Pastor John's Message for Sunday, February 3, 2019: 'What Are Satan's Limitations?" Based on Job1:1-2, 2:1-10
In the message last week, we saw that Satan is really the god of this world. Not to sound negative there is much chaos and mayhem in the world today. We use phrases such as "acts of God" in referring to a disaster. God did not plan the world for disaster, chaos or mayhem. I will go back again for the last three messages to John 10:10.
The thief's purpose (Satan) is to steal and kill and destroy, my purpose (Jesus) is to give them a rich and satisfying life." Some Bibles say "abundant life" while other Bible's call it a "super abundant life".
The example that we use today is taken from the book of Job. Job described as blameless, perfect, complete integrity, he feared God and stayed away from evil. He was very wealthy, and had a large family that he totally adored. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. He would say to himself "Perhaps my children sinned and have cursed God in their hearts". This was Job's regular practice.
Satan has access to the throne of God. We read in verse 6 that Satan is called the "Accuser". Now even though Satan has access to the throne of God, where is Jesus today? Yes, at the right hand of God. And what is Jesus doing there? Jesus, he is our advocate, he is our defender, so when Satan accuses us, Jesus is there to defend us to our Father, saying "I died for that person, and that person, and that person too."
In the book of Job, we find as near as perfect man is alive, not sinless but a good and God fearing man.
As this conversation takes place between God and Satan, we hear God asking Satan what he's doing there and what he wants. We read in 1 Peter 5:8 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy , the devil. he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are."
In our lesson, God gave Satan permission to test Job.
There are three things that I want to point out in our lesson. The first is that Satan can not be everywhere at once. Yes, Satan can freely move through out the earth to do his work, but he can not be in two places at once, while God can be everywhere at once. Second, Satan is not all-powerful. Last week we learned that Satan has abilities, while today we learn that he has limitations. He could not push Job to sin or turn away from God (which is what Satan would like to do). Third, Satan is limited in what he can do in the life of a Christian. God told Satan that he could do whatever he wanted to do to Job, but he was not allowed to kill Job. Satan did rob Job of his family, his fortune and his health, but yet Job did not curse God. Job was patient in all that happened to him (that's why you hear people refer to "the patience of Job")
Job lost everything except for his wife- even his friends turned against him. But in the end, we read in the last chapter of Job 42: 7-17:
7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver[a] and a gold ring.
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.