In Job chapters 1 & 2 we have one of the most interesting conversations in the Bible, between God & Satan. During their exchange, God gives Satan the ability to persecute Job, “Behold, all that he has in in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand” (Job 1:12). Then in chapter two, Satan, frustrated that Job does not curse God after his first attacks, asks for the right to attack Job’s health – which God grants, with the stipulation “only spare his life” (Job 2:6).

Satan then uses his influence to cause the Sabeans and Chaldeans (rival tribes) to raid Job’s livestock and kill his servants, then uses “fire from heaven” to destroy more of his livestock and servants, and finally uses a “great wind” to destroy and kill the house where his children were feasting. Then in chapter 2, Satan attacks Job’s health with “loathsome sores.” Through all of these attacks, Job does not sin.

There is some debate regarding if God granted Satan special authority in this case or not, but  it certainly significant that Satan is granted power over weather patterns, geo-political influence, and personal health. So often we blame God for the pain and evil in the word, but right here we have an example of both who to blame and how to respond.

At the end of Job chapter 1, we see Job responded with understandable emotion, mourning the loss of his children, servants, and property – “he arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground, and worshipped.” Job worshipped in his pain. He recognized that God was still good in spite of his personal misfortunes and the evil that had been visited unfairly upon him. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb. Naked I will return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Amen.

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