Written on April 25th, 2007 - 3:00AM Last Updated: September 2nd, 2008 - 12:15PM
If we accept Job as the oldest book of the Bible, as most scholars do, then we can learn what the earliest known idea of Satan was, according to the inspiration of the HolySpirit.
6Now it happened on the day when the God's sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, that Satan also came among them. 7Yahweh said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." (Job 1:6-7)
The sons of God are usually interpreted to be angels, those spiritual beings that are sent by Yahweh to do His work (Psalms 103:20) and protect his people (Psalms 91:11). Satan came in with them as they showed themselves to Yahweh.
This reveals one of his motives, that he puts himself into the midst of the things of God, in order to cause havoc. He has both the power and pride to stand next to the other angels, and even before God Himself! Paul later teaches that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)—in order to deceive, that he might effectively oppose what God's people do. For, if they believe he is with them, they will not easily resist his works.
Satan does not speak until Yahweh speaks to him. He has his place, and cannot but act within the will of God. The Lord, showing His pleasure in Job, boasts of him to Satan.
Yahweh said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil." (Job 1:8)
God, knowing all things, has no need to learn from others. But His angels bring Him report of what goes on in the earth—perhaps it was even Job they were coming to report on to Yahweh. He prevents all of them, and points out Job to Satan.
Job was prized by God because although he was very blessed, having great wealth and a large family, he did not live for those things. He recognized that it was Yahweh Who provided everything—how rare this was, that God would say that there was none other like him in the earth at that time! This is what Yahweh takes pleasure in seeing, a man who loves and fears God more than his wealth.
Satan, as the adversary, despised such a thing. For, as the one who had exalted himself above his created position, he had been judged and thrown down to earth. He, unlike Job, prized what he had received from God over God Himself. To see Job recognized and praised by God was an insult to him. Satan's anger and hatred leads him to a desire to destroy that which reminds him of his own judgment.
Here is an insight into the nature of Satan—he resists what God is saying by twisting its truth. Yahweh says that Job is righteous because in the midst of his great wealth he yet fears God. Satan effectively says no, he does so only because he knows what he has won't be taken away. That, indeed, the possessions are more important than Yahweh.
10Haven't you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face." (Job 1:10-11)
This is the side of Satan that we know as the Devil, the False Accuser. He contends that Job really does not fear God and love goodness, but only worships for his own benefit. He slanders Job, as well as the testimony of Yahweh. He acts as the Devil, bringing railing accusations against God's chosen. Whereas Yahweh testified rightly about Job, recognizing his righteousness and fear of Him, Satan attempts to cast doubt on Job, twisting his actions as though coming from a different motive.
His desire was to have this righteous man, Job, as his personal project, to reveal that those who served God only did it for personal gain. That, unlike the testimony God gave concerning Job, this man really only made a show of honoring God in the hopes he could preserve his fleshly possessions.
This is the nature of Satan the Adversary—he opposes, he stands against, he resists. God says this man is truly righteous, Satan says he is not. And he does it in the presence of the other angels, bringing a contrary report. Just like the story of the 12 Israeli spies sent to the land of Canaan: only two brought a good report, whereas the other 10 opposed what God had said, that the Land was indeed a rich land, waiting to be taken by Israel. In the same way, Satan brings a contrary report about Job.
However, when Satan is shown to be wrong—as Job does not curse God but rather recognizes that everything is under His control (Job 1:20-22)—Satan does not totally give up. The story intimates that he relented for a time until he devised another way to oppose God. He did the same with the Son of God, coming with a wave of temptations (Luke 4:1-2), then leaving until another time (Luke 4:13).
Satan waited, but came again on another day (Job 2:1-2). God again testifies about Job, that he truly fears God and does no evil, regardless of what happens to him (Job 2:3). Satan's opposing of that testimony ultimately did not prevail, but was only used to justify what Yahweh had spoken.
But Satan even presses forward, saying that Job only serves God in the hopes of keeping his own health and well-being.
4Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face." 6Yahweh said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand. Only spare his life." 7So Satan went forth from the presence of Yahweh, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head. (Job 2:4-7)
Again, Job did not do as Satan said, but proved that God had testified rightly about him—he would not deny Yahweh even in the midst of pain and anguish, even at the goading of his wife. He persevered and God had mercy and compassion upon him.
Behold, we call them blessed who endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the Lord in the outcome, and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)
The rest of the book reveals many things, but in our study of Satan, we see that he does not give up easily. He opposes God and His people until victory comes.
The Enticer to Wandering
Throughout this ordeal, we also see Satan as the Deceiver. That word comes from the root, πλαναω, meaning, "to go astray, to wander, to roam about." As mentioned elsewhere, it is where we get our English word "planet," as they wander through the sky, opposed to stars which stay fixed in the sky. Satan tries to draw Job away from God through his afflicting of him and his family and possessions. He uses everything at his disposal, including even Job's own best friends, to try to get him to curse God and justify himself.
The Deceiver had specific methods he uses, which Paul reveals is one purpose of the ministry offices—to mature us beyond being tossed around by such methods (Ephesians 4:11-16)—these "methods of wandering" are devised by Satan, who is the original Wanderer. As he left the abode of Yahweh, in order to try to raise himself by himself, he became the inventor of many methods to draw others away in the same way. So he tried with Job, by using three things: material possessions, family, and health and personal well-being.
The apostle John also recognized these things as prizes of the world, but things we must not fall prey to; they will not last forever, but whoever does the will of God will.
15Don't love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love isn't in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn't the Father's, but is the world's. 17The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God's will remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
By attacking these things, he intended to cause Job to prize them more than Yahweh, which would have caused Job to wander away from God in mourning and trying to replace those things on his own.
This is the enemy that we, as believers in God through Christ, face every day. He remains subtle, working in the spirit realm, but he staunchly opposes the work of the Lord. When we run into resistance in trying to do the work of God, we must remember who it is that opposes that work—it is Satan, the Adversary. He is the Opponent of all good works, of all that Yahweh wills to accomplish in the earth before the next age.
We must learn from the teaching of scripture, that it is Satan who afflicts, who opposes, who wishes to test God's people, that we might not blame Him for the work of Satan. It is Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy; he wants to see the righteous fail and deny God when their natural man is corrupted. He will never accept the blessing of the righteous, so whenever we sense resistance to goodness, know that Satan and his angels are still at work and do not credit their destructive work to Yahweh, Who is love!
Last Accessed: June 23rd, 2022 - 8:12PM
Times Read: 1960
The Good Message
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
Email the Author
I welcome your questions, testimonies, suggestions and fellowship. Please contact me by using the form below.
If you are using this form on the same page as material I've written, the form will automatically let me know what material this is.
I am using this form rather than posting my email address because of spammers who harvest addresses from websites.
4Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face." (Job 2:4-5)