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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 2 - THE ADVERSARY (JOB 1:6-12, 21, 22; 2:1-10)

INTRODUCTION:  LAST WEEK WE SAW HOW JOB WENT FROM THE RICH, THE
FAMOUS AND THE BLESSED, TO THE INFAMOUS AND, SEEMINGLY, UNBLESSED.
HE LOST ALL OF HIS MATERIAL WEALTH, LOST HIS 10 CHILDREN, LOST HIS
HEALTH, AND WAS LEFT WITH HIS WIFE AND THREE FRIENDS.

     NO DOUBT JOB WAS ASKING HIMSELF WHY THIS HAPPENED.  SOMETIMES
ASK OURSELVES WHY WHEN TROUBLE COMES OUR WAY.  WELL, THIS WEEK WE
DO NOT HAVE TO WONDER, WE GET TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHY ALL OF THIS
HAPPENED.

I. BEHIND THE SCENES

     A. OPEN YOUR BIBLES WITH ME TO JOB (JUST BEFORE PS AND PROV)
     CHAPTER 1, AND I'LL READ TO YOU VERSES 6--12.

     B. THIS PAST WEEK MY KIDS AND I WERE STUDYING LUKE 12:8 WHERE
     IT SAYS, "WHOEVER ACKNOWLEDGES ME BEFORE MEN, THE SON OF MAN
     WILL ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE BEFORE THE ANGELS OF GOD."  SHORTLY
     THEREAFTER I WAS WORKING ON MY LESSON AND READ OUR TEXT:
          1. DO YOU THINK THAT MAYBE JOB WOULD HAVE LIKED TO AVOID
          THE AGGRAVATION AND NOT HAD GOD ACKNOWLEDGE HIM IN
          HEAVEN?

     C. LETS LOOK SERIOUSLY AT THIS WHOLE THING.

     D. THE KJV SAYS THAT THE "SONS OF GOD" ARE GATHERED TOGETHER,
     THE NIV SAYS "ANGELS."  DO YOU THINK THAT THE SONS OF GOD
     REFERS TO ANGELS?
          1. IS SATAN A SON OF GOD? (THE HEBREW WORD IS "BEN" 
          (BANE) AND IT MEANS DESCENDANT. SATAN WAS A CREATED BEING
          AND SO HE, THE ANGELS AND US ARE ALL SONS OF GOD.)

          2. THIS IS NOT A COUNCIL OF KINGS: THERE IS ONLY ONE 
          KING, THE LORD AND THOSE THAT MEET WITH HIM ARE CREATED
          BY HIM.

          3. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE ANGELS HAVE REGULAR MEETINGS
          WITH GOD?
          4. WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS MEETING? (TO PRESENT WHAT
          THEY HAD BEEN DOING.)

          5. GOD SAYS TO SATAN, WHERE HAVE YOU COME FROM?  
               a. DIDN'T GOD KNOW? 
               b. WHY DID HE ASK?
               c. WAS HE REALLY ASKING HIM WHAT HE HAD BEEN UP TO?

          6. I THINK THAT GOD WAS REALLY ASKING SATAN WHAT HE HAD
          BEEN UP TO.  HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOUR KIDS WHAT THEY HAVE
          BEEN DOING WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING THAT IS
          NOT RIGHT?
               a. WHAT DO THEY SAY? "JUST HANGING AROUND?" "JUST
               TALKING?"

               b. DID SATAN ADMIT THAT HE HAD BEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF
               MAKING A BUNCH OF TROUBLE? (NO! HE SAYS HE HAS BEEN
               WANDERING ABOUT.)

     E. SO GOD SAYS TO SATAN, "HAVE YOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB?
     HE IS BLAMELESS (KJV-PERFECT) AND UPRIGHT A MAN WHO FEARS GOD
     AND SHUNS EVIL"

          1. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT GOD SAID THIS?
          2. WOULD NOT GOD KNOW WHAT SATAN'S REACTION WOULD BE?
          3. WASN'T GOD NEEDLESSLY PUTTING JOB ON THE LINE?

     F. LETS PUT THIS IN A LITTLE DIFFERENT LIGHT. LETS ASSUME THAT
     SATAN SHOWED UP AT THIS MEETING AS A CHALLENGE TO GOD.  THAT
     HIS STATEMENT THAT HE HAD BEEN ROAMING THE EARTH WAS AN
     ASSERTION OF HIS CONTROL AND RULERSHIP OVER THE EARTH.  THAT
     HE WAS STICKING HIS FIST IN GOD'S FACE.
          1. IN THAT LIGHT, IS GOD'S REFERENCE TO JOB A STATEMENT
          THAT SATAN DOES NOT CONTROL THE EARTH? THAT GOD STILL HAS
          HIS LOYAL SUBJECTS?

          2. IS GOD'S DESCRIPTION OF JOB, A REBUKE TO SATAN IN THE
          SENSE THAT JOB IS WHAT SATAN SHOULD BE?

          3. IS THIS THE DUTY OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, TO 
          WILLINGLY WADE INTO THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL?

[SKIP TO II UNLESS NEED FOR DISCUSSION] a) WE WILL LOOK AT JOB'S
CHARACTER IN A LOT MORE DETAIL LATER, BUT I WANTED TO MENTION THE
KJV TRANSLATION IN WHICH GOD IS CALLING JOB "PERFECT."  THE HEBREW
WORK IS "TAM" AND VINE'S SAYS THAT THE MEANING IS NOT THAT JOB WAS
REALLY "PERFECT" IN THE ULTIMATE SENSE, BUT RATHER THAT HE WAS
"BLAMELESS" OR "HAD INTEGRITY."

II. GOD'S AUTHORITY, POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY.

     A. LETS CONSIDER SATAN'S RESPONSE. WHAT CHARGES DOES SATAN 
     MAKE? I SEE THREE OF THEM IN 1:9-11. WHAT ARE THEY?
     
          1. FIRST HE CHALLENGES GOD'S CHARACTER: PEOPLE LIKE YOU
          BECAUSE YOU GIVE GIFTS, NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTHY OF
          LOVE.

          2. THEN HE CHALLENGES JOB'S CHARACTER: JOB IS IN IT FOR
          THE MONEY AND THE PROTECTION. HE DOES NOT SERVE GOD
          BECAUSE HE LOVES HIM.

          3. IF GOD'S CARE IS TAKEN AWAY, JOB WILL CURSE GOD.

     B. WE ARE LOOKING RIGHT NOW AT ONE OF THE MAJOR THEMES OF THE
     BOOK. ONE THEME IS WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?  BUT ANOTHER
     THEME IS WHY DO WE SERVE GOD. LETS CONSIDER THESE IN TURN:

          1. LET ME ASK YOU: WOULD YOU SERVE GOD IF THERE WERE 
          NOTHING IN IT FOR YOU?  NO HEAVEN. NO PROTECTION FROM
          PROBLEMS. WE LIKE TO SAY THAT FOLLOWING GOD'S WILL MAKES
          FOR A BETTER LIFE. ASSUME THAT IS NOT TRUE.

          2. CAN YOU SAY THAT, "I'VE SEEN THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN
          GOD AND SATAN, I'VE CHOSEN SIDES, AND THAT IS THAT. I
          DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE!

          3. DO YOU THINK THAT WE NEED TO SAY THAT? (IT SEEMS TO BE
          A CHARGE THAT SATAN THROWS UP TO GOD.  IF THIS WERE NOT
          A PROBLEM, WHY WOULDN'T GOD SAY, "SO WHAT?"
          
          4. ESPECIALLY DURING EASTER WEEKEND. I HOPE WE CAN WE 
          SAY, "I'VE SEEN ENOUGH OF THE CONTROVERSY, BETWEEN GOOD
          AND EVIL, I HAVE CHOSEN SIDES AND I'M A VOLUNTEER!

     C. LETS LOOK AT SATAN'S THIRD CHARGE OF CURSING GOD. LOOK AT
     JOB 1:5. JOB'S FEAR IN LIFE WAS THAT HIS CHILDREN WOULD CURSE
     GOD IN THEIR HEART.  THEN IN JOB 1:11 SATAN SAYS THAT JOB WILL
     CURSE GOD TO HIS FACE.  THEN IN JOB 2:5 SATAN REPEATS THE
     CHARGE. THEN IN JOB 2:9 JOB'S WIFE SAYS THAT HE SHOULD CURSE
     GOD AND DIE.
          1. WHAT IS CURSING GOD?  THIS SIN THAT SEEMS TO HOLD 
          CENTER COURT IN THIS STORY?

          2. DOES MAN HAVE THE POWER TO CURSE GOD? (NO ONE IN THIS
BOOK DOUBTS THAT GOD HAS HIS HAND ON THE THROTTLE, THAT WHAT
HAPPENS, HAPPENS BECAUSE GOD DOES IT OR BECAUSE HE PERMITS IT. 
WHEN JOB REFUSED TO CURSE GOD, HE SIMPLY SAID THAT GOD WAS IN
CHARGE AND THAT WAS THAT.  THE MAN WHO WOULD CURSE GOD WOULD SECOND
GUESS GOD.  HE WOULD BE THE SAME ONE WHO WOULD SAY THAT HE KNEW
MORE THAN GOD.  AND THE ABILITY TO CURSE COMES FROM HAVING A HIGHER
AUTHORITY. SO CURSING GOD IS THE ATTITUDE THAT MAN KNOWS BEST, HE
IS A HIGHER AUTHORITY.)
 

     D. SATAN SUGGESTS THAT GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR JOB'S BLESSINGS.
     DO YOU THINK THAT GOD IS "RESPONSIBLE" FOR THE GOOD AND BAD
     THAT HAPPENS?
          1. IF HE IS NOT, WHY DIDN'T GOD SAY, "HEY, HE WAS ON HIS
          OWN?"

          2. DO YOU THINK THAT TIME AND CHANCE HAPPEN TO US ALL?

     E. LETS LOOK AT THE ISSUE OF GOD'S CONTROL IN 1:12. WHY DID
     GOD SAY SATAN COULD NOT TOUCH THE MAN? YET WE WILL SEE
     SHORTLY, THAT GOD LETS SATAN TOUCH JOB? (IT WAS NOT A MATTER
     OF PRINCIPLE, OR GOD WOULD NEVER HAVE LET SATAN TOUCH JOB. IT
     SHOWS GOD IS IN CONTROL.)
     
          1. DO YOU REMEMBER THE "PRECISION BOMBING" THAT WE 
          ATTRIBUTED TO SATAN LAST WEEK? (ONE PERSON SURVIVES,
          MARAUDERS, LIGHTENING, WIND STORMS)

          2. IS GOD MORE PRECISE, AND THEREFORE MORE TO BE FEARED? 
IN THAT GOD CONTROLS THE PRECISE DEVIL?

     F. IF SATAN CAN BE SO PRECISE, DO YOU THINK THAT WE SELL GOD
SHORT IF WE SAY THAT SOMETHING "JUST HAPPENED" FOR NO REASON?
     
          1. BUT DO YOU GET MAD, AND FEEL THE NEED TO DEFEND GOD IF
          SOMEONE SAYS ABOUT SOME TRAGEDY THAT, "ITS GOD'S WILL?"
          
          2. WAS IT GOD'S WILL THAT JOB'S BLESSINGS BE TAKEN AWAY?
(ULTIMATELY THE BUCK STOPS AT GOD. AND GOD ACCEPTS IT. LOOK AT 2:3.
GOD TAKES THE BLAME FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO JOB! I THINK THAT IT WAS
NOT "GOD'S WILL" THAT JOB BE HURT, BUT IT IS HIS WILL, AS PART OF
THE CONROVERSY BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL THAT IT HAPPEN.)

     G. IN MATT 10:30 AND LUKE 12:7 IT SAYS THAT THE "VERY HAIRS OF
YOUR HEAD ARE ALL NUMBERED.  DON'T BE AFRAID; YOU ARE WORTH MORE
THAN MANY SPARROWS."
          1. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT GOD KNOWS HOW MANY HAIRS WE HAVE
PUT DOES NOT HAVE CLOSE AND INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF EVERYING THAT
HAPPENS TO US?
          2. IS GOD JUST SOME SORT OF WALKING ENCYLOPEDIA OF
TRIVIA, WITHOUT THE POWER AND CONTROL OVER WHAT HAPPENS?
          
     H. DOES GOD PUT A HEDGE AROUND THOSE WHO SERVE HIM?
     (YES.  BUT JOB (AND HIS WIFE) SHOWS US HOW THIS IS NOT ALWAYS
THE CASE.)

     I. DOES THE FACT THAT SOMEONE HAS A "HEDGE" AROUND THEM MEAN
THAT GOD HAS PUT IT THERE? 

III. THE NEXT ASSEMBLY

     A. READ JOB 2:1-6. GOD SAYS, "I WAS RIGHT.  JOB IS STILL
FAITHFUL." (PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!)

     B. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE GOD BRAGGING ABOUT YOU?

     C. WHAT IS SATAN'S EXCUSE NOW? IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND
EXACTLY WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM "SKIN FOR SKIN."  ONE REASONABLE
EXPLANATION IS THAT JOB WAS SELFISH, AND ALTHOUGH HE HAD LOST ALL
OF HIS POSSESSIONS, BECAUSE HE HAD NOT BEEN PERSONALLY TOUCHED, HE
DID NOT REALLY CARE.  SATAN SAYS IF I CAN GET TO HIM PERSONALLY,
THINGS HE WILL THEN CURSE YOU GOD.

     D. BUT WE SEE IN v. 10, THAT EVEN THOUGH SATAN TOUCHED JOB
PERSONALLY, HE STILL REMAINED FAITHFUL.

     E. WE SEE NOW WHAT HAPPENED TO JOB AND WHY.  WE SEE THAT SATAN
WAS WRONG AND GOD WAS RIGHT ABOUT JOB.  WE SEE THAT JOB WAS
FAITHFUL. ALTHOUGH THAT MIGHT SEEM TO BE THE END OF THE STORY, NONE
OF THIS IS KNOWN ON EARTH.  SO WE TURN NEXT WEEK TO HOW THE PEOPLE
ON EARTH ANALYZED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND WHY.

IV. NEXT WEEK: STUDY JOB 3-5. JOB'S THREE FRIENDS