation – they are my servants! But the accuser disagrees – verse 9! (Marriage or parenting) Getting but not giving. I have prayed a few doozie prayers in my life that can be described as totally self serving. A prayer like this! Oh God, thank you for making this day for me. Thank you for making the sun shine down on me. Help everything to go my way! May traffic be light, my coffee hot and my job a breeze. God, please don’t let it rain today. I’ve got things to do. Thank you for my car and my clothes. Thank you for my health. Thank you for food, for my job, my wife and my kids. Thank you that you’ve given me so much; please keep it up! In Jesus’ name. Amen! Do you like challenges? Here’s a challenge for you. For the next week pray prayers of thanks for who God is and not what he does. For instance. “I thank you God for being my Creator. I thank you for being eternal. For being slow to anger and abounding in love. For forgiveness through your Son. God, your are my Rock, Refuge and fortress. I pray today to serve YOU!” I hate to be the devil’s advocate! But he does have a point! Go back to verse 9! (Read 9&10)
Go two chapters and find Job 3:25. I am not kidding you when I say that one of my all time fears is that what happened to Job might also happen to me! Remember, Job is one of five wisdom books. The wisdom books force us to think! Blessing is the normal result of trusting God. But sometimes things aren’t normal! Sometimes things get out of whack and Satan has a hand in it!
Right now it appears that Satan is accusing Job. But he’s not. He’s accusing God! The only reason these pitiful humans serve you is because you bless them. But if the blessing well dries up so will their praise! And God says – that’s not true! Find verse 12. Apparently Satan wastes no time. Verse 13 shows us we are now back on earth! Have you ever had a bad day? Watch this and enjoy the music at no extra charge! (Crane Bad Day video) Job sets the curve for “BAD DAY!” Read 13-19. Go back to verse 16. Who’s getting blamed for Job’s suffering? GOD! We’ll talk about God’s role in our suffering next weekend. But right here who’s responsible for Job’s BAD day? SATAN!
Right here we have a glimpse of how Satan attacks. He’s mighty enough to manipulate nature - flash a bolt of lightning here; a twister there. Now does that mean Satan is behind every bolt of lightning or every tornado? Only in this way! Dr. James Smith said, Satan’s “aim in Job is not so much to tempt Job to commit various sins, but to force him to the ultimate sin, the denial of God.”[iv] If a bolt of lightning or a tornado launch you into a spiritual tailspin where you conclude. “God can’t be trusted” then Satan just won! Remember – Satan is NOT God. He’s not Almighty and he’s non Omni-present. He can’t be everywhere at the same time so he literally uses people! Go back to verse 14. Geez, I wonder who gave the Sabeans the idea in the first place. If people fear God they will filter their thoughts. But most don’t fear God. It happens again. Go to verse 17. Satan doesn’t care. He’ll use the Sabeans, the Chaldeans – Judas! Satan is just one vowel short of Stan! Job made history. So did Judas. We remember Job positively. We remember Judas negatively. Turn in your Bibles to Luke 22:1. This is the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. (Read 1-3a) Just like the Sabeans and the Chaldeans Satan entered Judas. That sounds weird to me or at least confusing. Nicodemus was confused with Jesus about the spirit’s entrance in John 3. Nicodemus, you must be born again. Excuse me, Jesus; you want me to go into my mother’s womb a second time? She’s not going to like that! I don’t weigh 6 lbs. Enter means entrance – “to come out or go in.” I remember my Mom saying allot of things when I was a kid, but I can’t tell you how many times she said. Close the screen door. Who keeps leaving the screen door open? Were you kids born in a barn? Judas left the door open in his mind and his heart and Satan walked right in! Now “enter” also means influence. What influenced Judas to leave his heart open to attack? Go back to verse 3. (Read vs. 3-5) John the Apostle gives us details in John 12:4-6.
Judas was greedy. His greed gave Satan entrance into his heart. Look at verse 3 one more time. Matthew, Mark and Luke all remind us that Judas was one of the Twelve. Why? Because if Satan can enter Judas who happens to be with Jesus – don’t think it can’t happen to US! What temptation is leaving you vulnerable? Is it greed? Is it lust? Is it pride? Is it entitlement? I am a servant of God and God does whatever I want him to do. I will never hurt because God just won’t do that to me! Go back to Job 1:20. Job has just lost is livestock – his financial security. The stock market just crashed and Job lost everything. But he also loses all ten adult children. Job and his four servants and maybe even his wife will have to dig ten fresh graves. Some temptations are so powerful. But discouragement is lethal! Job immediately starts to grieve. (Read vs. 20) His world has just collapsed – his worst fears are reality! Go back to verse 11! Please pray for the family and friends of Holly Wigington. Holly was killed last night in a crash on Rte. 21 near Massillon; she was a 15 year old student at Fairless High School. God Bless, Anna Norris
Who’s lurking in the shadows? Satan can’t wait. He’s convinced he’s won! Job will be like any other human being who loves God simply for what he gives and not for who he is! Go back to verse 20! Job could have said. (20&21) Job was a real person. Job proves that you can trust God despite suffering. Can you imagine the look on Satan’s face? It’s the look of defeat. Satan has been defeated! How? Jesus crushed him on the cross, which is why I choose to worship God’s Son!
[i] Word Search, Life Application Bibles Notes, Matthew 1:20
[ii] Bodie Hodge, The Fall of Satan, 15
[iii] Bodie Hodge, The Fall of Satan, 13
[iv] James E. Smith, The Wisdom Literature and Psalms, 43