Heaven. THE LORD in impeccable white, radiant on his throne. SATAN, stepping ahead of the gathered Sons of God, squints into the brightness.
THE LORD (Making eye contact with SATAN) Have you considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil? (Shrugging) He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.
SATAN (Frustration and anger contorting his face) Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. (Whipping forth his hand) But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.
A pause ensues where THE LORD sits back, finger tapping his chin, seeming to consider the challenge, though in an exaggerated, almost mocking kind of way. Suddenly, he leans forward like a judge about to close with the final word.
THE LORD Behold, he is in your hand. (Jerking his head in dismissal) Only spare his life.
So Satan, with tunnel vision, leaves the presence of the Lord. Unlike the first four waves where he sent people and natural calamity to smite Job, this time he favours the one-on-one. (Job 2:7)
Just days before, Job, consumed by grief, had already torn his garment and shaved his head. Imagine him struck yet again, sitting in rubble and ashes, his robe now dirty and ragged. He picks up a shard of pottery. The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt pulsing inside his head, he gingerly scrapes the painful sores and the peeling skin.
The devil can’t help but linger. Revelling in perverse glory—Job loathing his own life, cursing the day he was born, even questioning God—surely this last card, Satan’s ace, has dealt the death blow.
In true character, the exiled Lucifer went gung-ho to the edge of the line that God himself drew. For Satan will never shorten his arm. Again and again if he can, he’ll shove you to the limit.
I have comforted many times my weeping wife who, like Job, had to bury her own child. 18-year-old young man once bursting with life, struck down by meningitis. It is impossible to understand. Why would God sometimes draw the line in the deepest, darkest pit in the valley? How is it even Job, the epitome of one blameless and blessed, in the span of an hour, becomes the epitome of the utterly smitten?
Consider Christ. The Word of Almighty God. His only begotten son. Righteousness clothed for a time in flesh to give his all and then be smitten, forsaken, slaughtered.
But Satan’s joy was short-lived because much more than a crucifixion happened. The rolling away of the stone happened. Jesus happened!
Those of us who believe in him, though our bodies die—though we might even have to lay our children to rest—we shall live and see our beloved again.
This gives your hand authority over the hand of Satan. Who aims to take you down despite his imposed limit, that wonderful God-drawn line marking the wall where opposition always ends.
The leading archenemy, yes. A major character—in a theatrical sense—but on God’s stage, he ain’t no co-star. Satan, Lucifer, The Devil—by any name, he’s simply the lesser hand.