The Word for today:
Job 1:1 — 3:26
mark this: Job 1:6-12
God allows Satan to test your character–not in order to see if your faith will fail, but to prove that your faith will succeed.
Satan will accuse Job, belittle him, and try to undermine his confidence in God. He will strike at Job’s family, his possessions, his health.
Job’s friends–and even his wife–will throw a lot of half-baked philosophy at him, mixed in with some ill-informed religion.
God allows all of this so that Job’s relationship with God will deepen. By the end of the story, Job will know a deeper trust in a bigger God than he had known before.
Remember these principles as the story unfolds:
Evil cannot proceed further than the end of the chain God’s got Satan tied up with.
God will use evil (when that’s all He’s got to work with) to bring about good.
A cosmic wager has been made and we’re about to see it played out. Job and his friends will contest each other in speeches which often resemble poetic trash talk.
The Bible student must take care to consider just who is speaking at any given moment. Throughout the Bible, we will hear God’s prophets pronounce His truth; above all, we will see His Word lived out (1) in the life of Jesus. But we will also encounter voices that do not represent God’s outlook.
By the end of the story, God has heard enough of whatever Job’s friends have been spouting and tells them so–I am angry at you because you have not told the truth about me (2).
So pay attention to just who is speaking whenever you read the Bible. Do they speak for God, or–like Satan and Job’s friends–are they speaking for themselves?
Over time, as you get to know God better and better, you will be able to tell the difference between His voice and the voices that are only pretending to speak for Him:
My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me (3). They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers (4).
(1) John 1:14; (2) Job 42:7; (3) John 10:27; (4) John 10:5