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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Facing trials: Job [4]

Satan has the power to manipulate the forces of nature. He is able to control the wind which destroys the house with Job's children. Satan brings sickness upon Job's body.

No human being is able to duplicate or withstand such power. We cannot help being awestruck by the power of the Adversary. We make a grave mistake by underestimating the power or guile of the Betrayer.

In the end, however, we must return to the realization that the devil can do only what God allows him to do.

Job himself recognizes that his afflictions ultimately come from God. In none of his speeches throughout the book does Job ever mention Satan! He sees only God's hand at work in his life; the good and bad. And, actually, Satan's name does not appear in the Book again.



Given a free hand, Satan strikes quickly. Within a single day he smashes Job with one disaster after another.

The Sabean and Chaldean bandits steal Job's 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen and 500 donkeys. His 7,000 sheep die in a storm.

He loses most of his numerous servants.

And, worst of all, his ten children die when the house they are in collapses in a desert tornado.

Sometime later Job also loses his health. He is stricken with boils from head to toe. His disease, perhaps a form of leprosy, makes him an outcast from society. So we find Job sitting alone and scraping his itching sores with broken pieces of pottery.

He sits on a heap of ashes. Ashes were symbolic of deep sorrow among the ancients, as was the tearing of clothes, wearing sackcloth, shaving off hair and sprinkling dust on one's head.

At least we think, Job still has a wife. But no, her advice to him is, "Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9) Thus she, too, unwittingly becomes a part of Satan's schemes.

All this is simply staggering. Let us consider for a moment the ways in which Job suffered.

1. Financially (the loss of wealth)

2. Physically (the loss of health)

3. Psychologically (the loss of loved ones)

4. Socially (the loss of prestige and influence)

Added to all of this, Job also seems to suffer at the hands of everyone he knows and everything.

1. Natural disasters (wind and fire)

2. Evil people (the raiders)

3. Loved ones (his wife and later on his friends)


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