Sermons

Summary: Inductive Sermon on Satan’s desire for us to be selfish

SATAN THE ADVERSARY: “SKIN FOR SKIN”

Job 1:6-2:10

CENTRAL QUESTION: In Job chapter 2, Satan tells God, “Skin for Skin.” What does he mean by that?

[Source: “Monuments” by Charles L. Allen in Stories for the Heart, compiled by Alice Gray (1996).]

Anybody here heard of a rich man called John Davis who lived in Hiawatha, Kansas? Davis, was a farmer and a self-made man. He began as a lowly hired hand and by sheer determination and frugality he managed to amass a considerable fortune in his lifetime. In the process, however, the farmer did not make many friends. Nor was he close to his wife’s family, since they thought she had married beneath her dignity. Embittered, he vowed never to leave his in-laws a thin dime.

When his wife died, Davis erected an elaborate statue in her memory. He hired a sculptor to design a monument, which showed both her and him at the opposite ends of a love seat. He was so pleased with the result that he commissioned another statue, this time of himself, kneeling at her grave, placing a wreath on it. That impressed him so greatly that he planned a third monument, this time of his wife kneeling at his future gravesite, depositing a wreath. He had the sculptor add a pair of wings on her back, since she was no longer alive, giving her the appearance of an angel. One idea led to another until he’d spent no less than a quarter million dollars on the monuments to himself and his wife! So right there in Mt. Hope Cemetery, in Hiawatha, Kansas, stands a rather strange group of gravestones.

Whenever someone from the town would suggest he might be interested in a community project (a hospital, a park and swimming pool for the children, a municipal building, etc.) the old miser would frown, set his jaw and shout back, “What’s this town ever done for me? I don’t owe this town nothin’.”

After using up all his resources on stone statues and his other pursuits, John Davis died at 92, a grim-faced resident of the poorhouse. But his monuments, are still around, sort of. Each one is slowly sinking into the Kansas soil, fast becoming victims of time, vandalism and neglect. Monuments of spite. There is a certain poetic justice in the fact that within a few years, they will all be gone. Oh by the way, very few people attended Mr. Davis’ funeral. It is reported that only one person seemed genuinely moved by any sense of personal loss. He was Horace England, the tombstone salesman.

It seems like these days that whenever something goes wrong, it is given the label of some kind of disease

or sickness or mental condition. I drive too fast... well that is called “heavy-foot-ism” and can be treated with an over-the-counter medication. I’m kidding of course. However, [Alderson Press Corporation. All Rights Reserved. April 17, 2002. ] celebrities tend to misbehave in tiresome and predictable ways--tantrums, affairs, addictions--and

we tend to think they’re spoiled. But one psychiatrist, Cornell’s Robert B. Millman, says they’re not spoiled, they’re sick. The affliction is Acquired Situational Narcissism.

ASN develops when once-ordinary people achieve extra-ordinary success, such as winning an Oscar or being named rookie of the year. This double-dose of adulation loosens people’s grip on reality and they become

(according to Millman) "unbelievably self-involved because of the attention from us. We make it so." [From Reader’s Digest April 2002] Now, there’s a unique twist: It’s OUR fault celebrities act that way!

CENTRAL QUESTION: In Job chapter 2, Satan tells God, “Skin for Skin.” What does he mean by that?

We find many passages in the Bible that actually answer this question for us. Genesis 4:1-12 tells the story

of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve and were very different men. Abel, we are told, was one whose job was keeping the flocks and herds and caring for the animals. Cain was a man of the earth and farmed for a living. I came time for offerings to God and Abel brought the choicest sacrifice while Cain did not. Verse 8 of that chapter in Genesis tells of how Cain lured Abel into the field and killed him. God asked Cain a pointed question, “Where is your brother Abel?” What was Cain’s response? Cain asked God quite the daring question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Let’s look at the passage in Job that is our focus this morning. By looking at this passage, we will learn more

about Satan the Adversary and we’ll answer that naggign question,

CENTRAL QUESTION: In Job chapter 2, Satan tells God, “Skin for Skin.” What does he mean by that?

READ JOB 1:6-12

Right away we see the character of this man Job. He is described and complimented by God as being blameless, upright, one who fears God and shuns evil. Can there be any greater description of a person? What a compliment from God Almighty about Job! Satan has come from his evil activity in the earth and seeks to bring temptation to anyone he can. God allows Satan to test and tempt Job and Satan wastes not time in departing from the presence of the Lord to begin his assault on Job’s life.

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