Reading through the Bible together
In this chapter Satan had access to heaven after the fall of Adam and Eve by talking to Christ (see Story of Redemption, p. 26). If he had access to heaven then, he had access to heaven in the time of Abraham when Job lived.
Since Satan stole this planet, it became the only lost sheep with God being fully aware what has been happening here. He knows Job and his suffering and also his victory over suffering. When God through Christ asked Satan where he came from he said, “From walking forward and backward, up and down the earth.” He was very busy designing evil and disasters, not only on Job but the whole of humanity.
Job’s owner is God as He is of all of us. God was proud of Job and asked Satan if he had “placed his heart” upon Job “My servant, who is blameless, shuns evil, and holds fast to his integrity” (verse 3). Put yourself in Job’s situation and learn from his experience. God allows Satan to move against Job not to abandon him. In fact, God will send His Son to come and die for Job that Job might live, which He has done for all of us that we might live. And all the sons of God and the unfallen angels, will see God’s love and shout of joy.
Centuries later, when Rabbis Rashi and Ibn Ezra came to interpret verse 4 they did not know what to do with it. Instead of “skin”, it is the Middle Egyptian word “bringing to an end” that Moses is using here. Satan means that if Job can be brought close to his end or death, the blessings that God gives will show a different result. For that reason Satan wanted God to allow him to touch Job’s skin with a disease (verse 5). God permitted Satan to do this and also to let him bring disasters on Job’s possessions, which Satan did (verse 7).
A support for Satan came from Job’s wife who suggested that he is so close to death that he should curse God and die. This would be what today is called “euthanasia” bringing death on oneself to avoid suffering. Job refused his wife’s euthanasia suggestion (verse 10). Then friends of Job: Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad came to see him. Shocked by what they saw, they waited seven days to speak to Job about the cause of his suffering.
So many innocent people are suffering and You know fully why. But You also know that nothing compares with the blessings and gifts You will give at Your Coming and beyond. So include us in Your kingdom of Grace. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea