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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Job 2

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-13

Chapter 2

So back again to the heavenly scene.

Another day and again the sons of God are presenting themselves before Jehovah, and Satan is coming with them to present himself before the LORD ( Job 2:1 ).

I have to say concerning Satan, I do... well, what do you say, admire? This guy has a lot of chutzpah. I mean, to go in and stand before God, to present himself before God takes quite a bit.

And God again said, [Hey,] where have you been? ( Job 2:2 )

As though God doesn't know.

He said, [Oh, I've been messing around down] in the earth going to and fro, walking up and down in it. God said, [Hey,] have you considered my servant Job? Good man. He's upright. He loves good; he hates evil ( Job 2:2-3 ).

Satan, having failed the first philosophy of Job proving to be false, had his second philosophy. Now in the second philosophy, Satan shows his cunning understanding of human nature, because the psychologists tell us that one of man's strongest, most basic instincts is that of self-preservation. It's probably the strongest instinct that you have - self-preservation. And so Satan recognizing this to be true said,

Skin for skin, all that a man has will he give for his life ( Job 2:4 ).

"You put limitations on what I could do to him. You didn't let me touch him. Now you let me get at him and he'll curse You to Your face." So God said, "All right, you may touch him, but spare his life." Again, God placing the restrictions and limitations upon that which Satan can do.

Now I believe that God does place upon Satan the limitations. The Bible says that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. You see, God has put the limitations. Satan didn't go so far but God says, "All right, that's as far as you go." Now as far as I'm concerned, God lets him go too far. I would just as soon God bottled the guy up and ship him off into outer space somewhere. But yet, he is acting really under the government of God, because God places the restrictions and the limitations upon what he can do.

Brings up a problem. If God does control Satan, then why doesn't God bottle him up and ship him out of the universe? If God one day is going to cast him and his followers into this place scripturally that is known as Gehenna, into outer darkness, then why doesn't God do it now and save us all the miseries? Why does Satan have the liberties that God has granted to him? The power that God has granted to him. Why did God allow him to come into the Garden of Eden? Why does God allow him the freedom to war against us? It's all involved in why did God create you?

God created you in order that He might have an object to love and from which He might receive love. Now, in order to receive meaningful love it has to be a free will involved. You cannot be a robot. You've got to have a free will, the capacity and power of choice in order that your love for God might truly be a meaningful love. And thus, God gave us the capacity of choice, the free will. But what value is that unless there's something to choose? To have the power of choice and yet nothing to choose would be totally meaningless. So God not only had to create us with the capacity of choice, but He had to allow the opportunity of an alternate choice. And thus, Satan was allowed to rebel against God. And he was allowed to come to man and to offer man an alternate choice in order that if man chose at that point to love God, God would know that the choice was from the heart and it was meaningful and God could then receive praise and glory from the meaningful love that was expressed to Him. Taking a chance man might make the wrong choice. You might be disappointed; you're heartbroken. Such was the case.

But God did know that down through the years there would be those who would make the right choice. And for the treasure of having the love of those who would choose to love Him and serve Him, He allowed the choice knowing that many would make the wrong choice but yet also knowing that there would be those who would choose to love Him and would express their love for Him, and He could come into a meaningful relationship of love and fellowship with those who chose to know Him and to follow Him and to love Him.

So the choice is still there and Satan is still operating in order to encourage you to take the alternate choice. But the fact that you resist the devil and the temptations and the seductions and the allurements and the enticements and those things that he seeks to place in your path to cause you to turn away from God and the Word of God and the law of God, and to follow after your own lust and desires. The fact that you resist those temptations and you still love God, and you gather and you worship God and you sing together of your love and your praise, and you spend your time in meditation in His Word and just in fellowship with Him, that fellowship is extremely meaningful, because God knows you don't have to. But it's coming from your heart. And for that reason, God created man and God has allowed the whole mess to exist in order that there might be at least within it those who would love Him with a sincere love. You don't have to love God. You don't have to serve God. There are very attractive alternate decisions, but man must make his choice and God is honored when man makes the right choice.

Now, Satan then is a tool that God uses. God has placed him under certain restrictions and still there are restrictions. However, Job is now afflicted with boils all over his body, running sores. He takes a piece of broken pottery and scrapes his body. Extremely painful, stinky, loathsome. Covered. He sits in a bed of ashes, because it's impossible to sit down or lie down anywhere without the extreme pain of this staff-type infection that covered his entire body. And his wife coming near to him, smelling the foul odors, seeing the pain and the suffering and the misery of a man who has been reduced to this, said to her husband, "Why don't you get it over with? Why don't you curse God and die?" Now that came from a heart of love. It hurt her to see her husband in such total misery. "Job, I can't stand to see you like this. Why don't you get it over with? Why don't you curse God and die?"

But he said unto her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we receive only good from the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all of this did not Job sin with his lips. Now there were three friends who, when they heard of the misery of Job, decided that they would come and visit with him; Eliphaz [who was from Teman] the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: and they had made an appointment to gather together and to mourn with him, and to comfort him ( Job 2:10-11 ).

When they saw him, they didn't recognize him. They were just so shocked that they just began to weep; they tore their clothes and they just sat down weeping.

And for seven days and for seven nights, they sat there, and no one said a word to him: because their grief was extremely great ( Job 2:13 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-2.html. 2014.
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