One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?" (Job 1:6-7)
Before we begin our discussion of Job, I wish to bid a fond adieu to the books of history. With Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, we reached the end of the biblical record of the Jewish people before the birth of Christ. I have enjoyed the lively story telling skills of the unknown scribes who recorded the stories for our benefit, rediscovered some of my favorite heroes and made a few new favorites as well.
Because I enjoy stories more than sermons, I find the books of history more accessible than wisdom poetry and prophecies that complete the Old Testament. Like so many of us, I do revel in the beautiful language and images of the Psalms. And I know men especially seem to take to Proverbs, to the short, pithy advice found on its pages. And I'm not sure what I'm going to find for public consumption when we get to the love story in the Song of Solomon.
But we start with Job, and Job begins with a heavenly scene. I suspect that this has happened more than once, and God brought different believers to Satan's attention. Of course, it's mind-blowing that Satan has access to God at all.
Have you watched the TV reality show about inner beauty? Contestants are judged on physical attributes while at the same time they are presented with tests gauging their inner qualities of honesty, compassion, and the like. The winner has the best combination, inside and out.
Job's story reminds me of that show. God holds Job as an example of true faith, and Satan says, let me test him. All of heaven watched the competition taking place on earth.
But the verse I chose for today discusses Satan's role in the affair.
Satan reported to God. You mean to say, the angel who rebelled against God still reports to Him? Does he walk into heaven with a smell of smoke and sulfur clinging to his robes? The scene blows my mind.
The Message adds the phrase "the Designated Accuser" to the word Satan. Other translations tell us the word used is "adversary." The dictionary defines "adversary" as "one who contends with, opposes, or resists; enemy."
The wording reminds me of Romans 8:33-34. Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Satan has never won the battle, and he never will. But he keeps trying.
May we, like Job, be shining examples of faith when we are paraded before heaven.
"Have you ever considered my servant Darlene?"
Oh, Lord. Make me worthy of Your trust.