[June 04]--Phase Two

Job 2:1-10

Satan is our mortal enemy, but there are some qualities he displays which are worth emulating. One of these qualities is his persistence. If one aspect of his strategy doesn’t work, he’ll try another. He has several thousand years of experience with humanity, so he knows our weaknesses.

Today’s reading is phase two, not just of Satan’s plan, but God’s. The Accuser had his plan, but he'll always find out that the Lord accomplishes his purposes not despite Satan’s best efforts, but because of them. The angels presented themselves before the Lord’s throne again, and notice again how vague Satan was about what he’d actually been doing. The Lord repeated his verdict on Job’s character, and observed that Job had not turned away.

Now the Enemy presented the strongest weapon in his arsenal. People can do without a lot of possessions if they need to, but if something takes away their health, they'll usually do anything to get it back. This especially applies if the sickness is painful or debilitating. The Lord gave him permission to strike him physically, but again laid out parameters which the Accuser couldn’t breach.

And when Satan got permission to afflict Job, he didn’t mess around. I’ve had a mild case of the Chicken Pox when I was a kid, and it was agony, or at least it seemed like it at the time, having itches all over my body and not being able to scratch it away. I can’t even imagine the physical suffering that this man of God was going through.

And then his wife came forward to provide her version of comfort and consolation. This is the only scrap of information we have about his wife, and it’s not very flattering. I'd hope that a godly man like Job wouldn't be attracted to a woman who didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. It’s quite possible that most of her life she was a godly, supportive wife, and this was a fluke brought on by extraordinary circumstances. However, whether this was a pattern of negativity or just a one-time deal, we do know one thing: At this moment in time, Job’s wife was being used by Satan. I don’t mean she was possessed by the Devil like in The Exorcist, and maybe she had his best interests at heart. But at this very moment, in her only recorded words in Scripture, she was being used as Satan’s mouthpiece, urging him to do the very thing that the Enemy was working for behind the scenes.

This is a very sobering thought. I don’t believe that believers can be possessed by the Enemy, but can they be used by him? Can they be manipulated by him to draw other Christians away from God’s plan? Absolutely! Even with the best of intentions, we’re all capable of this. This is why we need to be earnestly praying constantly that the Lord will set a guard over our lips.

For today’s prayer, read Ephesians 4:29-30 and ask God to help you obey these commands.

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