January 26, 2023 12:00 am
Is it possible to worship God even when He takes everything away us? Is it possible to love Him even when He seems to have abandoned us? Job's life offers us a resounding "yes!"
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Would Satan smite him to the ground? Would Satan destroy everything about him and his family? Would he attack?
Absolutely, he would, but he cannot. He cannot touch him now at this point without the permission of God. And so it is with you, every one of us who are children of God, we cannot be touched by this ark enemy without the permission of God. Ladies and gentlemen of the body of Christ, you are never ultimately in the hands of Satan. You are always in the hands of God. God is completely sovereign. Satan is not God's peer. He is subservient to God.
That means that anything Satan wants to do to you must be approved by God in advance. So here's a question that helps bring this truth home. Is it possible to worship God even in the midst of severe struggle?
What's been your experience? Well, the answer is yes, because God is sovereign even over that struggle. We see this clearly in the book of Job and we return there today. This is wisdom for the heart. The Bible presents Job as exhibit A of these truths. And here's Steven to teach you more.
D.L. Moody, the evangelist of the late 1800s and founder of Moody Bible Institute, once remarked, I believe Satan exists for two reasons. First, the Bible says so.
And second, I've done business with him. Frankly, the average Christian goes through life without giving any thought to the war that he's in. One author wrote, many people get up, eat, drive their cars to work, make phone calls, send emails, tend their children, clean the kitchen and go to bed without giving one single thought to the existence of an unseen world and the fact that humanity is the staging ground in the greatest battle that has ever taken place. Now, mind you, when we talk of a battle, we need to make sure we understand the powers of hell and the powers of heaven are not on equal footing. It is not a battle between two equally strong armies or forces. And we're left to bite our nails and wonder who will win.
Not at all. The power of God is supreme and the conflict has already been won. It's just that the forces of hell have yet to concede defeat.
The war has been won, but skirmishes are daily, are they not? And the defeated general has been allowed to roam around a little bit looking for fresh recruits who will deny the glory of God and the sovereignty of Christ. His favorite target happens to be the child of God. Silencing the praise and thanksgiving of one believer gives Satan more delight than provoking the curses of a thousand unbelievers. He hates the glory and the worship of God. Isaiah informed us that it was God's throne he coveted. It was God's glory he wanted. He wanted the adoration of humanity and he lusted after that and for that he was judged. One third of the angels joined him in his mutiny against the glory of God and now serve him as fallen angels attacking the work of God and the ways of God and the will of God and the workmen of God and the worship of God.
Peter informed us that his desire is to devour someone. You could render that word discredit a defeat or discourage in their own daily living. Someone that is who claims to know Christ as savior. 1 Peter 5 8. So the message would be to watch out.
The message would be to remain alert. Stand firm in the faith as Peter wrote. The only way really that Satan can attack the glory of God is through disobedient disloyal ungrateful people especially wayward children of God who refuse to glorify him because of perhaps a trial or a tragedy or perhaps spiritual apathy or maybe unrepentant sin to mute the worship of the believer toward God is his highest objective for a while the throne of God is out of his reach. His children are not Charles Spurgeon who was used greatly of the Lord two centuries ago in London England pastoring. He suffered greatly with physical ailments nearly his entire life. He preached nearly 100 sermons on the Book of Job and I have a copy of that in my library and I have read from it periodically recently for him preaching on the Book of Job during his ministry was not an exercise in homiletics.
It was personal. He was a sufferer. His bouts with ill health living daily in continual pain. The need for extended bedrests which began in his early 20s about the same time he began pastoring his church which grew to well over 10,000.
Spurgeon's wife Susanna suffered as well becoming a semi invalid in her 30s. In fact she was rarely able to ever come to church on Sunday to listen to her husband preach in one of his sermons that I read recently Spurgeon said and I give you all that background so you would understand the significance of his faith in these words. He wrote Satan hates to see happy Christians glorifying God. He is well aware that mournful Christians often dishonor the glory of God by mistrusting him. And he thinks that if he can worry us until we no more believe in the constancy and goodness of the Lord he shall have robbed God of his praise for God said he that offers praise glorifies me. And so Satan lays the axe at the root of our praise that God may cease to be glorified.
Is that true. How do we know that. How can we be sure that the grand scheme of the enemy is to silence the praise of the believer and us bring offensive and an affront to the glory of our sovereign king and Lord. Well just listen. Just listen. For the first time in human history the curtain is pulled back and we actually are allowed to hear a conversation between God and Satan about a believer on earth.
Just listen. In fact just watch as God takes that believer named Job and offers it to human history as exhibit A here is exhibit A that there will be at least one on on earth who will worship me through tears and trials. Just listen just watch the curtain rises on that conversation and that scene in heaven in Job chapter 1 verse 6. If you're not there already if you were with us in our last session we began with the profile the biography of Job and we uncovered at least five things about him he was righteous real reverent resistant rich and he was a reformer that is a reconciler and you were left to say what a man what a believer what a testimony. We learned further he was the father of seven sons and three daughters and we would say what a godly heritage.
What a blessing. One author said however that at the end of verse five there must have been a pause. If this was a play he wrote the curtains would close at the end of the first scene versus one through five and we'd get up and stretch our legs and get a drink of water and then sit back down as as the curtain opens for the next scene and we discover the stage hands have changed all the scenery it's no longer earth it's heaven. The truth is Job goes to sleep at the end of one day and the awakens to another scene that will follow a little later and all the scenery will have changed. He has no idea that while he is asleep Satan is awake.
In fact he had no idea that while he rested on his bed one particular night that God had chosen to radically alter everything about his life the following day. Scene one in his life was calm. Scene two will be chaotic. Scene one is filled with blessing. Scene two with horror. Scene one is what you might expect for one who follows after God. Scene two is an unexpected riptide of calamity and death and disease that will come and sweep away nearly everything in his life. It isn't the first time this has happened to one of God's beloved nor the last.
Perhaps the scenery changed in your life suddenly as well. When you were not aware of it God was unleashing a plan that would amaze you perhaps shock you perhaps even crush you. He would be permitting while you slept all the scenery to be changed and you would wake to a day that you did not expect. You a faithful follower of God would expect the soft cushion and yet he offered you a furnace of affliction. Without Job ever having a clue there is a conversation taking place beyond the constellations and that conversation will eventually change his entire life.
Let's take a look and listen in on that conversation. Verse six. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came among them. Now if you're wondering some of you want to get right on the story but let me stop for just a moment here the sons of God can refer to angels as it did later in Job chapter 38 to refer to the angelic host that was glorifying God as the earth was filled and all things created thus indicating the hosts of heaven were created before all that filled the earth. Well here they are to give an account before God for their duties that he has sent them on and Satan is among them. Now if you've been led to believe that the Satan doesn't have access to God and Satan can't come into the presence of God because God can't be in the presence of sin we need to clear up that little misunderstanding. First of all there isn't anywhere that God isn't. In fact the horror of hell is not that Satan will manage it but God will one day. He is omnipresent. That 10 cent word means he is where?
Everywhere. Satan will stand in the presence of the Lord according to Zachariah chapter 3 and accuse Joshua. Revelation chapter 12 verse 10 will inform us that Satan accuses the believer before God.
Note this day and night. That is his chief occupation. What's even more interesting is in Luke chapter 22 verse 31 the Lord has a conversation with Peter and he tells Peter listen Satan has asked me if he can sift you like wheat. Imagine if the Lord said to you Stephen Susan Bill Bob Satan's asked me if he can sift you like wheat.
You'd probably think well what you say. Jesus said to him but but I want you to know I have prayed for you that your faith not fail. What's really interesting about that text is the verbs indicate this has already happened in the past. Satan has asked Jesus in time past can I sift this servant of yours in time future like wheat. And Jesus said to Peter I have prayed for you already back then. In other words Peter before this trial ever comes to you I prayed for you a thousand years ago. A trial facing you. Jesus Christ has already prayed for you a thousand years ago.
Imagine that. No the point isn't that Satan is never allowed access to God. The point is he's always in the presence of God accusing you. And then he accuses us.
He accuses God to us and us to God. Satan tells God that you're not worth keeping. And then he tells you God isn't worth following. He tells God that you are sinful. That's why he goes daily.
He always has new material. He tells God or he tells you that God is absent. He whispers as it were in the ear of God that you are unfaithful to him.
And then he whispers in your ear that God is uninterested in you. You see the name Satan in fact here in this text appears with a definite article. You could literally render it the Satan which is actually referencing his primary activity. He is the accuser. He is the adversary.
You could think of it as he is the prosecutor. He's the deceiver and accuser of Revelation 12. He is the enemy of Matthew 13. He is the father of lies. He is a murderer according to John Chapter 8. So here is this heavenly appointment and it's real.
It would be staggering to our human minds in our glorified state. We shall one day judge him and all of the fallen angels. But imagine the scene this arch enemy of God and of God's people the created magnificent creature standing before his victorious creator the angel who is both beautiful and evil are the fallen cherub who has an aura of light but is the epitome of darkness and corruption. And the Lord says to him in verse 7 from where do you come. Then Satan answered the Lord and said from roaming about on the earth and walking around on it. Then the Lord asks Satan a rhetorical question he already knows the answer but he asks him Well then have you considered my servant Joe. He just pulls the mask off.
Literally we could translate that phrase. You have set your heart on Joe haven't you. As if to say I know you've been salivating over this faithful man's life.
You'd love to knock him off the path wouldn't you. My servant Joe. So God continues there isn't anybody like him on earth is there. God is effectively saying I know where you've been and I know who you've been watching. He's quite a man in the let's pull back for just a moment from this conversation.
Imagine the implications. While Job slept that night and all through the previous day and we don't know how many days the adversary was prowling around his estate to bring it into our contemporary terminology we could say that Satan was rifling through his files. He was taking note of his Internet sites. He was looking at his IRS forms his expense reports. He was listening to his music.
He was watching him watch his favorite shows. He's looking he's searching he's probing for an opening for a weak spot in Job's life just like the underworld does with you and me. Spurgeon wrote in that discussion on this text as the worker in metals knows that one metal is to be worked at such a heat and another at a different temperature just as those who have to deal with chemicals know that at a certain heat one fluid will boil while another reaches the boiling point much earlier. So Satan knows exactly the temperature at which to work us to his purpose just as the hunter has a gun for wild fowl and another gun for deer and game. So has Satan a different temptation for various orders of men.
The enemy like a skilled fisherman watches his fish adapts his bait to his prey and knows in what seasons and in what times the fish are most likely to bite. Trouble is Job isn't biting. Would Satan smite him to the ground anyway. Would Satan destroy everything about him and his family would he attack. Absolutely he would but he cannot he cannot touch him now at this point without the permission of God.
And so it is with you. Every one of us who are children of God we cannot be touched by this ark enemy without the permission of God. Ladies and gentlemen of the body of Christ you are never ultimately in the hands of Satan.
You are always in the hands of God. Your trial is proof of God's permission. Will you praise him.
Have you considered my servant Job. Have you been watching him. And Satan responds not with denial you notice in verse 9 but with an accusation. Well I feel in this phrase that he's caught. So he just says well does does Job fear God for nothing.
He can't even say you. Does he fear God for nothing. Now we move from an appointment with God to an accusation before God. Satan is accusing the motives of Job. The only reason Job references you is because you keep recompensing him. You give him all the stuff that he wants. Sure he's your servant but who wouldn't be. Look he's one of the wealthiest man on the planet.
He's got everything. Look at verse 10. Have you not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has on every side. You've blessed the work of his hands and his possessions have increased in the land. You notice the unending uninterrupted blessing. Yeah sure he's your servant.
Look it's paying off big time. That's why he loves you. That's why he worships you. Is it true. We'll find out later. Stop for a moment. What if Satan and God were talking about you and me.
I believe he has. Personally. What if he said to God. The only reason that woman is in church today. Is because she's trying to stay on your good side. But the only reason that man came to church today is. Is to hopefully find your price in. And being nice. He's not sure how much it costs but he keeps noodling up the ante to make sure. You say well I'm not that way.
And I know I'm not that way. Or are we. What happens when God doesn't pay up. What happens when we don't get our way. Or our will. What happens.
When we don't get that answer. What happens to our spirit in the hospital. What happens to our walk with God in bankruptcy. Or beside a grave.
Or in an unemployment line. The Satan have our number. The truth is as we've already noted.
Job doesn't deserve this accusation. He's walked with God he's called here the servant of God. Satan couldn't care less about any of that. He just wants to know.
Your price. Let him know he says to God what it's like. To suffer. Let job find out what it feels like to lose a child. His health. His possessions. His business. Let him be hit with the full force let his feet be swept out from underneath him and that riptide that pulls him out where it's over his head. You let that happen and then watch. His faith will crumble. I guarantee it. You need to understand here that Satan is not only accusing Job. But let's go deeper. He's accusing God. Warren Wiersbe provoked my thinking when he wrote this. Satan's accusation was really an attack on God.
You two have made a contract he says. You protect him and prosper him as long as he obeys you and worships you. You are not a God. Worthy of his worship.
You have to pay people to honor you. Your friends don't ever forget that when we refuse to praise God. And worship God and surrender to God.
When trials come our way. We not only fulfill Satan's accusation against us. And he delights in that. But further still we fulfill the accusation of Satan against. Our savior. And he revels. In that.
See. You are not worthy. Of their love.
You are not worthy of their loyalty. And notice verse eleven he says. Put forth your hand and touch all he has. And he will what. He will curse you. To your face. Then.
Shock of all shocks. The Lord said to Satan behold all that he has is in your power. Only do not put forth your hand on him. So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
Can you imagine that. I mean look at what God is going to risk. He's going to stake his glory on the response of Joe.
No. He is risking nothing. How do you risk anything when you know the future. God is never reckless.
Contrary to popular books that are in the bookstores to this day God does not risk anything. He is omniscient. It is Satan who does not know the future. He can try to put some clues together but he doesn't know. Job has already been interceded for.
The story is already finished. God sees the end from the beginning. God isn't is isn't risking. He isn't saying this well OK. Don't touch his body but you have everything else and.
Man I hope this works out. He isn't like some cosmic poker player that has now. Put all his chips. On Joe. As if I know how to play poker which I don't I just thought I'd use that illustration.
No. Satan is the one that doesn't know. Satan is risking.
His reputation. And God ladies and gentlemen will play. Satan in like a puppet on his string to ultimately fulfill God's purpose in the life of Joe but also bring God glory. So you need to understand what Martin Luther said centuries ago. There is a devil but he is. He is God's. Devil. He belongs to him. We see it clearly here. He can do nothing. Apart from the will of God. That's why. Spurgeon said Do you want to make Satan angry.
Today. Remind them of Joe. He hates it. Here's what we can learn about our accuser though before we stop the study for today. Number one Satan is loose on the earth. But accountable to God. Do you think he was in the presence of God because he wanted to be. To see that throne. To see the splendor of our great God.
Oh no. How he hates him. He was called to give an account. He belongs to God. He may be loose on the earth but he is accountable to God. Secondly Satan is brilliant but he is not omniscient like God. In fact if he were omniscient he would have said no that's OK. We won't worry about that.
I'll go look at somebody else. Third Satan is unable to touch the believer without the permission of God. Fourth Satan's influence and destructive power is limited by the will of God. He is unable to touch the believer without the permission of God. His influence and destructive power is limited by the will of God.
And fifth Satan's ultimate defeat is ultimate defeat. His greatest horror ladies and gentlemen is when the believer through tears praises God. Like the mother who came to me after the first hour put her arms around my neck and cried having lost her little girl.
We stood there for some time until she pulled away and looked at me and she said I had to come today to praise him. That's Exhibit A. Exhibit A. That was Steven Davey in a lesson he called Exhibit A as he continues through Job. Steven is the pastor of the Shepherd's Church in Cary, North Carolina. One of our most popular resources in addition to this daily broadcast is our magazine. We send three issues as a gift to everyone who asks. We'd like to send it to you. Sign up at wisdomonline.org or call us today at 866-48-Bible. Then join us next time for more Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 01:02:46 / 2023-01-26 01:12:36 / 10