A Heavenly Scene Reveals a Satanic Plot
Vs. 6 – Who are the “sons of God” in this verse? Whoever they were, they had an appointment to present themselves before God. No doubt these are created beings. A casual reading of the verse seems to indicate that they are spiritual in nature, for Satan himself is listed among them as one who came before God at this time. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t tell us very much about their meeting with God because his principle aim is to tell us about Satan’s conversation with God.
The word “Satan” means “adversary” or one who is opposed to another.
Vs. 7 – Satan told God that he had been walking to and fro, up and down in the earth. No doubt God knew what Satan was doing. God’s question seems to have reference to the fact that He desired to call Satan’s attention to Job. It’s as if God were saying, “Since I know you have been walking to and fro and up and down in the earth, then you’ve no doubt seen my servant Job.” Satan, of course, had and God wanted to show Satan that his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) were not altogether effect upon men.
Satan’s going to and fro in the earth was obviously for the purpose of doing no good, but evil. Ever since he tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, he has been working his deceitful wares upon the general populace of the world in order to bring temptation and sin to their door and into their house. He is one who is on the prowl and as a roaring lion, seeking to devour God’s children (1 Peter 5:8). Let us be vigilant against his evil ways.
Vs. 8 – God wants to know if Satan had taken knowledge of Job, who, obviously, had resistant Satan’s work and was serving God faithfully. God repeats to Satan the characteristics we find of Job in vs. 1. “blameless and upright; one who fears God and turns away from evil.” This is stated almost as an epithet. The one thing that God did mention that was not mentioned in verse 1 was that in all the earth there was none other like Job. He was a special and unique case and worthy of God’s attention and hence, Satan’s as well. When studying the rest of the book, we find why Job was truly unique. Once he knew the truth, he stuck with it tenaciously (Proverbs 23:23).
Vs. 9 – Satan’s question doesn’t place any doubt in the mind of God. Rather, Satan’s question is an accusation against Job. “He doesn’t fear you for the right reasons” is in essence what Satan is saying here. It all leads into Satan’s desire to place extraordinary temptations before Job in an effort to get him to curse God. Satan has his agenda.
Vs. 10 – Satan accuses God of placing a “hedge” (of blessing) around Job so that Job can’t help but praise and honor God. Satan’s accusation is basically one that God spoils Job and so Job, of course, loves him. It’s interesting, however, that even this is a lie. While it is true that God blessed Job, it’s never the case that spoiling a person brings gratitude and blessing from the individual spoiled. It’s more likely the case that the one spoiled, by virtue of having everything that his heart desires, becomes self-centered, selfish, and narcissistic.
Vs. 11 – Satan “tells” God to remove all of these blessings and Job will curse God. Only Satan could be so presumptuous as to make such a suggestion to God. The haughtiest of sinners on this earth would, no doubt, cower with trembling knees before his Maker. But even Satan understands that this statement of his is but a mere “request” in the sense that only God can ultimately remove His shield of protection from Job. Satan’s statement then must be regarded as no more than a mere question, (“Will you take these things away from Job and see if he will curse you to your face?”) presumptuous though it be.
But why did Satan have to ask? Why couldn’t Satan, without God’s permission, unleash his sorties of temptation against Job? God’s predisposition toward his children is to bless and protect. Try as he might, Satan cannot breach God’s defenses of his children. God does allow, however, with His permission, Satan to tempt his children. Here is at least one reason why the Christian ought always pray “lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13) and why the Christian must always resist the Devil (James 4:7). In both prayer and resistance, what temptations God does allow the Devil to throw our way may always be overcome as God doesn’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Vs. 12 – God gives Satan permission to go ahead and test Job in the way that Satan desires with one restriction: Satan was not allowed to touch Job’s person in any way. However, everything else that Job had, God placed in Satan’s hand to do as Satan desired. Here is where God remains blameless from sending these evils upon Job. God put Job’s things in Satan’s hand, but Satan still had a choice as to what to do with Job’s things. Satan could have chosen to leave Job alone. Of course, he does not, because Satan thinks he has something to prove?Satan thinks he knows more than God. Satan, however, will be the one who ultimately gets proved wrong as will ultimately be the case for eternity as well (Revelation 20:10). God, while allowing Job’s things to fall into Satan’s hands, remains righteous, holy, and pure from doing harm to Job.