Our adversary...Satan...the devil, which also means slanderer, accuser of the brethren, father of all lies, strife, and discord…divides people against God and one another. Paul in II Corinthians 2:11 told believers that “We are not ignorant of his (the devil’s) devices.” Devices means Satan’s plans, methods, and purposes for separating people against God and each other. Paul also warns in Ephesians 6:11 against “…the wiles of the devil”. The way the devil twists the Scriptures to trick us so we doubt God’s Word; so, we believe God does not mean what He says; so, we believe God is not good to us.
In Genesis 2:17 God warns men that sin is serious, and if you disobey, “you will surely die!” Romans 6:23 tells us “that the wages of sin is death”, but we see in Genesis 3:4 the devil, through his devices, his wiles, his methods of twisting what Scripture means and says, plants a seed of unbelief in Eve. “You shall not surely die.” In verse 5 he tells Eve that God’s word cannot be trusted, or that God does not really mean what He says. Satan’s temptation came as lies that are half truth/half error to twist the Scriptures, to make sin look good. So, we doubt God’s word and disobey God. “You will not surely die.” It is the same tricks, lies, devices, and wiles that Satan uses against us today; that God really does not mean what He says!
That is why Jesus said, “…the devil is a liar from the beginning…”, and Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:14 that “Satan comes as an angel of light.” Jesus said, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:97). God tells us to meditate, study, and transform our minds with the Scriptures so that we won’t be tricked by the devil’s methods of twisting Scriptures to cause us to doubt God’s Word. We do not have to be deceived!
Why Do the Righteous Suffer?
Because the devil, the deceiver and liar to the brethren, tries to tell us that God is not good and wants to keep us from happiness. If we listen to him (the devil) and his twisted truth, we cannot be free! We will now look and truly see how the devil is our worst enemy, always trying to separate us from God and from each other; how the devil is the accuser of the brethren. He accuses us directly before God, and accuses us through gossip to each other.
“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. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, 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? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”
We saw how Satan’s plan in Genesis was to slander God before man to make man doubt God’s Word… “...has God indeed said…?” Satan plants a seed of unbelief in our hearts so that we don’t take God’s Word seriously… “you won’t really die!”… The devil is trying to destroy our confidence in God.
Satan slanders man before God… “…does Job fear God for nothing?…” trying to have God doubt Job’s trust and love for God. It is important for us to know what kind of man Job was! The Bible says that Job “…was blameless and upright…”. He was a man who “feared God and shunned evil”. When God said Job was blameless, He is saying that Job was morally blameless; that Job was a man who sought with his whole heart to please God. He was honest in his dealings with God and men; not doing things out of hypocrisy or selfishness. God did not mean that Job never sinned, because the Bible tells us that “all have sinned” and “there are none perfect”.
But God was saying that Job turned aside and rejected evil when tempted by Satan or people. The secret to being blameless before God is trusting in God’s Word where we obey Scripture and reject Satan and/or friends who try to get us to disobey God’s Word. Job feared God and shunned evil (rejected it), so God said he was blameless and upright. Whenever Job was attacked by evil (the devil’s devices, wiles, methods) through people…his wife or friends “curse God and die”…Job rejected their advice; rejected it and was obedient to the Word…meaning he was blameless! Job was victorious over evil (Satan’s method of causing us to doubt God and disobey him), so Satan hated Job and attacked him.
Why do the righteous suffer?
Satan attacks the righteous! He is the accuser of the brethren!
Let’s see, again, just how devious and vicious our adversary, the devil, really is! He tries to appear as our friend, but Satan is always trying to destroy us before other people and God, creating doubt and twisting God’s word to separate us from God and one another!
Note that Satan is exposed in his speech before God. The Bible tells us that we are justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37). Satan maliciously slanders/attacks Job before God by telling God that Job was only faithful to God because God had blessed and protected him. In other words, Satan said that Job trusted God out of his own selfishness, so his motivation was wrong. Of course, this was a lie! Job told his wife and friends that he would not curse God, even if God took everything from him and he died! Job was tested and found to be faithful in trusting God’s Word. This should warn us that we will also be tested by God to see the level of our own faith. Life is in the spirit, and the spirit never dies!
The righteous suffer because God is no respecter of persons and allows our faith to be tested by Satan to show the world that we will respect the will of God over our lives! So, God permitted Job to endure suffering and to join with God in exposing Satan’s lie (methods, devices, wiles). In verse 11 Satan says, “Just let me touch him.” Very well, says God to Satan, “go ahead, do what you like. Deal with the things that show my goodness. Take away his property.” Again, God sets the boundaries. The Bible tells us that nothing can happen to us unless God allows it. In verse 12 it says, “Do what you want but do not touch his body.” So, Satan takes away Job’s property and children, but Job still does not curse God! Through verses 20-22, in all this Job sinned not! Job was blameless. He proved to God and to man that he trusted in the Scriptures…not his own selfishness.
The devil is an adversary who hates us, and his plans and purposes are to destroy us eternally by separating us from God. He again slanders Job in verse 2:4: “…skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” We saw in Genesis how Satan deceived man about God, creating doubt in Eve about God’s Word: “...you will not really die…did God really say that?” But, Satan cannot deceive God about man. God knew Job’s heart and that whatever He allowed Job to go through would prove Job’s faith in God and trust in the Scripture. We see here that Satan cannot deceive God. God knows every man’s heart. Satan can only accuse man before God. We can know God’s heart, too, and totally trust Him by meditating and studying God’s Word, as He instructs us.
God may, and does, call upon men of faith…like He called upon Job…to pass through testing and suffering in the interest of truth!
But in all suffering, God is in control! Satan is always limited! All things do work together for good! Suffering shows the world that our faith, confidence, and trust in God cannot be shaken. Nor is it for our own selfishness, demanding our own way. But, we are true children of God, wanting and accepting God’s will for our lives.
Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. How can God be unfair by giving a person eternal, glorious, perfect life? Job said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10. And, again, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15. That is the language of a person who knows God!
Would God have been unfair to Job if he had allowed Satan to take his life?
The story of Job shows how Satan is committed and determined to ruthlessly destroy men and women of God! In Genesis and Job we see the devices and wiles of Satan and how he works against God’s people. His purposes are to create a spirit of unbelief in God’s Word so that we disobey it and separate ourselves from God and one another. Satan is busy in the world trying to deceive people into thinking that God is bad and he is good, causing you to doubt God’s Word. “You will not really die”, Satan told Eve.
God will test your faith!
God tested Abraham when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on the altar (Genesis 22:1-14).
God tested Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to bow before his image and they refused (Daniel 3:13-30).
God tested Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery, Potifer’s wife falsely accused him, and he was sent to prison (Genesis 37:23-36, Genesis chapters 39-41). God developed and used Joseph in prison so he could one day stand before Pharaoh, interpret his dream, and lead and save both Israel and Egypt from starvation.
God tested Daniel when Daniel’s enemies, who were jealous of him, caused a decree to be signed by the king, who then ordered that nobody was to pray to any other God. Daniel refused to obey this law and was thrown into the lion’s den (Daniel 6:1-28).
God allowed David to suffer when King Saul falsely accused him and chased him to kill him (I Samuel, chapters 18-24).
Moses suffered in the wilderness alone for 40 years being developed by God. He learned to trust and obey God so that he could be used to rebuke Pharoah and deliver the children of Israel from bondage (Exodus 2:14-12:37).
Elijah was persecuted for being faithful and threatened by Jezebel (I Kings 19:1-18).
The blind man was born blind so that a miracle could happen for the glory of God (John 9:1-3).
Yes, the “rain falls on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45) because we are all living in a fallen world which is still under the Adamic curse (Genesis 3:16-19).
Saul, who became Paul, watched the death of Stephen,which later helped to bring about his conversion, etc. (Acts 6:8-8:1; 9:1-9). Stephen suffered stoning, yet gave strong testimony and glory to Jesus. Read Philippians 4:13. God enables you to victoriously go through every trial, test and persecution. God allows persecution to spread the gospel (Acts 8:1-4).
The Bible tells us that “all things work together for (our) good...” (Romans 8:28), and that our trials only make us stronger (II Corinthians 12:9).
We suffer to be faithful and accomplish the mission (Matthew 16:21). We suffer as a warning and to learn (Matthew 27:19). Jesus was tempted...(Luke 4:1-14).
Hebrews 5:7-9 reads: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him...” Also, we learn to follow God through suffering, thus growing in perfection (maturity).
James 1:3 tells us: “...that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” And Romans 5:3 says: “...knowing that tribulation worketh patience...”
II Corinthians 12:9-10 says: “...for my strength is made perfect in weakness...therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities...in persecutions...for Christ’s sake...”
I Peter 5:10 reads: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
And Matthew 5:10-12 promises: “Blessed are they which are persecuted...for great is your reward in heaven...” Please also read I Peter, chapters 2 through 4.
Yes, the righteous suffer for a multitude of reasons! But, through it all, we learn to trust in Jesus, and people watch our faith and want Jesus themselves! Satan’s methods are the same today. He truly is our worst enemy!
WORLD MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Read Jeremiah 14:11-16, Ezekiel 13:1-10, Ezekiel 14:13-20, Ezekiel 22:1-31, Nahum 3:19, Jeremiah 30:12-15 Some people like to quote Daniel, suggesting that he stood in the gap, which is true. So did Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Noah and many others, but the judgments fell anyway. The population was destroyed in Noah’s time, but Noah and his family were saved by obeying God. The nation of Israel was taken into slavery. Daniel himself went into slavery, being taken to Babylon. Even though they all stood in the gap, unless the people themselves repented as the people of Nineveh did, the nation fell. God honored Daniel, and he became a leader in Babylon, but Israel was in slavery.
Standing in the gap means more than praying! These men did more than just pray. They sounded the alarm! They warned the people in the nation that they must repent or suffer the consequences of their continued disobedience. They prayed, fasted, preached and the Holy Spirit convicted, but if the people of the nation did not themselves repent, judgment fell anyway. Moses stood in the gap, but the people died in the wilderness, never receiving the promises of God because of their continued sins. People, we must continue to stand in the gap, pray, fast, and warn people to repent. If they ignore us, judgment will fall, but God will honor the believers who are righteous. God be with you. God wants the Church in America to understand His holiness and righteousness so deep that when judgment falls on the whore and America’s de-Christianized nation, they will rejoice, for this is an act of mercy and grace for repentance to come. America’s economy will crash overnight and eventually will be led by the whore and the beast of Revelation. The Church will rejoice when Jesus judges them both and returns! Revelations 19:19-20. Would you consider becoming an intercessor for this ministry and for our nation?
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