Read Job 1:1-22
Sometimes conversations about you take place when you are not there. We call it “talking behind your back,” and we typically don’t appreciate it when we know that it happens. But that is the problem. We don’t always know when it happens.
Job sure didn’t! While he was enjoying a life richly blessed with livestock, possessions, and family, others were talking about him. The “others” in this instance were not the neighbors in the house next door who were jealous of all he had. No, these talkers were none other than the God of heaven and His adversary, Satan. And their location was heaven itself. (Sidebar #1: Even though Satan currently has access to heaven as the “accuser of the brothers,” no worries, God is stronger!)
So, before the calamity broke loose in Job’s life, Satan dialogued with God. God’s premise was that Job was a godly man. Satan countered that Job was just a spoiled son of an overprotective Father. But God responded, saying that Job was no wimp. He could withstand the best that Satan could deliver. While God gave Satan permission to attack Job, He also defined the limitations. (Sidebar #2: God has your back! He boasts about, strengthens, and protects His children, even when they go through hard times!)
Suddenly, without knowledge of that conversation, Job’s blessed life was turned upside down! On that day, people approached, each telling an “I’m the only one left” tale of tragedy. Each messenger brought devastating news that was the result of this unheard conversation in heaven. Each message was enough to cause a lesser man to crumble.
While others might have cursed God, he chose to bless Jehovah. Though Job knew nothing about the heavenly conversation, he did understand something about stewardship. In spite of the circumstances he experienced, he was still able to worship the One who had every right to give and to take away. (Sidebar #3: If your greatest prize is the Giver of the gifts rather than His gifts themselves, you can praise Him in the face of catastrophe.)
Yes, Satan sometimes has permission to attack you, but you don’t have to jettison your confidence in God!