Behind the Curtain
Day: 2 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading: Job 2
Job 2:4-5 (NIV) “‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’”
Just when it seems life can’t get any worse for Job, it does.
Job certainly must have thought the worst had happened to him. In one day he’d lost his children, his servants, and his extensive livestock. Job experienced the most painful loss in the world – the death of his children – and more. Surely his grief felt beyond bearing.
Yet Job survived and time passed. I imagine he struggled to find the joy in living. But in spite of his great suffering, Job did not sin against the Lord in his thoughts or words.
There are few places in Scripture where we get to see behind the curtain and get a glimpse at supernatural happenings. We know it’s there, as we are told to prepare ourselves for battle in Ephesians 6. Paul says it this way, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
In Job 2 we see what Paul spoke about. We get a glimpse into the heavenly realms and see the outcome of a skirmish, an epic battle between good and evil. Sadly, Job and his family were casualties in this war.
In a setting we can’t understand, Satan appeared before the Lord a second time. And this time, like the first encounter recorded in Job 1, God points out the righteousness of Job in spite of the suffering he’d been through. God sounds like a proud father, as He brags on His son’s integrity.
Satan believes there is yet one more attack to be made, and then Job will surely crumble. If Job’s health is afflicted, then he will curse God. God allows it, and Job develops painful sores all over his body.
And yet, despite the great affliction Job experiences, he still refuses to abandon his faith in God. When his wife gives up and is ready to blame God, Job stands firm and says, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).
Job didn’t know he was caught in a spiritual battle and we don’t know when it might happen to us. Scripture doesn’t ascribe every bad thing to the demonic realm. Some hard things happen because of our sinful choices, some things happen because we are in a fallen world, and sometimes God makes them happen intentionally (not sinful things).
I can become obsessed with trying to figure out what’s going on because I like to have someone to blame. But when I go down that route to solve the outside, I can overlook what’s happening on the inside. It’s important to realize Satan’s goal isn’t our possessions or even our bodies. His target is our hearts. Thankfully we have a way to protect ourselves.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, Paul declares, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
The strongholds aren’t physical, as this isn’t a battle for our careers or homes. This is a battle for our hearts and minds. Satan will use any trick, any lie, and manipulate any circumstance to try and get our minds out of alignment with God’s. He wants us to turn on God and each other when we go through suffering.
Thankfully, God has given us “divine” power to tear down any lie or deception that threatens to turn our hearts away from truth. Job stood on what he knew to be true about God and so can we. Paul equips us with this advice, to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b).
We can’t always change our circumstances, but with God’s help, we can change our thoughts. And in changing our thoughts we will protect our hearts. When our hearts are protected we will see Satan’s schemes for what they are, and stand firm. We won’t be casualties, we will be victors, which is God’s intent all along.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me divine power to face spiritual battles. Though I may not know the cause of my suffering, I can choose to not allow wrong thoughts to take root. Help me submit my thoughts to You and receive Your power to face Satan’s schemes. No matter what our enemy plans, I know You are greater and will have the ultimate victory. Help me hold on to that when times are difficult. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Though Satan failed in his direct attack of Job, he succeeded in bringing down Job’s wife.... Read More
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