Summary: One of the most extraordinary people found in the Old Testament is Job. Job gives us a great example to follow when we find ourselves in the midst of great adversity.
Today, I’m beginning a series of lessons from the book of Job. If you have ever gone through anguish and pain of a sudden and tragic loss you may know something of which this book of Job speaks.
Job1:1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.One of the most extraordinary people found in the Old Testament is Job. Job gives us a great example to follow when we find ourselves in the midst of great adversity. I think that many who are not overly knowledgeable about the Bible, have heard of the "patience or endurance of Job".
The Lord had a very good opinion of Job. He said that Job was "blameless and upright". That is high praise coming from a Holy God. Yes, Job had a great reputation. And may I say that acquiring a reputation such as Job’s should be our top desire.
2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. 4 His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job’s regular custom. 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.
As Christians we have several names for him, Lucifer, the Devil, the Evil one , but probably the most common is Satan. But who or what is Satan? Through the years Christians have tended to lean toward extremes on the subject, either we ignore Satan and hope that he isn’t who the Bible says he is or we focus on giving him credit for every misfortune, illness or trouble that enters our lives. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about Satan.
Probably most of you never give the devil a conscious thought, you may acknowledge his existence but it isn’t really personal, he’s some vague possibility, spoken about in the bible, but he’s not really real, like a person he’s the devil.But hear me now - Satan is as real as I am and he is the author of destruction and evil. Too often if people even acknowledge the existence of Satan he is thought to be some comical figure in long red underwear with a pitchfork and horns. Somewhere along the line Satan came up with a strategy that allowed himself to be minimized so that Christians would not take him serious.
Satan is alive and well and planet earth is his playground. He can be seen in witchcraft, Satanism, the occult and astrology. They are all his works and his tools in an effort to distract people from the truth that can only be found in Jesus Christ.You only have to watch the evening news to realize that we are surrounded by evil and yet we’re either oblivious to it or we become immune to it. Christ himself had a few well chosen words to say about Satan. Jesus called him the “enemy” in Matthew 13:39, the “Evil One” in Matthew 13:38, the “Prince of this world” in John 12:3, a “Liar” in John 8:44 and a “Murderer” in the same verse.
In Luke 10:18 Jesus said he saw Satan fall from Heaven and in Matthew 12:26 we are told that Satan has a kingdom, and in Matthew 13:38 we are told that Satan was the one who sows evil weeds in with the good wheat. Obliviously this is not the type of person who you would want as a next door neighbour or to date your daughter.
Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that Satan is a roaring lion seeking who he may devour, that he can produce false miracles and show himself as an Angel of light and the list goes on and on.
So why is he here? In order to discover the purpose of Satan we need to go back to the beginning, which is usually a good place to start. In the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel in the Old Testament we discover that before God created the world and mankind that there was a different realm, a spiritual realm, one of Angels. And of all the angels God’s favourite was one called Lucifer which meant “Light Bearer” and we are told that he was the most beautiful of all created beings. And it was this Angel, Lucifer who led a rebellion in heaven against God. However he learned that the creator will always be more powerful then the created and he was cast out of heaven along with the 1/3 of the angels who had joined him in his rebellion.At that point he was no longer referred to as Lucifer instead he was called Satan which means “To be adverse or to hate.” Sometimes we call him the Devil which literally means the slanderer or false accuser.