The book of Job teaches us about suffering and the sovereignty of God, but it also gives us an intelligence report on our enemy, Satan. We learn here that Satan is neither more powerful than God, nor does he share God’s ability to read our minds or to know the future. He had to seek permission from God to torment Job, and if he had foreseen the outcome of his actions he would have known that the man would not forsake God, even under intense pressure.
In chapter two Satan came to God with a familiar accusation against Job: he only loved God because God blessed him. In the previous chapter Job proved the validity of his faith when he praised the Lord even after the blessings of fortune and family were taken away. Satan’s second attempt to prove his accusation involved the removal of Job’s health, something God had forbidden in the first round (see 1:12). The only restriction in this second round of torment was “don’t kill him” (v.6).
Some may read this and draw the conclusion that God was being unkind to Job in granting Satan permission to harm him. But God allowed it because he knew the eventual outcome of this test of faith: God would be glorified, Job would pass with flying colors, all he lost would be restored (and much more), and his faith would inspire millions — including you and me. The truth we learn from God’s actions here is that He is more concerned about our character than our contentment. Sometimes He allows problems to come in order to refine our faith. And sometimes, for reasons unknown to us, pain is just a part of His will for our lives.
Job’s response to the physical torment God allowed is amazing, especially when you consider that Job did not have the book of Job when he was going through his troubles! He did not know about the accusation of Satan or the confidence God had in his faith. All he knew was that he had lost everything (except his nagging wife who told him to curse God and die!), and that he was hurting. Picture poor Job, his body racked with pain, scraping his sores with a broken pot, at the lowest point of his life, and he had no idea why it was happening. And yet, he made the amazing statement of faith recorded in verse 10: “Shall we receive good from God, and not evil?” To rephrase his question, “Does God cease to be worthy of our worship and love when He doesn’t give us what we want? No! We trust God the same when He gives blessings and when He takes away those blessings.”
He makes a similar statement of faith in Job 13:15: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” Could you say that? Could you say…
“God, if it’s cancer, I will still trust You.”
“God, if I lose my job, I’ll still trust You.”
“God, if my marriage doesn’t make it, I will still trust You.”
“God, if I lose my business, I will still trust You.”
“God, if life is not fair, I will still trust You.”
“God, if nobody supports me, I will still trust You.”
“God, if I can’t understand what You’re doing, I will still trust You.”