Is Satan God’s Sheepdog?

Sheepdog

The Book of Job is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible, but we read it wrong two ways. First, we elevate Job into some kind of faith hero. Second, we think the devil is a sheepdog sent by the Lord to do his dirty work. This crazy notion is based on the following passage:

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.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 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. (Job 1:8-12)

The traditional interpretation is that the Lord set Job up for disaster by dangling him in front of the devil like a marshal might dangle a convict’s shirt in front of a bloodhound.

“You smell Job, boy? You smell his good works and how much he hates evil?”

“Grrrr. Grrrr.”

“Get him, boy! Go! Rip his life apart!”

What a terrible portrayal of our heavenly Father!

According to the traditional view there is no difference between God and Satan. The devil did the deed, but God was a collaborator. God permitted it. He “allowed” it to happen.

Thankfully, this is one of those times where something is lost in translation. Let’s read those verses again in a word-for-word translation such as Green’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (LITV):

And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you set your heart on My servant Job because there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil? (Job 1:8, LITV)

In other words, “Satan, why are you gunning for Job? Is it because he’s a good guy? Is it because he won’t fall for your evil schemes?”

Do you see? God isn’t setting Job up at all. He’s letting Satan know that he’s onto him. “I’m watching you, Satan.” The Lord is not unaware of the devil’s schemes.

The fact is, Satan was gunning for Job. Not only did Satan want to hurt Job, he wanted the Lord to do it! Look at what Satan says:

Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face. (Job 1:11)

The audacity of this schemer! How brazen! First the accuser tries to manipulate God: “Job only fears you because you’ve put a hedge about him and blessed him” (verses 9-10). Then he dares the Lord to strike this good man Job! Of course, the Lord isn’t about to fall for Satan’s tricks, yet verse 12 seems to suggest he does.

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power…” (Job 1:12)

At first glance it seems that God has just been conned by the devil into giving him permission to go after Job. Really? And we fall for that? Or worse, we think the Lord would fall for it?! Let’s read that verse in a literal translation:

And Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, all that is his is in your hand! Only, do not lay your hand on him. And Satan went out from the face of Jehovah. (Job 1:12, LITV)

The Lord is not giving Satan permission; he’s stating a fact. Job was already under Satan’s thumb. Why does the Lord say that? Because of this:

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

As Tom Tompkins explains in his book, Understanding the Book of Job, God gave control of the earth to man…

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind. (Psa 115:16)

…but in the Garden of Eden man handed control to Satan. So when the Lord says “all that is his is in your hand!” he is stating a painful fact that will ultimately cost Jesus his life.

To sum up, here are four lies that we get from misreading Job 1:

Lie #1: Satan needs God’s permission to attack us

Satan didn’t ask for permission to go after Job because he didn’t need permission. In the Garden of Eden we opened the door to sin and have been reaping the consequences ever since.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. By the grace of God the devil flees when we resist him (James 4:7). Don’t be like Job and let the thief plunder your house. Be like David who encouraged himself in the Lord and fought back (1 Sam 30:6).

Lie #2: God uses Satan as a sheepdog to keep the sheep in line

Woof! What nonsense. What fellowship does light have with darkness (2 Cor 6:14)?

Lie #3: God gives us sickness and suffering to teach us character

Satan’s aim was to trick God into harming Job, something that God would never do. Although Job thought God was responsible for his loss, God sent Elihu to set him straight. Elihu is a picture of Jesus who went around “healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Jesus doesn’t give sickness; he takes it from us.

Lie #4: God “allows” sickness and suffering to afflict us

God does not work for the devil. If God gave the thief permission to rob you, he wouldn’t be a thief.

First Adam lost control of the planet, but last Adam took back what the devil stole. In Christ you are destined to reign like a king (Rom 5:17). But you won’t reign if you heed the lies above and follow Job instead of Jesus.

Grace and peace to you.

64 Comments on Is Satan God’s Sheepdog?

  1. Dottie Hicks // October 28, 2015 at 12:56 am // Reply

    Great insight on true meaing of Job! Thanks for setting things straight! Christianity needs that. God is not mean or out to get us and this helps us understand that.

  2. Wow.

    This makes what Jesus said in John 10:10 ring truer:
    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

    God is not in cahoots with Satan!

  3. awesome ,feel good moment….Grace

  4. Precise and simple. However, this is only possible and simpe to understand if one understands Grace (Jesus). Wear any other lens, one will be far from understanding this.

  5. Thanks Paul for summing up Truth so truthfully🙂. Yes The Lie of satan started in the garden and still exists today. The lie which says that God is out to get us and satan is the good guy with a better game plan for our lives. Yes satan tried to get God to hurt Job. man oh man God had to be patient and work His plan so He could be rid of this evil scoundrel entering into the High Heavens and making accusations. And we know that through Jesus the plan worked. Satan was cast out of the high heavens ( book of Revelation…..for now has salvation come…) and Jesus has ALl AUTHOURITY in Heaven AND earth. I don’t think Satan ever took mans Authority in the garden as much as he used mans authority through deception as that is the only authority he can gain…….a man who is deceived in to letting the evil one work this evilness. satan hated man from the beginning of creation for this very reason….God gave man authority and dominion in planet earth, and this outraged the fallen angel.

  6. Thanks paul,you are shedding light on a some puzzling stuff. its getting lighter inside,keep up the good work.

  7. I have some reservations about your previous post, but am taking my time to ensure my comments would build up, not tear down. I say this to say that I don’t have any about the main point of this one, which really hits the nail on the head!

    One would think that the Holy Spirit would be far more competent in educating us than the Devil would, so claiming that God would use the Devil to improve us is to take on the role, not of the AnteChrist (the one taking the place of Christ), but of his False Prophet (the one pushing the AntiChrist). Granted, God is so smart and so powerful, He can turn around any bad situation, and even sin, to benefit us in some way, but we should not let the fact that He does so magnificently that it causes us to believe He allowed it, or caused it, to happen, *in order to showboat*. This is my main issue with those who claim that everything God does “is for His Glory”. (My issue with your question is that saying that the devil is God’s sheepdog implies that the devil is on God’s payroll, and evades the accusation of God indirectly benefitting from what should be an adversarial relationship: An arsonist is not on the payroll of the firehouse, but the fireman should not be looking the other way when the arsonsit sets fires, arguing that “he (the fireman) would get glory” by fighting the fires instead of tracking the arsonist down and putting him in jail.)

    (However, Elihu isn’t as great as you make him out to be, but I’ll let you make your case first.)

    • Regarding Elihu and his 2 friends God was not pleased with anything they said to Job. They were told by God that they needed to be prayed for by Job. They did not comfort or pray for him just blamed him and accused him of some secret sin. The beginning of the book of Job and towards the end in Chapter 42 God clearly states what he thinks of Job.

      • Ah, here we go Lupe, Here you are distinctly saying “Elihu and his two friends were not pleasing to the Lord”. With an option of reply to. I think by now you realize that it was not Elihu and his two friends but Eliphaz and his two friends, being Bildad and Zopher.Even Eihu was angry with Eliphaz and his friends (job 32:3). Have you ever considered why God felt the way he did about Job, regardless of obvious faults Job had? Did not Abraham have faults yet was found righteous in the sight of God? Why? Because he believed God, period. It’s the same thing with Christianity, how does one become a Christian? By believing in what God said about His Son Jesus. Because of our believe, regardless of our faults, we are seen as the righteousness of God in Christ, so much so that God tells us that we are as Jesus is, in this world, I John 4:17. We are not seen this way because of anything we have done, not by obeying any law, or breaking it but by simply believing, having faith that what God said is true.God’s grace was extended to us long ago but just like the gift of salvation, without accepting it it does no good and once we have accepted it we can’t give it back, God does not operate like a Wal-Mart. Know what I mean?

    • Gerald Owens, in reading your comment, it appears you may have overlooked his response to the title of the post. Yes, Paul asked the question, is Satan God’s sheepdog, but he answers the question, in lie #2.

  8. I have always believed that there was something that I was missing when I read Job; when I heard a sermon about Job. It always seemed wrong to me that our Abba would purposely give the “green light” to satan to take Job’s family, health and prosperity away from him. I always found it disturbing that sermons would talk about satan taking everything away from Job, but look, now everything’s been restored! To me, everything being restored would be that his original family was given back to him, etc. Yes, Job was restored in the end, but if he were asked, he probably would have liked things to remain as they were, and not replaced once satan was finished.

    One question: how is it that God was able to direct satan to not lay his hand on Job? This seems to me that God still has authority to direct what actually was relinquised to satan in the Garden?

    • John 10:10 (BBE) The thief comes only to take the sheep and to put them to death: he comes for their destruction: I have come so that they may have life and have it in greater measure.

    • Why didn’t Satan kill Job? We might also ask why doesn’t he kill you? Or your neighbor? Or the pilot of the plane you’re travelling on? Jesus called the devil a murderer (John 8:44). Why doesn’t he kill everybody? I don’t know. Evidently there are limits to what he can do. Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews but didn’t. Herod wanted to kill all the baby boys but missed at least one. The Romans wanted to kill all the people living in Jerusalem in AD70 but plenty escaped.

      I know the devil is bad, but I don’t know how bad he can be. Perhaps he’s like a psychopathic serial killer who wants to kill everyone but is limited by the difficulty of the task. Perhaps Job had a guardian angel standing in the way. Perhaps you have an angel and the pilot does and the devil is terrified of them. I don’t know. We don’t need to know.

      In this series I aim to refute bad theology that some have about our heavenly Father. It’s a demolition project, more than a building project, hence the three lies above. If we want to build good theology about our Father, then let us build on the foundation of Jesus – what he says and reveals about God – rather than Job.

      (I’ll talk about the hedge of protection below.)

      • satan probably would kill everybody on earth if he really had all authority on earth but he has to use our authority to do what he wants to do. he would probably keep alive some useful idiots as long as they were of use or benefit to him. As it stands He continues to deceive the world into his seemingly better more enlightened way via iniquity.

    • satan dropped into the Sons of God and God gathering. he had beef with job and God called him on it. satan probably was in a bad mood being jealous and foolishly asked God to curse Job. As we know from the book of James God can not tempt or be tempted,so God stated the obvious, ‘ no way hosea! i am on Jobs side all the way ” The fact that satan could harm jobs family was a fact based on a Just and loving God giving man free will way back in the garden. AND most likely some sort of legal right in the heavenlies before the accuser of the brethren was totally cast out and the blood of Jesus sprinkled in the heavenlies. God stating knowingly that Job and all that he hath is in satans losing hand was a factual statement as well as another fact that satan could not touch Job. this conversation Is like speaking with a rebellios teenager who needs to be reminded of the facts and where reality is at whether they really want to hear it or not. satan probably left pouting since he didn’t really get his way and never will since he rebelled against the Most High. To this day satan continues to try and deceive people into thinking God is the bad guy. As soon as God could help Job see that God was still on His side the tide turned. Who knows what would of happened if Job would just been able to say in the beginning, ” HELP ! I know this can’t be from you God…”

  9. Absolutely wonderful. Excellent insights, Paul. Thank you.

  10. Didn’t satan already know that mankind was in his power? What did God say that? It still appears God gave him permission.
    And what about Christians today…does God allow Saran to have permission to have his way with us? It seems Jesus allowed him to sift Peter and even afflict Paul. There still is no comfort in reading the book of Job…it scares me to think God may lift His protection off our lives because the devil asks for it!

    • Much has been made of the so-called hedge of protection (Job 1:10). “God has a hedge around you and your loved ones but if you’re not careful to pray every day he might take away his hedge.” This idea will fill you with fear and keep you inside praying when you could be outside telling people about the goodness of God who loves his kids even more than we do.

      From whence comes this idea about the hedge of protection? It comes from the father of lies, the devil himself (see Job 1:9). No one else in scripture mentions such a thing, certainly not Jesus or any of the New Testament writers. I’m not saying we aren’t protected (guardian angels, remember), but I am reluctant to build a works-promoting theology on the sayings of Satan.

      Satan will accuse you and seek to sift you. His goal is to make you fail. That should not surprise or scare us, for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Be blessed.

      • I’m with you on this. I also was taught taught the untrue things about the story of Job. Love the statement that “if the thief has permission…he’s not a thief anymore”. I agree 100%, so what is mistranslated in Luke 22:31 where Jesus uses the word permission? Jesus says “satan has demanded permission to sift you like sand……but I have prayed for you….” Something is missing here. Any light to shed?

      • I think demand or desire is a better word than permission. And he didn’t just desire Peter but all of the disciples and he desires you. He goes about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). He’s the accuser looking for someone to accuse. He’s like a cheap lawyer chasing ambulances. But don’t worry about it because we have a far greater advocate in Jesus. That’s the point of Christ’s words to Peter – not to scare him (“Oooh, the devil’s gunning for me”) but to encourage him (“Jesus is praying for me”).

      • But thank God for the plan….the plan of casting the accuser of the brethren out of the highest heavens to accuse us before our Father ( which of course was just a part of what was accomplished at the cross !). Sure he is an accuser still and he will still lie and accuse us but I know what the word says about me now that I am in Christ…..’ There is therefore now NO CONDMNATION ….! ‘

      • That was a warriors comment Shelly, good job.

      • if your like me Paul,you dont have all the answers,I am a explorer, i want to kept exploring, when I find something I dont understand,I want to know why, so I keep digging,and it seems when I finally get it, I get that yes inside.

  11. Helen Wilgus // October 28, 2015 at 3:29 am // Reply

    Thanks Paul. The light is beginning to dawn for me regarding this book. I’m in the process of reading Tompkins’ book, but one question still trips me up: obviously satan had the power to kill (he wiped out Job’s ten children). Why then did he not kill Job? How was God able to restrict him to Job’s possessions and health, forbidding him to take his life, unless He was calling the shots?

  12. Albino Caoile // October 28, 2015 at 4:22 am // Reply

    Tank you Ptr Paul. I have been following your posts and they helped me a lot in unlearning my previous knowledge/understanding as taught in my early days as Christian. I ordered “Understanding the Book of Job” and its pair by Kushner. So eager to read them for more enlightenment. God bless E2R.

  13. Warren (South Carolina, USA) // October 28, 2015 at 4:58 am // Reply

    Ahhh. . . .worth the wait. I like how saint Paul explains perfectly how Jesus took back all that man had handed over to satan at the fall.

    I Really like this quote toward the end “If God gave the thief permission to rob you, he wouldn’t be a thief.” A perfect explanation toward those deceived into believing the dead head mindset that says “God’s permissive will allowed that . . . (fill in the blank)”.

    Blessings,
    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

    • Warren (South Carolina, USA) // December 29, 2015 at 8:45 am // Reply

      Saint Paul,
      Have you posted anywhere about HOW we are to resist satan, and he will flee from you?

      I see you touch on it in Lie #1 above: “By the grace of God the devil flees when we resist him (James 4:7).”

      Blessings,
      Warren (South Carolina, USA)

      • Living out of the overflow of God’s love and grace – praising him, thanking him – is resisting the devil.

      • Warren (South Carolina, USA) // December 31, 2015 at 5:58 am //

        Saint Paul,
        Thanks for the interesting reply. “Living out of the overflow of God’s love and grace” caught my attention, in regards to resisting the devil and he will flee from you. We get that “overflow” of His grace when we agree, speak, trust, and act on God’s promises (His Word), i.e. when we walk by faith, His grace is activated or released so to speak. The devil can’t get over the hill fast enough (he flees) when this happens.

        Can we suffice it to say that God’s grace is released when we choose to trust Him at His Word. . . . by faith? Blessings,
        Warren (South Carolina, USA)

  14. Don’t scriptures take on a very different look when we know that we are looking from the throne of Grace and listening to the Holy Spirit. He promised to lead and guide us into all truth. I believe these last two articles on Job have brought great insight and correction to believers because they have delivered such truths and set the record straight about our Father. Jesus said, Unless you are born for above you cannot see (perceive, comprehend or understand). We have had far too many theologians try to expound on the Word and many probably wouldn’t recognize Jesus if He walked in the room. Thank you so much for doing these – keep them coming. Brenda

  15. I love seeing pictures of Christ in the OT as much as anybody (and I believe they are everywhere) but I’m scratching my head to see even the remotest of connections to Jesus in the person of Elihu.

    He did not heal Job, his speech was rambling and not edifying, he acknowledged he was created by the Almighty (Job 33:4) made of clay as Job was (Job 33:6) and he quickly disappears from the scene after condemning Job and leaving him unchanged just as fast as he shows up. Jesus does the opposite when He comes alongside sinners…

    If you want to see a Gospel picture of an intercessory Advocate in the book of Job I would suggest the following passage.

    Job 23:1-7 Then Job answered and said: (2) “Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. (3) Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! (4) I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. (5) I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me. (6) Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. (7) There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

    You declare that Job is an unrighteous man and expose his sinfulness in your last post yet what do we do with the first verse on the book and the following verses that declare his righteousness? Throw them out?

    “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” God was the One who went to satan and extolled Job’s virtuous nature. God said: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

    Job didn’t (initially) declare himself righteous; God did. If Job was unrighteous would not satan, the “accuser of the brethren” have jumped on this and said ‘Aha! No he is not upright, God! Let me remind you of his shortcomings’… yet satan is silent. Why? Because he knew it was true.

    Now, do I believe that Job was a sinner? Absolutely, he is a son of Adam and his flesh is visible for history to see but there is tension here and it can’t just be discarded and thrown away.

    I love your writings, Paul but these last two are leaving me puzzled.

  16. Job was prior to Abraham and Moses. Job was basically covenant-less. God wanted to bless him, and He did. But when Satan protested, God had to turn him over to Satan because there was no legal contract (covenant) between Job and God that provided for this type of blessing.

    This is one reason why the Lord started making covenants with man. He wanted to bless us but needed a legal way to circumvent the fact that all humanity had corrupted themselves and made Satan their lord

    All New Testament believers have been delivered from the power of Satan’s kingdom and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Satan doesn’t have the authority over any born-again believer that he had over Job. And we have a covenant with the Lord full of promises that Job didn’t have.

    • thanks Greg, I’m with you on the legalities. Satan pointed to the “hedge” and said that’s not supported by any legal arrangement. The same accusation could not be levelled at Abraham and his blessed life behind the “hedge” , God would have said,”back off, a covenant was made with blood”. Covenants allow God to “Sheppard” men legally.
      Another example of “hedge” was when the snakes came through the hedges when Israel murmured. This came to an end when a bronze(judged) snake was raised for them to focus on. Jesus being our “Judged” man draws all mens condemnation to himself.

      Jesus has a covenant with God, and we are in him.

      Peter(and all the competing disciples)was legally exposed by pride while disputing “who will be the greatest in heaven”. Satans “request to sift him as wheat was not refusable. Jesus prayed for his faith to remain and for him to strengthen the brethren on his return.
      Jesus is our, hedge, our strong tower, we hide under his wings, and sit at the table he provides even in the midst of the enemy. Relaxing, resting in Jesus.

      I know all this sounds ridiculous to those who think that God controls everything sovereignly and therefore nothing happens unless God permits it.
      How ever. . .Everything God has for us we have to receive by Faith, or we just don’t get it.
      Job had the beginnings of the correct knowledge of the nature of God.
      Satan’s accusation was that Jobs knowledge of relationship wasn’t enough.

  17. Thanks so much for shedding light on this puzzling story of Job, Paul. Very illuminating!
    I want to be able to represent Abba well when others quiz me about Job who take his story as proof that God can “lift his protection” from us and “allow” the devil to afflict us. Can you explain the conundrum of why God does seem to set limits to Satan’s destructive intentions by telling him that he cannot attack Job’s person? This does seem to suggest that God “allowed” the enemy to go so far but no farther. Was there some understanding that already existed between God and Satan that he couldn’t take someone out physically? Yet the enemy very obviously does afflict physical sickness and death onto people to this very day. What is that “hedge of protection” mentioned?? I’d be very grateful for further illumination here Paul – did God limit and therefore also allow the extent of Satan’s affections toward Job?
    Thanks for your help! Gilly

  18. What allowed Job to persevere was his indestructible faith in God. Job never ultimately gave up on God. This faith was, I believe, in fact implanted by God. (Eph 2:8b-9 – …and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.)

    How else can you explain his stubborn persistence? Even his own wife said, “Why don’t you curse God and die?” He said, “Though (God) slay me, yet will I hope in him.” (13:15) Job had a “knowing without knowing”; though he didn’t know what all God was up to (or had allowed), he continued to trust him.

    As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. – James 5:11

    These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. – 1Ptr 1:7

    “Those infected with the disease called Christianity can never be cured.” – Russian proverb

    • I don’t know about his faith being indestructible it seems to me there was some wavering happening in that real life story…..just my thoughts….

  19. Hi Paul. That was a great article! Really puts the book of Job in another pespective altogether. Thanks!

    In regard to the post’s title theme, however, could you give some explanation on the reason for Paul’s thorn in the flesh? It says in 2Cor 12:7: “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.” It looks like God is using Satan to keep Paul humble. I’d like to know your thoughts on that one.

    Thank you!

  20. Regarding #1
    Psalm 103:19 clearly shows that God is in control of all things and rules over all things. He has power and authority over nature, earthly kings, history, angels, and demons. Even Satan himself has to ask God’s permission before he can do anything. Regarding #2 How do you explain 1Samuel 16:4 or even 1 Corinthians 5 where in both instances God used Satan as a tool of His discipline upon a disobedient person. Regarding #3 Satans aim was to get Job to curse God. Elihu was definitely not a picture of Jesus. Job chapter 42 clearly states what God thought of Job’s 3 friends. God had Job pray for those 3 friends. Regarding #4 Of course God doesn’t work for the devil he created him.

    • Thanks for your comment, and thanks for keeping it short. A quick response: #1 By that logic, ISIS would have to ask permission before beheading people. #2 Not sure what relevance 1 Sam 16:4 has to this discussion. #3 Elihu is the only one of Job’s 4 friends that didn’t need prayer (see Job 42:7-9). More on Elihu here.

  21. I had to reread the Scriptures 3 times where God and Satan had dialogue going on, before I got to your awesome insight. It’s truly amazing how the brain doesn’t want to see the truth. It’s no wonder why the vast majority of the church of Christ stays in a state bondage. It’s so easy to read scripture from an ignorant, darkened and sin-consciousness mindset, rather through the lense of grace.

    I think my biggest struggle is getting past the natural circumstances of this fallen world. I do believe is all God has and desired to offer His children. I also know He doesn’t want harm for any of us. What I try to reconcile as I’m praying for others and myself to deal with these circumstances are why we often don’t experience or see the results of healing and prosperity that the Lord’s righteousness provides. I would imagine that’s probably why Job (and many Christians today) became content with accepting the idea that God “allowed” these negative circumstances to “help us” grow spiritually. A pruning of the flesh in so many words…and like the anology of the diamond is created out of pressure. The end result is good lessons learned and His beautiful masterpiece.

    Wonderful post Paul! What seems so easy to grasp in this great post is sometimes hard to make stick in your brain. This natural world cam really trick your brain and cause your soul to lull into Satan’s lied too easily sometimes.

    Sorry for the long posts. You should take it as a compliment though, they make me really dig deep for the truth. Which is something I know everyone on this thread is searching for. Shalom!

    • In the garden is two trees. One of life. One of death. Man eats the one of death though God told him not to. Does God then punish man? No. He prophesies to them what will be the result of rejecting His grace and going it alone. Did God tell Adam to rule over his wife? No. He told her that now the man would rule over her. We let the fox in the hen house and then blame God. Just because we messed up, went our own way and the devil messes with us doesn’t mean that God can’t intervene and save a man’s life if He wants to, as in the case of Job. God doesn’t violate our choice that leads to all the heartache and disaster we suffer, but He displays His grace and calls us back to Him with His loving kindness.

      • Hi Tom-

        Thank you for taking time to respond to my comment. Yes, I do understand that Garden of Eden well over the years. Joseph Prince had a wonderful sermon on the subject.

        I grew up with a father (who is wonderful btw) that did and still truly believe’s that God removes His hand of protection when we sin. He has brought up the story of Job in my conversations with him about all I’ve been learning about the true gospel and God”s grace through Jesus.

        I’ve come very far from a world of guilt, shame, fear and torment from my abused past and the enemy monopolizing on me with these feelings. I’d say I’m in a real great place in my relationship with Jesus, but I still have my battles.

        God bless!

  22. Did God have a hedge of protection around Job? So, what if He did? Maybe Satan is reminding God that man has chosen this path that leads to destruction and God agrees but still refuses to allow Satan to kill Job? Thank you Father for protecting Job even though he doesn’t deserve it!

  23. Well, Paul, we have a problem here. In Chapter 1 verse 10 Satan states to the Lord “Hast thou not made an hedge about him and about his house…” the Hebrew word used here is suwk, which means to hedge or fence up or about H7753 of Strong’s. So Job did have protection and Satan did need permission to afflict Job just as Satan needs permission to afflict us today, satan cannot arbitrarily attack what is the Lord’s. The reason for this seems uncertain but it obviously has nothing to do with Adam handing over his authority via sin. Regardless of what Satan ever does God remains sovereign and owner of everything (Psalm 24:1) Your thoughts?

  24. justice senyo kota // October 31, 2015 at 10:41 pm // Reply

    Thanks Pastor Paul. On the issue of God building a hedge around Job, God does not need permission from anyone to do what He desires. It’s true that man’s authority over the earth was usurped by Satan, but never are told that that of God was. God shows His favor without any restriction. More so, I agree with Pastor Paul that it’s useless to make lessons out of the words of Satan.

    • God gave authority to man on earth in Genesis. Where does it say Satan could take mans God given authority away? Jesus came as a man so He could exercise authority in earth and He did as the Son of Man. The demons even tried to get Jesus to operate as the Son of God but Jesus clearly stated He did what He did as theSon of Man. Think about it if Satan had had authority on earth of his own he would just do what he wants to do without having to find a man to do it through. he is always riding on the coat tail of mans authority in earth. So when satan was stripped of all power and authority that was whatever authority he had which allowed him to legally enter the highest heavens and accuse man before God Almighty…and whatever other power/authority he had as one of Gods created beings. But if satan truly had authority in earth after Adam and Eve sinned Jesus could not of worked His miracles as the Son of Man but would of had to as the Son of God.

  25. I am thankful to God that I realised my true nature through the law. Actually,I have heard stories about Job but had not read the entire book. Usually, we wake up each morning asking God to forgive us our sins probably thinking we may have sinned during the day. Yea surely we sin day in and day out. Job also acted the same manner by offering sin sacrifice on behalf of his children. Job was always sin conscious. Likewise those who go to God asking to be forgiven daily are sin conscious and live in fear. Such are unbelievers because they don’t have any assurance. Elihu condemned Jobs rightful thought therefore Job had to forsake his self righteousness and receive the righteousness of God. In the bible, Jesus condemned self righteousness on several occasions.Matt.5:20.Unless your righteousness exceed that of the pharisees and Scribes you shall not enter into the Kingdom of God. He preached the law so that people may let go of their righteousness. After I receive the righteousness of God I cease to confess sins daily because the Blood of Christ redeemed us once and for all.I confess Christ instead. heb.10:14.He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. No more sin consciousness but rather Christ conscious and His Finished work on the Cross. Thanks Paul..God bless you and everyone who support the law of Grace.

    • lol, emma said the law of grace. God bless you Emma, I’m sure you meant the gift of grace. 17For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

  26. Lol, you are right John. In fact those who have received the righteousness of God see through God’s wonderful lens. As we have righteousness of man and righteousness of God. Thank you John.

  27. Millicent frans // November 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm // Reply

    Hi, Paul I have heard some preach that it was because Job feared , he kept on making intercession on behalf of his children, lest they might have sinned against God, and because of this fear he lost everything? This has terrified me and I tried to get rid of fear cause it causes you to loose what you posses? Yet, Abraham feared, lied etc but he was blessed instead of cursed?

    • Fear has long been the currency of dead religion because those who are afraid are easier to control. Fear is the opposite of faith. I don’t say that to frighten you, but to inspire you to renew your mind. If there is an area of your life under fear, you want to find out what the Lord says about that and be set free. As a parent, I battled with fear for my children. I can relate to Job. But about seven years ago God spoke to me through something I read in Isaiah and set me free. I’m now walking in trust instead of fear and life is much better!

  28. samuel njuguna kangethe // November 21, 2015 at 4:03 am // Reply

    i am transformed,changed,,lifted assuared and definately different.

  29. Pat Foerster // December 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm // Reply

    I have needed this for so long. Just happened to find you! So happy I have. The wonderful Grace teaching is the best thing I’ve ever been told, even after being a Christian all my life.

  30. Warren (South Carolina, USA) // January 3, 2016 at 11:49 am // Reply

    Hmmmm…..I can’t find anywhere in the bible that God tells us that He places a hedge of protection around anyone, let alone Job.

    Satan accuses God of doing that with Job but, Satan is a liar, and the father of lies, and just because he accuses God of it doesn’t make it true. I tend to take what he says as a lie and it’s probably just the opposite of what is true (or some mixture, which makes it untrue).

    Blessings,
    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

  31. This is such a great revelation for me. I’m very grateful. God bless you Paul for the boldness to speak the truth regardless of how unpopular it is.
    A question though, going with that scripture, what fellowship has light with darkness… how do you harmonize 2 Chronicles 18 where God uses the lying spirit to deceive Ahab. That’s another confusing scripture for me. Thanks.

  32. Thanks, brother Paul

  33. Thank you for this clarification, Paul. However, when you write that “…but in the Garden of Eden man handed control to Satan. So when the Lord says “all that is his is in your hand!” he is stating a painful fact that will ultimately cost Jesus his life.” I’m thinking: why did Jesus, who was in direct communication all the time with God, had to be crucified? Have you written about this elsewhere? I’m talking about the fact that Jesus knew what was coming to him (torture and crucifiction), and said it was God’s will, somehow, since God didn’t take away that. How can a person ever live happily, since the bible (and history) tells us, the better person you are, the more horrible life and death you’ll have… Where’s the comfort?

    I hope you understand my question. Why didn’t God save Jesus?

    • I have written extensively about the death of Jesus, most significantly in a chapter entitled “What really happened at the cross?” in my book The Gospel in Twenty Questions. However, you can find many articles here on E2R about the cross in the Archives > Subject Index > Cross, the.

  34. Mate I love your picture of the dog. That makes me laugh!

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