Holding Satan’s Leash
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”Job 2
9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?... 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”1 Cor. 2
4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.Rev. 20:3
He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.Did you notice what I did? Satan has to obey rules that God sets down. If this were not the case then we should expect a world where nothing good ever happens. While “good” seeks to persuade, “evil” seeks only to conquer, so a world where evil is more powerful would quickly do away with all good. Therefore, since there is some good in the world, good must be more powerful than evil. This is the rebuttal to the old charge that a good God would not allow evil in the world. And we see from the quote of 1 Cor. 2 that God has hidden some things in order to accomplish His goals for us. This in turn tells us that there is much more to human history than meets the eye.
We are the prize to be won in a cosmic chess match. God, the Master Chessplayer, knows all possible moves and will win the match without violating the rules of the game: human free will. Satan’s strategy has always been to outwit God and force Him into a corner that would make Him violate the free will He sovereingly granted to us, but Satan is not omniscient. We see a glimpse of this in the passages in Job, where God proves a point to Satan just by showing him someone who is “good”. Satan thinks God is wrong and that people are only good if God blesses them, but of course this is not always the case.
We are living in very trying times, facing a global meltdown of finance and government, but what we suffer in life shouldn’t surprise us. We are told over and over that all God wants from us is to trust Him. If everything is peachy there is no need for such trust, but if we stay true to Him through adversity we prove our faith. We need to remember this; we need to always picture our adversary as on a leash held by God. The time will come when that dragon is finally put in an eternal cage, but in the meantime we need to stand firm in our faith.