Job has been introduced as a good man, faithful in work, family, and religion. Those attributes, if authentic, while often overlooked here on earth, do not go unnoticed in the spiritual realm. Consider the dialogue between Satan and God concerning this man.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 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?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason?10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. ~Job 1:6-12
Satan appears before God with a congregation referred to as “the sons of God.” These beings could be human saints or God’s angels. Either way, he’s intruding. Therefore, God asks where he came from – not because he didn’t know, but because Satan didn’t belong.
Notice that Satan gives a very vague answer. Rather than any admission of a specific location wherein he doubtless was causing destruction and despair, he generalizes.
Next, God lays Job out before Satan. Clearly, Job is the best example of God’s people at the time. God is satisfied with Job’s worship and therefore presents him as evidence of faithful obedience – something Satan insists is an utter impossibility. I get the impression that God is proud of Job and is not ashamed to put him on display – even in the face of he who has the most power and potential to prove him otherwise.
Satan’s singular goal is to defame and discredit Job’s faith. He begins by discrediting Job’s religious and righteous efforts to God by deeming them ill-motivated. His claims are unfounded.
Satan contends that Job only serves God well because God has blessed him well. Never does Satan even acknowledge Job’s life-long hard work, vigilance, and sobriety concerning the things of God which brought many of those blessings. No. Defamation always discounts diligence.
So God allows Satan to test his servant. As bizarre as this whole conversation seems to be, God has his purposes. He does so to prove Job true, to be glorified greatly, and to denounce the devil and his lies.
Let us continually remind ourselves of these things: Satan never belongs among the children of God. He is always an intruder. He never gives a straight answer and his goal is always destruction. He usually begins by seeking to defame God’s children and discredit our faith. He judges motives and infers the worst about us. He claims that obedient faithfulness is an utter impossibility. Satan is constantly looking at good and insisting that its origination and intent is evil. Then again, it’s also Satan that looks at evil and insists that its intent is good.
When it comes to human interactions, some days I, regretfully, look and act more like Satan than I do God. Other days my fellow human beings look and act that way towards me. Lord, concerning your people, let us not be accusers any longer. Make us each other’s advocates.