Slightly Obsessed #218: When the Hedge Comes Down, Part 2 by Pamela Thorson on 2018-07-19 07:56:44
Satan said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?”
“But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”
Job 1:9, 10a, 11
The book of Job is one of the few glimpses given mankind behind the veil into the interaction between God and his created beings. And the revelation is an astounding one. Not only is Satan not in hell, he has access to both heaven and earth. Satan tells God that he has been roaming about on the earth, which immediately suggests 1 Peter 3:8: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” He roams the earth looking for human weakness that he can exploit to cause pain and destruction.
But it is not Satan who brings up Job, but God, asking “Have you considered My servant Job?” Satan seizes upon the bait and is lured into the fight. God grants permission to Satan to strike Job’s family and possessions in a series of losses inflicted by the sword, fire, and wind.
Job responds in the traditional expressions of grief and yet does not blame God. In fact, he falls to the ground and worships Him. His trust in the face of incomprehensible tragedy is staggering.
That is not the end of it, though. Again, Satan appears before God. Again, God prods the devil into focusing on Job. This time, God grants the adversary permission to afflict Job’s body.
And this time, Job can take no more. From the depths of his anguish come the questions. If Job could have only read the first chapter of the book that carried his name, he would have understood that God wasn’t being evil or cruel. He had not forsaken Job. On the contrary, He had singled out Job because of his reverence and diligence toward God, to display his faith and to pull back the veil on suffering to generations of believers after him who would ask the same questions.
Job, of course, doesn’t see any of this. All he sees is his world crashing down upon him. The critical moment comes when his wife unknowingly steps into Satan’s carefully crafted trap, urging him to make his prediction a reality.
Curse God, and die.
But even in his darkest moment, when all he thought he knew about God had been lost in a pit of pain, Job refuses to turn on his Lord. Without knowing it, he has won the battle in one reply, revealing both the power of God to keep His own and the fragrance of a faith released under the heel of injustice.
Though Job passes the test, he still has more to learn before the restoration comes. It's not enough for God to simply see Satan shut down. It's not about Job passing a test. God has a deeper lesson for the man He loves so much.
Now it is God’s turn to speak. And when He is done, Job will understand that when trial has burned all that we love, God brings from the ashes a new song.
Next week: When the Hedge Comes Down, Part 3
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #224: When the Pressure Feels Too Great
The fig I found in a local big box store had already been trimmed into a lovely miniature tree with an unusual trunk. Little did I understand what it takes to train a plant into a bonsai, and what that process would teach me about God.
Slightly Obsessed #223: Right Clothes, Wrong Spirit
Satan seeks to deceive us, divide us, and destroy us. His bag of tricks and sleight of hand are impressive but imaginary trapdoors to disillusionment. He constantly roams the earth in an insatiable search for humans to devour.
Slightly Obsessed #222: The Rain
Like the grass, the human heart has shallow roots and fades quickly in the dry season. But those shallow roots also are the first to taste the rain.
Slightly Obsessed #221: Are You Green and Sappy?
Being described as either green or sappy is not usually considered to be a compliment. But Irma lay claim to both, and it was her secret to a bountiful life.
Slightly Obsessed #220: We Only Have One Job
The Martha in us makes everything so hard, when the Lord is calling us to be Mary, running toward the sound of His voice; sitting in stillness at His feet; not wasting a moment of our time with Him in distracted busyness. Simply clinging to His every word.
Slightly Obsessed #219: When the Hedge Comes Down, Part 3
Job's soul had been stripped completely down to the dirt. His friends accused him; he defended himself vigorously. Lost in the cacophony was the voice of God. No one seemed to notice.
Except for one.