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When Good People and Bad Things Collide

Published 7/3/19

Read Job 1:8

And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"


Reflect

• How often do you consider what's going on in the spiritual realms?

• Through good times and bad, God wants to have a relationship with each of us. How does our relationship change during each circumstance?

• Good people may stumble in their faith when bad things detonate their lives. How can we prevent this from happening?


In this set of verses, the focus shifts from Job's earthly life to the invisible spiritual realm. Imagine it as a stage performance and you may picture a change from bright meadows with birds singing to an ethereal, smoky world with powerful, slightly ominous musical overtones. If you've read Job before, you may feel uneasiness in the pit of your stomach as you anticipate that Job's life is about to change in a very big, very bad way.


God has called together his angelic beings. Satan is among them and, when asked, reports that he has been roaming up and down the earth. Like a lion on the prowl, he is on the hunt. And Job ends up being the one in his sights.


The strength of Job's relationship with God is evident in these verses. Similar to how an excited father would respond when talking to a friend who recently visited his son's college, God asks Satan, "Have you seen Job?" He goes on to say that Job is like no one else in that he is blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.


Satan's response is chilling. He lives up to his nickname "the accuser" as he launches a direct assault on Job's character. He has indeed noticed Job and is not impressed at all by his devout life.


If this were a court case, Satan's argument would go something like this: "Members of the jury, do not let Job's respectable clothes and impressive résumé fool you. Sin and selfishness pervade his heart just as they do any other man's heart. Sure, he appears to love and worship God. But look at his life! God has bought Job's devotion by giving him this rich and easy life. Take those things away and he will turn from God, just like everyone else."


Now put your name in place of Job's. Satan is an equal opportunity accuser, ready to attack anyone and everyone who chooses to follow Christ. Satan is not all knowing as our God is. Yet he is an astute observer of human behavior. Here he is pointing out that good people often stumble when bad things happen.


Several years ago, Back to the Bible surveyed kids and teens about how they believed they communicated with God and how He communicated with them. One of the most common answers among these young people was that God communicated with them through the good things in their lives. That is, because they had a home, parents who cared for them, and met needs, they knew God cared for them.


Their responses led to an important question: What would happen to these kids' faith when a storm came? If they lost their home in a fire or one of their parents died in a car accident, would they still hear God's voice, or would they turn away?


Going back to Job, we can ask the same question. Would Job turn from God if the hedge of protection was removed? Our Father, who knew Job better than Job knew himself, answered Satan with confidence: "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand" (Job 1:12 ESV).


Pray

Lord, help me to understand the immense depth of Your love for me, in good times and bad. Strengthen my faith and give me the strength to keep my eyes on You when bad things happen. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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