The Unseen Conflict — Part 1

Sermon delivered on March 12th, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Job 1

 

Introduction

We all live in a fallen world. We live in a world with much sorrow and pain. There is no one here today who lives an "easy life". A "problem free life" is not reality. It is an illusion. It is just a wishful thinking. Because reality is,  whether we like it or not, we all came into this world and find ourselves in a world filled with challenges and difficulties. Reality is, we live in the midst of spiritual warfare. This war is not a physical war in which the enemy can be clearly and visibly seen. We have an enemy that cannot be seen. Our enemy is subtle. He is cunning. He is deceptive. But we do not have to be ignorant of his devices because they are clearly revealed in the Scripture. In the third chapter of Genesis, Satan and his devices have been exposed. We saw in the Garden, how he deceived our first parents; how he attacked them. We saw how he attacked in disguise, with doubts and with our own desires.

 

In the opening chapter of Job, the veil is once again pulled back and exposing our enemy. You and I are actually allowed to see and hear the dialogue that is taking place in Heaven. Again we find our enemy, as usual, attacking and this time he is attacking a man named Job.

 

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; ...

Here we are introduced to Job. Job was real man with a real life, with a real name, who lived in a real place. This is not a parable. This is a real story of a real man. Job is mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20). He is also mentioned by James in ...

James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11: Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end (purpose) of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

 

The Integrity of Job

Job 1:1 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

This man Job is described as the greatest of all men in the east. He is perfect and upright and one who reverences God and departs from evil. Perfect here does not mean he is sinless but he is beyond reproach. He is marked by integrity and honesty and fidelity. Upright, he walks righteously. He does what is right. Fear God, reverences God. Eschewed evil, he resists temptation and he avoids sin. 

 

The Prosperity of Job

Job, is not only known for his integrity, but he is also known for his prosperity.

 

Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 

Job has a large family, which is always regarded in the Bible as a mark of prosperity. 

 

Job 1:3 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. 

He also has great property. He is a prosperous man. He is the wealthiest man in this part of the world, yet Job knew and feared God. It is therefore possible with God for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:26).

 

So, Job is admirable in every way and yet we know how the rest of the story will unfold - he will be attacked by the enemy. Job will be severely tried and as a result he will suffer in a way it is hard for us to comprehend. He will not suffer because of what is wrong in his life, he will be deemed worthy by God to suffer for the name of God and bring glory to the Lord.

 

Sometimes we suffer because of our own sin and wrong choices. Sometimes we suffer because of someone's sinful choices. Sometimes we suffer because God wants to test our faith. Sometimes we suffer because God wants to sanctify us yet more to wean us off of the world. But the highest level of suffering is suffering for the glory of God.

 

Today we are going to look at how the Devil attacked Job. This will be a two-part message for there are so much we could learn from this chapter alone.

 

I - The Devil Attacks by Defamation (Slander)

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 

Now, in this verse we are told that the angelic beings came to present themselves before the LORD and Satan somehow managed to insert himself with the angelic beings.  When the angels appeared before God, Satan was among them, even as there was a Judas among the apostles.

 

Job 1:7 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. 

God is not asking this to gain information for God is omniscient. God knows everything. God knows where the Devil has been and so the purpose of the question is to bring out into the open the activities of Satan himself. 

 

Job 1:7 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. 

Satan is a busy enemy. He roams the earth continually. He never rests. He is busy and yet accomplishing nothing good.

 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan walks about like a lion, prowling and growling, seeking someone to destroy. That is what Satan is doing. He roams the earth and is completely occupied with his mission with the help of his untold number of demons - blinding minds, deceiving people, stealing and attacking God's word, spreading false doctrine, opposing churches, hindering God's work, destroying families, inflicting sickness. No wonder he is called the "wicked one" and "the evil". Satan is alive and well on planet earth and committed to his wickedness. 

 

Job 1:8 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? 

This is an honor for Job for his name to be mentioned as God challenges Satan. It just shows  that God has high regard for Job. God must have high estimation of Job or He would not even bring up his name. 

 

Job 1:8 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? 

This is not a description of Job by another fellow human being which we know to well is prone to error and exaggeration. No, this is a description of Job by God. God repeats what we read in verse one.

 

What is Satan doing in Heaven?

On the earth, roaming around and stalking his prey, watching for an opportunity to ensnare and destroy, but in heaven he is accusing and slandering believers.

 

Satan is so crafty. He is so devilishly brilliant. When God issued the challenge, Satan responded ...

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10: 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. 11: But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 

 

We see here Satan attacked Job by defaming him, by accusing him before God. He attacked Job by slander. He is just like his name says. The Greek word for "devil" is "diabolos" meaning a "accuser" or "slanderer". He is the false accuser. He is the slanderer. Satan accuses Job of serving God for purely selfish motives; for what Job can receive from God.

 

Satan's accusation against is that, Job is not real. "He does not really love you, God. He only serves you because of what he can get from you. He only worships you because of  you shower him with blessings. If you would remove these blessings, Job will show his true color, he will curse you to your face.So essentially, Satan's accusation against Job is that Job is just using God.

 

He not only accuses Job, he also accuses God. His accusation is that the only reason Job worships God is because God paid him to do so. No one really would worship God out of  God's majesty and glory and beauty. The only reason Job worships God is because God blessed him and has set a hedge of protection around him.

 

In the Garden, Satan came casting doubts on the goodness of God. He told Eve, "God is not being good to you. God does not love you. God is holding out on you. God is holding back on you. If God really loves you like He claims that He loves you, He would let you eat from this tree. God is just trying to prohibit your life. But if you eat of this tree you will be like God and your eyes will be opened."

 

And then we come to Job 1 and rather than Satan talking to Eve about God, now the Satan comes to God and talks to God about Job.  And he tries from a totally different angle. Now he says, "You are too good to them. That is the reason why they worship you. That is the reason they follow you. You are too good to them."

 

He says to God, "You are too good to men.He says to man, "God is not good enough to you."

 

Satan challenges God to withdraw all of His blessings upon Job and the hedge about him and Job will curse Him to His face.

 

Do you see how cunning, how subtle, how brilliant Satan is? We are no match against our Adversary. He can turn anyone of us around in circle in seconds. Left to ourselves he can make us think wrong is right and right is wrong. Left to ourselves he could make us think evil is good and good is evil. In a heart beat Satan could make us think that there is nothing wrong with abortion, with divorce, with same sex marriage. This is why Paul says in ...

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

 

I have to quit here for now. Next Sunday we will see the other two attacks of the the Devil on Job, namely: The Devil Attacks with Discouragement and The Devil Attacks with Despair. And finish it up with Job's responds to these attacks.

 

Closing Thoughts

Satan is the accuser of the brethren. 

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

 

Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

The word literally means to attack or to slander. It comes from a court room setting in which a prosecuting attorney would bring criminal charges against the defendant. That is what Satan is. He is a prosecuting attorney who is appearing before the throne of God and he is dredging up dirt from our lives and he is bringing them before the throne of God and he is seeking a charge of indictment against you and against me. 

 

That is why everyone of us needs a defense attorney to represent us in Heaven against the Satan's charges. And that is the role of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ the righteous is our Advocate with the Father. And I want you know that He has not lost a case. And everyone whom He has ever represented in the Courts of Heaven before Judge the Father by answering the accusation of Satan, He pleads His own perfect merit. And He has never fail but to successfully defend us in that time. 

 

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

When have an Advocate with the Father; one who has undertaken, and is fully able, to plead in behalf of every one who applies for pardon and salvation in his name, depending on his pleading for them. He is Jesus, the Saviour, and Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed. He alone is the Righteous One, who received his nature pure from sin, and as our Surety perfectly obeyed the law of God, and so fulfilled all righteousness. All men, in every land, and through successive generations, are invited to come to God through this all-sufficient atonement, and by this new and living way. The gospel, when rightly understood and received, sets the heart against all sin, and stops the allowed practice of it; at the same time it gives blessed relief to the wounded consciences of those who have sinned.

 

Do you have Jesus Christ as your Advocate? Do you have Jesus Christ as your Defense Attorney who is able to defend you? Who is pleading your Case? Who is pleading your cause? O, if you do not have Jesus Christ as your Advocate, run to Him in faith. Come to One who has never lost a case!

 

AMEN!