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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Durso

The Unseen Contest

Gospel Light

"There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil" Job 1:1. Anyone desiring honor and a good name would become ecstatic to have such a statement about themself written in God's holy Word as did Job. So far as the story goes, Job was unaware that such things had been said about him, which is an integral part of the story.

As the story continues, we learn of his great wealth and devotion to living a righteous life, his desire for his children to do the same, and his fear that they might live accordingly. Upon opening paragraph three, we learn of a reality entirely unknown to Job, his wife, and his friends, nor does it become known so far as the story is concerned.

Verse 6 says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them." Everyone on the earth and in the story is oblivious to God's defense of Job. Satan's presence or dialogue with God is never a concern, not so much a passing thought. The one who points out that Job's righteous behavior is none other than God Himself, and neither does Satan contest it. "The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil" verse 8. What Satan does do is question Job's motives for living the life that he does. Verses 9, 10, "Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land."

The name for Satan in Hebrew is the adversary. He is opposed to all that God says; he attacks God continually and what God is doing with Job. In effect, Satan has said that Job's reason for his righteous living, obedience to God, and sacrifice to Him is so that God will maintain protecting Job. Satan's statement also indicates that Job needed protection from Satan.

At this point, the contest for God's dignity through the love and respect of Job for Him begins. God turns Job over to Satan to be tested by him and to see if what Satan has said would come to pass. Of course, it does not, which is seen in the words, "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Through all this, Job did not sin, nor did he blame God" Job 1:20-22.

The first contest goes to God when Job worships God in the face of insurmountable suffering; he expected nothing more than his nakedness at birth and bowed to God's creative rights by unconditionally accepting his circumstances. Remember that Job acknowledged God's authority when knowing nothing of the evil coming upon him was due to Satan and not God.

Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones said, "With the coming of the twentieth century, Freud came in, and spiritual warfare went out. How many brothers and sisters in Christ have sustained aggravated assaults on their person due to the adversary, the devil while being innocent of wrongdoing?

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