6 Now there was a day when the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan came also among them.
Fools will be fools come what may. From these premises it is inevitable that, as Paul says, "there must be heresies among you" They are permitted to exist , though not approved. Their existence arouses the flagging energies of sterling and faithful men, "who are able to teach others" (2 Tim. 2:2). It sets them to contending more earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 2), which manifests them as the approved, who are grounded and settled in the faith, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel (1 Cor. 11:19; Col. 1:23).
This manifestation of the approved after this process is one reason why Yahweh keeps silence, and permits Satan to continue their Operations among the Sons of the Deity, without any present judicial interference.
There is also another very good reason for present non-intervention, and this is, because He has appointed a set time, styled by that infallible and incomparable exponent of the truth the Lord Jesus, "a Day of Judgment," hemera kriseos (Matt. 12:36); and by the no less accurate Paul,
"THE DAY when the Deity shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to the gospel"
Paul preached: "therefore," saith he,
"judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness' and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts;" and "who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and kingdom" (Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Tim. 4:1)
and styled by the earnest and faithful Peter, "the Day of Inspection", hemera episkopes (1 Pet. 2:12) "the time that the judgment begins at the house of the Deity" (ch. 4:17); when, as James testifies, the saints shall be judged by the law of liberty (ch 2:12)
These are two all-sufficient reasons why the Satan should be Providentially tolerated among the sons of the Deity, until the Ancient of Days come. Now is the day of salvation," says Paul; but this, in effect, the Satan denies. He turns it into a day of judgment, saying, that there is no other day of judgment for the saints than this.
Satan, of course, exceedingly dislikes the idea of being judged, and rewarded according to his works.
9 Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, Doth Job fear Elohim for nought?
He DID: and so must we. Our motive must be love alone, and not self-benefit, though self benefit will inevitably follow, for goodness can lead only at last to goodness, in a world ruled by the goodness of God. But our motivation must be pure love of God and of goodness.
Bro Growcott - Doth Job Fear God For Nought?
Job was a man of substance and power, being "the greatest of all the men of the East". He was one of "the sons of the Deity" belonging to that generation. There was among them also another man of power, an oriental, who was nominally a co-religionist , but full of envy and unfriendly feeling towards Job.
This is not an unusual circumstance, even in societies reputed apostolic. In these, Satans too often abound, and become the adversaries of those they cannot imitate. In Job's day, there were general gatherings of the Men of the East, with the sons of the Deity, at the place where the symbol of Yahweh's presence was established. If I might hazard a conjecture I should say, they assembled at Salem, in the days of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek.
Be this, however, as it may, "the sons of the Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and the Satan hassahtahn, came also among them." Here were two classes of worshippers, the nominal and the true; the former constituting the Satan; the latter consisting of the Sons of Deity, of whom Job was most eminent and conspicuous.
Among his adversaries, one seems to have been more notable than the rest. This was probably the Chief of the Sabeans, a tribe of Arabia Felix, who fell upon Job and did him much mischief. To this man Yahweh said by His priest (for, in Scripture, what is said by his priests and prophets, Yahweh is said to say Himself) "Whence comest thou?" To which he replied as any marauder would, "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
His attention was then directed to Job, whose character was highly eulogized. This developed the latent enmity of the Sheikh, who insinuated that Job's fear of Elohim had been purchased by extraordinary favours; but that, if these were withdrawn, and he were reduced to poverty, he would curse Him to his face. Yahweh, however, knew Job better; nevertheless, He was willing that he should be tested, that his enemies might be confounded; and a triumph of principle in adversity might be exhibited, as an example for the Sons of Deity in all future times. Therefore to Job's adversary He granted permission to do what he pleased against him, short of personal injury. Having obtained this grant, he returned home, and organized his Sabeans and Chaldeans for raids, which, with the fire of heaven, soon stripped Job of all he possessed.
Now, in the first chapter of Job, this is all attributed to Satan, as though, according to popular tradition, it had been done by a Fallen Angel, the world has agreed to call "The Devil." But, in the second chapter, the Eternal Power informs us, that it was He that brought Job to poverty; for addressing his adversary, He says, "thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."
All that was done being adverse to Job, it was attributed to his personal enemy, who was the moving cause; though the efficient cause was the power of Deity Himself. Such was the Satan in Job's case.
In the case of Jesus Christ the satanic development assumed a different phase. Jesus was tempted by both the Diabolos and a Satan. These were both concerned in the trial to which he was subjected; and as the one co-operated with the other, they are spoken of as if the same. Jesus was "led up," or "driven," of the Spirit, into the wilderness "to be tempted of the diabolos; " or that which causeth to transgress, and "hath the power of death" - sin's flesh. This was subjected to the long abstinence of forty days, at the end of which he felt a hunger that must have been very keen. We all know what would be the promptings of our flesh in a like it situation. "Hunger," it is said, "will break through stone walls." It is very obstreperous, and will do any thing to satisfy itself.
If any one had the power, under the pressure of intense hunger, he would convert stones into bread and eat them. Jesus had that power; and there was one acquainted with the Scripture, introduced himself to his notice at this crisis, and suggested that he should use it. Paul doubtless alludes to this personage in 2 Cor. 11: 14 saying, "the Satan is transformed into an Angel of Light."
Such an angel is a messenger enlightened in the word, who handles it in such a way as to test the fidelity of others to it. Such an one becomes a Satan in suggesting a course of action in conformity with the promptings of the flesh. And if Deity became Satan to Israel, and to Job, it is not to be denied that an angel may have assumed the same attitude in the case of Jesus Christ.
'...in the words of Satan concerning Job, "did Jesus fear God for nought? Had not God made a hedge about Him?" Yes; God was His defence; and "in keeping His testimony there is great reward." But the adversary calumniated Jesus, in suggesting that His obedience to God had been prompted by mercenary motives. He "feared " (Heb. 5:7), not simply for what He should get, but because of His love for His Father's character as revealed in the divine testimonies.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
12 And Yahweh said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Yahweh.
In all the "times of the Gentiles" the saints are a mixed community, in which are found fish of all sorts, good, bad, and indifferent. The good are answerable to the "few who are chosen, 'and find eternal life (Matt. 20:16; 7:14): while the bad and indifferent are those who "begin in the Spirit" and end in the flesh - those who at the outset of their career seemed to "run well," but were hindered from a "patient continuance in well-doing," or "obeying the truth," in being "bewitched" by the sorcery of designing knaves, who "by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Gal. 3:1,3,7; Rom. 16:18).
In our generation, as in that of the apostles, the ecciesia or general assembly of the many, who are called, is composed of these heterogeneous materials. It has been thus in all generations before and since Satan, in the days of Job, mingled with the Sons of the Deity when they presented themselves in the Divine presence (Job 1:6). The satanic element has ever been among them with its "depths as they speak" (ch 2:24), corrupting and perverting the weak. In the wisdom of the Deity Satan has been permitted to practice, and to deceive the hearts of the simple, who are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:7) without judicial interference.
The Satanic element in an ecclesia is always prompt and vivacious for mischief. If it fears to attack openly the most prominent advocate of the truth, it has recourse to underhanded and secret influences. Handling the word of the Deity deceitfully, deceiving, and being deceived" are its characteristics. While inspired with personal hatreds, it affects zeal destroying it, or making it of none effect by the traditions of its monstrous ignorance and folly Yet the Judge of the living and the dead" is profoundly silent save in the word of his law and testimony. There are reasons for this The truth as it is in Jesus is entrusted to the ecclesia, or House of the Deity, which is the Pillar and foundation support of the truth .
The members of this house are held responsible and accountable for their relations to this, as a treasure committed to them to be contended for earnestly, and to be upheld at all hazards in their day and generation. This house being furnished with vessels of' all sorts, some to honour and some to dishonour, the truth receives a characteristic treatment at the hands of each sort The vessels fitted to capture and destruction set forth traditions, or heresies which nullify the Word If men speak or write upon the things of the Spirit, they are commanded to do so as oracles of the Deity;" and if they disobey this injunction is because "there is no light in them " Nevertheless, they will give utterance to their folly.
...He does not approve of the doctrine of eternal life based upon an inspection of faith and practice after resurrection. He demands resurrection with immortality, not resurrection unto eternal life. He wants to spring out of the dust immortal, and no questions asked; for he knows very well, that neither his faith rior his practice will bear the light. Be this, however, as it may, his pleasure and satisfaction will not be consulted. Inspection and its consequences begin at the house of the Christ: and Satan, who had received the one talent, and was afraid of the truth, and hid it in the earth, is purged Out as a wicked and slothful servant from among the sons of the Deity; and cast into the darkness of the outer world, where weeping and gnashing of teeth are the order of both day and night (Matt. 25:14-30; Apoc. 14:11).
This day of inspection is "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of the Deity; who will render to every one according to his deeds" (Rom. 2:5,6). It is a day in which He will separate the satanic goats from the sheep who have heard his voice, and done the Father's will.
Those slothful, unprofitable, and wicked professors are "cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone," in which are destroyed the beast and the false prophet, by that portion of the last plagues which is executed by the Second and Third Angels, who have power over fire. In other words, the judgment given to the approved, who enter into the joy of their Lord, affords scope in the execution of it upon the Diabolos and Satan of the world, for the punishment also of the unprofitable servants of the house of the Deity; who are "condemned with the world" to the calamities of the last plagues, which to them will be "a sorer punishment" than to the adversaries at large (Heb.10:26-30).
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
A certain convocation of the sons of God in those days, at which both Job and Satan were present (as was Christ and Satan at the last supper), afforded the right opportunity of developing the class of circumstances that God designed concerning Job, in which three objects appeared to have been served: first the best reply was arrived at that could have been given to the human satan's evil-imputing query,
"Doth Job fear God for nought?"
for, said he, thou hast hedged him round with good, increased his substance, and blessed the work of his hands; by which he meant to suggest that Job's fear of God was dictated by self-interest and worldly policy—a base insinuation that had its best disproof in the fact that Job still held fast to his integrity after he was stripped of everything he possessed.
Satan is not dead yet: he still puts his many-times answered question, "Does Job serve God for nought?" The satan in question is one who assembled with the sons of God, then and now, and in the days of Christ.
He generally raises this question, if any one dare to say concerning a servant of God that there is none like him, or that he is exceptionally perfect and upright, and escheweth evil. This satan cannot stand, for he is envious, and evil-minded, and cannot allow that any man's policy and aim in life is altogether undictated by worldly and personal objects.
A second object was served; Job's probably evil family were overthrown; and as a third result, Job himself was all the better for the experience; and his character for integrity being vindicated, and all unworthy imputations proved false, the whole result was crowned with double honour, a double measure of prosperity, and more real and visible glory to God and His truth, than probably had ever before been witnessed by the inhabitants of the land of Uz. Its glory has not yet died away, at least for us.
The Christadelphian, Nov 1888
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
JOB'S CRUSHING AVALANCHE OF AFFLICTION
Job's afflictions were many and cumulative. They would quickly have destroyed a lesser man. In evaluating Job and what he at times says, we must strive to comprehend the almost incomprehensible extent to which he was tortured and tried in so many ways at once.
First, he lost all his possessions and livelihood. In swift succession, calamity upon calamity fell crushingly upon him. And with it, he lost his whole family of ten beloved children in what was obviously a direct divine blow, unexplained and unprovoked: his cherished family for which he had constantly prayed and offered sacrifice.
His reaction was perfect, unhesitating, total acceptance and worship.
Bro Growcott - Doth Job Fear God For Nought?
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Yahweh gave, and Yahweh hath taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.
WHY DO THE RIGHTEOUS SUFFER?
The great question of the book of Job is: Why do the righteous suffer? And the great lesson is: We must totally and unquestioningly trust God, and have implicit faith in His love, mercy and justice, regardless of any appearances or circumstances. He has a reason and a purpose in the suffering of His people: different reasons at different times, but all working toward their ultimate glorification -- often a reason (as here) that would be impossible for man ever to guess without knowing what was in God's mind.
The sufferings of Christ point to the same problem: Why? We can dimly perceive how he was "made perfect through suffering," and how his perfect submission to that suffering laid the eternal foundation for the world's redemption from all suffering.
But, above all, we must unhesitatingly accept the ways of God because He is God; because He manifestly has made all things, and knows the reason for all. He has manifested His infinite power and wisdom in all the beauties and glories of Creation. He proclaims His love and justice in His Word. He overwhelmingly manifests His divinity in that Word.
We must accept the whole picture, or reject the whole picture. To reject it in the light of its overpowering evidence is stupidity. To question God's ways in the light of His overpowering greatness is obviously equal stupidity. This is the lesson of Job. The final outcome manifested God's wisdom and love and compassion. We must have implicit trust that it always will if we do our part faithfully.
It was a high honour and privilege for Job to be used by God to demonstrate for all ages what true righteousness and faith really is, and to give an example of patient integrity in the face of what appeared to everyone, including Job himself, a deliberate divine effort to afflict and torment him to the uttermost.
Bro Growcott - Doth Job Fear God For Nought?
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged Elohim foolishly.