Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Bible and the Supernatural: God’s Challenge

Scripture: Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6

As we saw last week, these passages deal with Satan arguing with God over the faithfulness of a righteous man named Job. God had blessed Job with great material prosperity, and as a result, Satan accused God of unfairly protecting Job, insisting that Job would turn on God the minute the protection was gone.

Observations: While these passages have much to say about Satan, as we saw last week, these passages have as much or more to say about Who God is:
            First, God is supreme. The angels had to go to Him and present themselves. So God is in charge of angels and to Him even the most powerful supernatural must give account.
            God takes the lead, rather than follows. Satan didn’t trick God or back Him into a corner in order that he might hurt Job. No, God is the One who initiated the conversation with Satan. God was the One who brought up Job and pointed him out, not Satan. God practically invited Satan to make his accusations against His servant.
            God also is aware of individuals and their actions. God didn’t ask Satan to consider a vague, generalized people. He picked a specific person—Job. Moreover, God was able to make confident claims about Job’s character, showing that He was aware of Job’s doings, public and private.
            God takes pride in His people who do right. Why else would He make the claims He did to Satan? Or why bother bringing up Job at all, if God wasn’t delighted with what Job was doing?
            God is the Giver of protection, possessions, and prosperity. As Satan points out, God set a hedge around Job which Satan could not penetrate. Moreover, it was God who had increased what Job possessed. It was God who blessed Job’s work.

Significance: Sometimes we think of Satan as God’s archenemy. In one sense that is true, in that Satan is trying to replace God, but when it comes to power, God far outstrips Satan. God sets limits on Satan’s power. God holds all accountable to Him, including Satan. God is in charge and decides how things will proceed. As a result, we need to be aware of Satan and his work, but we do not need to fear him. We serve the Greater.

Likewise, everything good we have comes fro God. Do we enjoy health? God gave it to us. Are we prospering in any way? God gave it to us. Do we own any possessions? God provided those things too. More than that, God provides us things we may not be able to measure or sense, such as protection from Satanic attacks and hedges which guard us from harm. Why and how God distributes such things may not always be evident, but that doesn’t change the reality that He is indeed the source, and we owe Him our praise and thanksgiving accordingly.

Which leads me to what may be the biggest point we can glean from these passages: God is intimately aware of us, our actions, and our circumstances. He didn’t start the world spinning and then head off to do something else. No, He sees us. He knows us. He cares about what happens to each and every one of us. And when we do right, He takes great pride in that.

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