Advent 2022: Sun 18 Dec

Job 1:6-12

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’

Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going to and fro on it.’

Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’

‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’

The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

The elephant in the room, the serpent in the grass cannot be left out when we consider angels. That person is, of course, Satan. He is referred to both by this name and as the devil.

There is a nonchalance in the attitude of Satan – I think I’ll go along with the angels and present myself to God! So where was he when he decided to join the angels? Satan was exiled from the presence of God – he was not welcome. He had dared to become independent. He has been roaming the earth, observing what is going on. He still dares to come into God’s presence.

We are not told directly how Satan came to be an enemy of God. He was the snake in the Garden of Eden. We presume that he was an angel created by God who went rogue. Angels are not robots – if they were, then they could not express joy, nor worship God. Angels, too, have freedom to respond from the core of their being to the wonders of God.

Lucifer, as he is referred to in some passages, was a high-ranking angel. He would have been given great power, and probably wisdom and discernment. He fell because he turned his eyes onto himself rather than onto his maker.

Yes, he had seen Job on the earth. A man of deep devotion, blameless and upright beyond any other on earth. Satan taunts God with his theory that because Job was so blessed by God he would be a righteous man, wouldn’t he?!

God gives the fallen angel specific authority to test his theory, warts, sores, boils and all.

Why did God not destroy Satan when he first rebelled?

Is Job a plaything, a pawn in a game played between God and Satan?

Why would God allow the death of Job’s family?

Father God, I know that Satan is ultimately, and his hold over people will be finally destroyed. I am safe in Christ Jesus. Lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil. Amen.

God to Job at the end of it all