“SATAN’S STRATEGY VS GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY”
The book of Job is a marvelous piece of ancient, Scripture Although scholars are uncertain who the author of the text actually is or the exact time period when it was written, they have speculated that it may be the oldest book in the Bible. As ancient as it may be, there are many valuable lessons for us today in this inspired work.
The first five verses of the book provide us with valuable insight regarding the kind of man Job was. More important than where he was from or what era he lived in are the personal insights we gain here. Job was a very Godly, family-oriented man. Obviously well blessed with not only a tremendously close family and great wealth, Job was, without a doubt, a shrewd business man who could manage a large estate, many servants, and large herds. As a man of great integrity, Job was able to maintain a high degree of spirituality for himself and his family while achieving material success. Job was complete, mature in character, and took his relationship with God very seriously; in fact, it was the most serious aspect in his life. Of course, early in the book of Job, Satan sought permission form God to test Job’s faith. In the successive chapters, Satan will dig deep into his “bag of tricks” and unleash his arsenal of diobolical tactics upon Job, trying to crush his faith. Individuals today can derive an applicable lesson from reading about the devil’s assault on Job: We can familiarize ourselves with his tactics, so that we, like Job, can strengthen our own defenses against the evil one.
Tactic One: — Our Possessions
Satan asked God, “Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face” (Job 1:10,11).
In essence, Satan tells Job that he has lived in a bubble! Satan believes if Job’s earthly possessions and blessings are taken from him, he will turn from God. Satan is banking on a certain premise: Job’s faith is grounded more on his earthly possessions than upon God. By deploying this tactic, Satan hopes Job will, after losing all of his “things,” think negatively about God — even blame God!
Can this tactic work against us today? Can Satan use our worldly possessions to undermine our faith? He most certainly can. Satan undermines our faith by slowly nudging us to become consumed with our materialism. Today’s society is all about having more and more things, doing more and more things. If we don’t keep our focus on our God, before we know it, these”things” become the center of our life. If we are not careful, our desires for wealth and the accumulation of worldly goods are more important than our relationship with God. It’s at this point in our life that Satan can capture our soul!
Tactic Two: — Personal Tragedy
After losing most of his possessions, Job was than told, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilder-ness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died” (Job 1:18,19).
Job lost seven sons and three daughters tragically in one day. Can you imagine the death of ten children (in Job’s case all of his children) in one day? I have to be honest with you, I cannot even begin to relate to such a loss. The two children that I have in my life have brought to me a love that I have never known. I’m certainly not underestimating the love we have for our spouse or our parents or grandparents; it’s just that one’s love for his/her own child is really unique. I just couldn’t imagine losing one, not to mention all of them, under any circumstances. We should thank God every day for our children and their health. Likewise, we should remember to stay firm in our faith in the event tragedy does strike.
Satan can use our strong love we have for our children against us. Regarding individuals who have lost a child, how many of these people have become bitter and even blamed God for the loss of that child? How many have departed the faith because of such a loss? When tragedy besets us, we must remember there are faithful Christians we can turn to for support and guidance. Find a brother or sister who has been through such a tragedy and lean on them; ask them to pray with you and for you! Paul says, “members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, alll he members suffer withi; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (I Corinthians 12:25,26). We must also remember to turn to our Lord during times of tribulation and anguish; He is always there to comfort us, if we will simply ask.
Tactic Three — Personal Suffering
“Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7).
Next, Satan can and will use sickness and pain in our life as another tactic against us. Yes, there certainly are faithful Christians today whose health has deteriorated such that they are no longer able to serve God as they once did. However, we all must guard ourselves against allowing a few more “aches and pains” to become an excuse to “sideline us” in our service to God. Do you know anyone who isn’t attending worship regularly or getting involved in church work simply because they now have a few more “aches and pains?” If so, encourage and pray for these individuals not to succumb to this tricky strategy of Satan.
Tactic Four — Our Friends
After all of Job’s trouble had befallen him, three of his friends came initially to sympathize with him and comfort him (Job 2:11). The text reveals, however, they do more condemning instead of comforting. In essence, all three of Job’s friends suspect that Job has committed some hideous sin causing all of his troubles. Satan can and will often use our friends to destroy our relationship with God. There are many different ways Satan can use friendship as an offensive weapon against us. One very effective method is peer pressure — especially for younger people. He starts early, attacking our children at a young, tender age, yet the attack is subtle, almost innocent. Children want to be liked and accepted. They want to fit in. At first Satan’s snare may disguise itself as simply wearing the clothes that everyone else is wearing or having the same hair style as everyone else. As time goes on, Satan slowly, methodically, turns up the heat. Almost unaware of the attack, our kids are being pressured to go a little farther to continue to fit in. They may contend with dirty jokes or a few curse words, all in the name of fitting in. Later, they may even be pressured to “break away” from their parental bond. At this stage, parents are no longer their most trusted confidants, rather their friends are. Children under this attack may see parents as “out of touch” and “old-fashioned.”
But his strategy isn’t Satan’s full attack; he’s still holding back. He will continue slowly and meticulously to push our kids farther away from us. Once the bond has been broken between parent and child and their friends mean everything to them, Satan then hits them with all he has. They are then pressured to take that first alcoholic drink or smoke that first joint, or even go “all the way” on a date. Why? It’s simple. The reason hasn’t changed from the beginning. It’s the same reason they were to wear the clothes, or to have the same hair style. Why? Because everyone else is doing it! That’s it. That’s Satan’s finest tool in his arsenal — because everyone else is doing it!
Don’t be fooled my friends. Satan is a real being who can be very subtle and extremely crafty. He will use anything and everything to distract, disappoint and defeat us! If we are constantly aware of Satan’s devices, we are much less likely to fall prey to him. Satan’s goal isn’t simply to tempt you to sin, he wants you as one of his own! We need to know our adversary and resist his attacks. Most of all, we need to rely on our advocate — Jesus Christ!