Also, read about how “lions” can keep us from moving forward with the plans and purposes God has for us.
Job 1 & 2
God & Satan, Heavenly “Battle of the Bands”?
Job 1 & 2:
Adversary, but Not Equal
The book of Job may be one of the least understood books in the Bible. So let’s pray that God will give us fresh insight into this book. Remember “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable …” (2 Tim. 3.16).
The book starts out in “God’s heavenly courtroom” and helps us understand that not everything that happens is the result of sin in a believer’s life. Sometimes God allows something for His holy, just and righteous purposes. There were many such purposes in what was going on here in the book of Job.
This wasn’t some “battle of the bands” between God and Satan. First, even though Satan is God’s adversary, he is not God’s equal! He is a created being who cannot do anything in the life of a believer without God’s permission.
Everything in our lives has been filtered through God’s loving hands and He promises to use it all for our good (Rom. 8.28). But we can believe that only to the degree we know Him, know His character, and understand His love for us.
Even when, for His divine purposes, God allows Satan some entrance into a believer’s life, He sets limits on it (Job 1.12, 2.6). 1 Corinthians 10.13 says:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
God knows what we need in our lives to develop us as believers, but will not allow more than we can handle if we will rely on Him. It’s not about what we can handle in our own strength, but about what He wants to do in and through us. One of His good purposes is, often, to help us learn to rely on Him in a greater way.
Even though Job never knew what went on in heaven, God recorded it in His Word for our benefit (1 Cor. 10.11), to help us understand and trust that God is always in control.
Today’s Other Readings:
Satan and Scripture
This beautiful psalm pictures God’s care for His children. It’s interesting that the devil quoted verses 11 & 12 during Christ’s temptation in the wilderness (Lk. 4.1-13). You see, the devil knows the Scriptures, too, but twists them to suit his evil purposes. In Luke 4 he misused this passage in an attempt to get Jesus to do something foolish. He tried to get Him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple by saying, in effect, “If God has commanded His angels to take care of You, You can just go ahead and jump!”
Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 6.16:
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Scripture must be studied and understood in light of all other Scripture. That’s one reason why it is so important for us to read the Bible from cover to cover. The more familiar we are with God’s Word in its entirety, the less likely Satan, or some false prophet, can take the Bible out of context and deceive us!
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10.27).
Lions and Laziness
Have you ever known someone who refused to work by finding every excuse in the book?
- That job doesn’t pay enough.
- It’s too hard.
- It’s not what I want to do with my life.
- I’ll lose my unemployment.
But we, too, can be fearful of “lions” when God is leading us to step out in faith in some area. “Lions” like:
- I’ve never done that before.
- I don’t have enough education.
- That’s too far out of my comfort zone.
- I don’t have what it takes.
- ( Or … you fill in the blank.)
Whether it’s trusting God in some new ministry, going back to school, starting a new business or career, homeschooling your children, becoming a stay at home mom, or some other endeavor … if God is calling you do it, He’ll equip you for it.
Pray for Discernment and Understanding
“Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your Word” (Ps. 119.18).
The Flesh and the Spirit
In chapter 7 Paul is very transparent about the struggles of the sin nature and how, even as believers who desire to do right, the flesh pulls against those good desires. But he also proclaims that the answer is Christ and our allowing Him to work in and through us. Verses 24-25:
“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Lord, please help us to become students of the Word, to read it prayerfully, and to meditate on its truths. Help us to recognize false teaching because we know the truth. Help us to trust that Your commands are for our good and Your promises are true. Give us a heart to understand and to obey.
In the next few days, we’ll look at the Bible on spanking, biblical hope, and eternal security. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
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