Saturday, April 4, 2015

Job & Satan - Part #1 - the 5 types of tests

Friends,

The moment you tell someone that there is no entity called Satan, the immediate response would be: "didn't Satan test Job?" Let us address this question in this series.

Job had to face 5 types of tests, let us analyze them one by one.

Test ①
Job 1:13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
Job 1:14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

Job 1:15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Does the passage mention Satan? NO. It is said that Sabeans caused the damage. 

Who were Sabeans? There are two possibilities:
  1. They were the descendants of Seba, son of Cush, son of Ham, who was one of the sons of Noah (Gen 10:7)
  2. They were the descendants of Sheba, son of Jokshan, son of Keturah, the second wife of Abraham (Gen 25:1-3)
The queen of Sheba who came to Jerusalem to test king Solomon with riddles belonged to this clan. (1Kg 10:1)

Can we say Sabeans were working for Satan? NO. There are many who claim that all the gentiles are servants of Satan, forgetting the fact that Jehovah used them many times to punish the erring children of Israel (Jdg 2:14; 3:8; 4:2; 10:7; 1Sam 12:9)

This is what the scriptures say about Sheba:
  • The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts to the king's son (symbolically, Christ) who shall judge thy people with righteousness  (Ps 72:1,2,10)
  • The queen of the south (Sheba) shall rise up in the judgment with this generation (Israel), and shall condemn it: (Mat 12:42)
In short, there are no scriptures that prove that Sabeans are the servants or cohorts of Satan.

Test ②
Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them...
Read carefully, does the verse say that fire of Satan fell from heaven? NO. It is the fire of God that fell from heaven. Will God ever entrust His fire to Satan, knowing that the latter is a thief and rebel? If the fire of God is entrusted to Satan, what is the assurance that he will return it to God?

Is it mentioned anywhere in the scriptures that Satan and his associates are capable of bringing down fire from heaven? If Satan has such powers, why is that the 450 prophets of Baal were not able to bring down fire from heaven, during the days of Elijah? (1Kg 18)

The power of bringing down fire from heaven is the exclusive right of God and men of God:
  • Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven(does it say Satan rained fire?)
  • Exo 9:23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 
  • While a company of 50 messengers from king Ahaziah came to inquire of Elijah, he said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. (2Kg 1:12, 13)
  • While David built an altar  unto the LORD, (after being punished by God for ordering the census of the people of Israel) and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering
  • While Solomon offered prayers in the temple that he constructed: the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 
  • In the New Testament, while the people of Samaria refused to accept Jesus and His disciples, John and James said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  

Except for the lone example of the second beast in the book of Revelation (Rev 13:13), which, of course, is a symbolic book, none other than God and the children of God have the authority to bring down fire from heaven.

If Satan had the authority to bring down fire from heaven, he would have decimated the human race long back. Some may argue that Satan does harm only after obtaining permission from God. If such an argument were true, then he is not as disobedient as portrayed by those who believe in the existence of Satan. If Satan were so obedient, there was absolutely no need for Jesus to be born as man to destroy Satan and his deeds (Heb 2:14; 1Jn 3:8).

Test ③
Job 1:17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Again, there is no Satan here. The calamity was brought about by Chaldeans.

There is no way to prove that whenever Chaldeans invaded the children of God, it was at the behest of Satan. Several times while the children of Israel rebelled against the LORD, He handed them over into the hands of Chaldeans and Babylonians. [Very often both the names are used interchangeably.]
2Ki 24:2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, ...
2Ch 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, ...
After having stated several times that the LORD handed over Israel into the hands of Chaldeans and Babylonians, the LORD even calls Nebuchadnezzar as His own servant, not any less than Moses.
Jer 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar; the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land... (See also: Jer 27:6; 43:10)
In short, there is nothing to prove that Chaldeans or Babylonians are the cohorts of Satan.

Test ④
Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Again, there is no Satan is mentioned. It is mentioned that the calamity was brought about by a great wind from the wilderness. Are the forces of nature under the control of Satan? Controlling the forces of nature is the prerogative of God and those who belong to God. In the Old Testament there are quite a few examples of God or men of God controlling the forces of nature.
  • Before freeing the children of Israel from Egypt: Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 
  • After leaving Egypt, while the children of Israel had to cross the Red Sea: Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Exo 14:21. See also Exo 15:10)

In the New Testament we see Jesus controlling a storm - Mar 4:37-41. Have you noticed the response of the people who saw him doing it?
Mar 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
It is a statement of extreme astonishment. If Satan or anyone who is not on the side of God could achieve the same feat, they would have said: 'Hey! what is the big deal? Even Satan can do the same thing!"

If Satan has the same power as God, can God ever defeat Satan? Forces of nature are under the control of God, and NOT under the control of Satan (Jer 5:22; Ps 29:3)



Test ⑤
Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Please note that of all the calamities that befell Job, this is the only one in which the name of Satan is mentioned.

In Deu 28:35 Jehovah had warned Israel that they would be punished with exactly the same physical afflictions that befell Job. Let us compare both the scriptures from an interlinear Bible.
Deu 28:35 The LORD shall smite[H5221] thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore[H7451] botch[H7822] that cannot be healed, from the sole[H3709] of thy foot[H7272] unto the top of thy head[H6936].
Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote[H5221] Job with sore[H7451] boils[H7822] from the sole[H3709] of his foot[H7272] unto his crown[H6936].
The afflictions are exactly the same, despite the differences in translation. Israel has been punished several times according to the warnings in Deut 28 and Lev 26, (before Babylonian captivity and during the Roman siege of Jerusalem)

While the LORD can/could inflict the same afflictions on millions of sinning and disobedient children of Israel without the assistance of Satan, why He had to seek the assistance of a celestial monster named Satan to afflict a single righteous man, Job? Is there any logical or even mysterious reason?

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal