I read the Book of Job yesterday (for the 100th time), and I once again find myself both troubled and uplifted. I’m troubled because I ponder why the Lord our God would let the devil do ALL he did to Job when Job was such a loyal and Godly man? The thought of God letting that happen to Job, one of His most faithful servants, just to prove a point to the devil makes little sense. Why would God need to prove anything? Who cares if Job is rewarded at the end, I would rather have my loved ones than riches and the family that I started with – just saying. Anyway, Job’s perseverance through trying times says a lot. – C.S.
This is a very thought-provoking question. And your conclusion that “it makes little sense” that God would allow Satan to attack to prove a point is absolutely valid. I understand how perplexing the Book of Job can be, and believe me; you are not alone. As I pondered and prayed about how to respond, it became clear that this topic deserves an in-depth scholarly answer. In fact, your question has inspired a Bible teaching that will be included (God willing) in my Precious Gems book series. Thank you for reaching out.
With that in mind, let’s begin at the beginning…
The Hosts of Heaven and Man
The Bible says, “You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You” (Nehemiah 9:6 NKJV).
In this Scripture, the concept of the earth must be understood from the perspective of heaven – not from man’s perspective, and the term host is referencing angels. Please allow me to explain systematically.
Rarely does one consider that heaven and earth were a tandem creation. Earth was created in the first cosmic day along with heaven, the heaven of heavens, and all the angelic hosts. The Bible often refers to heaven as the “Mountain of God” or “God’s Holy Mountain.” If we look closely at Scripture, we will see that the earth was once connected to this Mountain of God by a sort of staircase (sometimes referred to as “a ladder”). It was on this Mountain that God planted a garden. Ezekiel 28 is full of Eden imagery and refers multiple times to the ‘Mountain of God’ as a mountain of fiery stones and angelic inhabitation.
We know the earth is comprised of layers of mineral compounds such as nickel, aluminum, iron, calcium, and strata of rock or sediment. Within the sediment layers are veins of crystallized compounds that we call precious stones such as quartz, amethyst, emeralds, or diamonds. These stones result from enormous pressure and heat, resulting in a fiery brilliance that illuminates the stone.
We read that God’s Holy Mountain is a mountain of lavish and brilliant foundational stones as well. (See Revelation 21:10-15.) As man was made from the earth’s components, we see the components of one angel, in particular, being made of God’s unique Holy Mountain components.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created, they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the Holy Mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked” (Ezekiel 28:13-14 ESV).
God’s Mountain is known to have pathways of gold and structures made of gems. It is a resplendent mountain!
Where is the Mountain Located?
It’s important to note that the great flood changed the earth’s physical terrain, significantly moving mountains and covering land that once existed. So, looking for the physical Mountain of God (heaven on earth) is not possible. But the nonexistence of the physical Mountain does not change its existence in the spiritual realm. When man (created as a physical and spiritual entity) lost his spiritual glory and capacity to live in God’s Paradise, he was banished from the garden where angels trod, and God resides. God’s Holy Mountain was no longer obtainable to man in his lower “fleshly” state. After the fall, there is still (spiritual) access to the garden that contains the Tree of Life, but it is guarded by an angel with a flaming refiners sword, as we read in Genesis 3:24. No one can enter the garden unless this awesome sword removes all that is not pure – dividing soul and spirit. Jacob’s vision affirms this as the ladder where the angels still ascend and descend to the earth. It is assumed that this guardian angel of Eden is the one that wrestled with Jacob.
Messiah Yeshua Allows Us Access
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father” (Psalm 2:6,7 NIV).
Yeshua sits on the right hand of God and rules from the heavenly Mount Zion, God’s Holy Mountain. But as for man, how can he or she enter the Mountain of God? Yeshua has opened up the way! One must be born again of Christ (the second Adam), washed from unrighteousness and changed in his heart as Messiah enters in by the Holy Spirit.
“Who may go up on the Mountain of Adonai? Who may stand in His holy place? One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully. He will receive a blessing from Adonai, righteousness from God his salvation” (Psalm 24:3-5 TLV).
It is clear from Scripture God created man from the earth and brought him to the Mountain to tend a garden that He planted there. Man was made in glory, walked and conversed with God in the cool of the day, and even dwelt among the holy angels. God thought so highly of His creation that He gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth he created (directly below His Mountain) and told them to rule over it.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen — Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas” (Psalms 8:4-8 NKJV).
Imagine being crowned with glory and honor! Clearly, mankind was adored and loved by the God of Creation. In fact, according to Genesis 1:27 (NLT), “… God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female, he created them.” Wow! God created us in His own image, but what does that really mean?
It means that mankind has been created to represent God on the earth. God deliberately created mankind to rule the earth and all that was in it and to accomplish God’s purpose. He created mankind as His representation, making them His co-regents (or deputized rulers) on the earth.
The Heavenly Hosts
The word angel means “messenger” or “agent.” The Bible tells us that the angels (aka; the hosts of heaven) were witnesses to the world’s creation, which indicates they were created before that great event. God asked Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,7 NIV).
From their position on God’s Holy Mountain, the angels watched Him create all that was within the earth, even the first man, Adam. According to Genesis 2:8 (NKJV), the angels were present when, “…the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.” They were witnesses to God’s declaration that both Adam and Eve were made in His image, and they heard Him charge the humans to rule over the earth in the sovereignty of God’s will.
Remember, Eden was not on the earth as we know it, but above it (albeit still connected) on the Mount of God (heaven). I can see God forming man on the earth from the elements of its foundations, then bringing Adam up the staircase to the garden that He especially planted for him. God breathed life into the man creating him to live forever in glory and shining brightness.
Among the heavenly hosts, there was a commanding cherub named Lucifer. We see a succinct portrait of this beautiful creature in Ezekiel 28:12-14 (NKJV and NIV).
“… You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: … You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.”
From this Scripture, we know that Lucifer was in the garden on the Mountain of God (Later in the text, we see him thrown to the earth from there). We can then determine by linking this text with the Genesis account that this anointed cherub was in Eden at Adam and Eve’s creation. Thus, this wise cherub was privy to God’s divine plan—a plan he decided to sabotage.
Lucifer is called a snake, or serpent, in Genesis 3:1. The Hebrew word nachash does not mean reptile as it is understood in English, but rather it is an idiomatic word that means deceiver or cunning one.
It appears the once beautiful cherub thought God’s creation, man, was not suitable to bear God’s image on the earth and rule over it. Knowing he was of higher authority, wisdom, and beauty, Lucifer’s pride gave way to jealousy and deception as he confronted Adam and Eve in the garden.
A Jealous Cherub
And so, Lucifer, now known as Satan (the adversary), deceived man into betraying God, proving them to be unworthy to be called the “image of God” on earth. Therefore, he conquered them and took their possessions (the earth and its dominion) as a spoil. He proved to God that he was the victor over man as Adam and Eve bowed to his instruction rather than God’s.
It was then Satan was driven from the mount of God and thrown to the earth.
“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So, I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So, I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings…. “(Ezekiel 28:14-17 NIV).
Likewise, man was banished, the stairway to heaven was disengaged, and man was barred from entering. When man fell, he lost his way and was now subject to the jealous cherub’s rule that led the rebellion.
We see rebellion against God first showing up in Lucifer in the garden of Eden. Ezekiel 28:2 (NIV) reveals the thoughts of the deceiver’s heart as he declares, “…I am a god, I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.”
These words mirror what the apostle Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV) about the lawless “man of sin” who will one day be revealed. “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Satan Sets Up the Dark Kingdom
Now known as the “prince of this world,” Satan continues to have dominion over this present age. From the beginning of his rule, he has set up principalities and uses his angelic powers over regions of the conquered earth.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).
However, we know this isn’t the end of the story. God has not abandoned us. He has a plan to redeem man back unto Himself, give His creation power to navigate through the dark ruling kingdom, and then ultimately restore all things to divine perfection as it was initially intended.
We learn from Moses in Deuteronomy 32:7 (BST) that God was a righteous judge and oversaw the process of determining the boundaries and limitations against the spiritual hosts of wickedness and all they obtained through man’s acquiescing to Satan.
“Remember the days of old, consider the years for past ages: ask thy father, and he shall relate to thee, thine elders, and they shall tell thee. When the Most High divided the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the nations’ bounds according to the number of the angels of God. And His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, Israel was the line of His inheritance.”
This indicates that even though Satan had “legally” obtained the earth through Adam’s obedience to him, God still had a watchful eye and was overseeing the fallen angels that were set up as principalities over regions of the earth.
Notice that God made an allotment for Himself, a future nation, Israel. Israel is His inheritance on the earth. It would be through this inheritance that He would assign the archangel Michael as the prince (or watcher) over His nation. God was able to break through the darkness by a covenant He would make with Abraham to one day bring salvation to all nations overcoming their dark overlords. (See Daniel 10 for an explanation of Israel’s Prince, Michael.)
The Persecution of Job
During the time of Job (before the coming of the Redeemer and the power of the Holy Spirit), the inhabitants of the earth were subjected to the ruling powers of the fallen angels (also known as the Sons of God). Still, God had power in His heavenly court where these angels were called to assemble and give account.
In Job 1:6 (NKJV), we learn, “there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.” During one of these divine council meetings, Satan came and stood before the Judge of heaven to accuse all mankind of evil and thus find legal grounds of torment and destruction.
In Job 1:8-12 (NASB), we are privy to the conversation that ensued between God and Satan, where God boasts about a particular man who did not succumb to the temptation to bow down to elemental spirits but instead worshipped the Creator of the universe.
“The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But reach out with Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will certainly curse You to Your face.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not reach out and put your hand on him.” So, Satan departed from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1:8-12 NAS).
Because Job worshipped God instead of the powers of the air (the fallen angels), he had God’s blessing intervening and overriding the evil spiritual government of the earth. Yet, the earth belonged to Satan, and as such, the evil prince pressed his right to impose his “wares” upon Job.
Temptation, self-indulgence, and pleasure are the “wares” Satan peddles in his kingdom on earth. His subjects, however, are also victims of his violence. Satan brings with him sickness, death, destruction, and calamity. His hatred constantly bombards mankind as the accuser goes before the council of God and gloats over the failures of man’s lack of “God’s righteousness.”
However, one crucial thing we must recognize from the story of Job is that God set a limit on what Satan could do. This shows that there are boundaries to Satan’s authority in this world, and he cannot act outside of God’s will.
Many pray in faith for God to intervene not only in their personal lives but also for mankind. The Psalmist, in desperation, makes a plea to God to deliver the earth quickly from the fallen angelic dominion.
“God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods, He holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken (Psalm 82:1-5 RSV).
Yet the earth is only temporarily shaken. God is not unjust, and time will prove that. This is why He says to be patient until the end—we will receive what He has promised. God has always planned to win back the world and its dominion from the evil one and overturn the curse of death passed down from Adam and Eve, spiritual and physical death. Though we may not understand all the details and timing, know God loves His creation and has revealed a three-phase plan of rescue in His Word.
God’s Three-Phase Plan of Rescue
- Redemption from our sinful Adamic nature through His Messiah, Yeshua.
- Power from on High by the giving of the Holy Spirit to His reborn saints to wage warfare with this present darkness and the elemental forces that have taken residence. It is by this means Spirit-filled believers can navigate through this unrighteous world system of Satan.
- The judgment of Satan (and those who have aligned themselves with him) and the restoration of all things – even the whole earth as He merges the physical world back to the Heavenly state as it was in the beginning.
Sending the Redeemer to Save All Who Turn to Him
God physically came into this world in the form of the second Adam—Jesus—to correct the mistake of the first Adam. When Satan realized Yeshua had come for the kingdom that Adam gave away, he tried the same tactic as he did with the first Adam. Deception.
“And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory, for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I want. Therefore, if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus replied to him, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’” (Luke 4:5-8 NASB).
Satan was unable to sway Yeshua in his steadfast devotion to God.
Even when Satan orchestrated a plan for Yeshua’s arrest, scourging, and crucifixion, the Son of God willingly went along. He suffered to overcome the power of death that was the actual curse of Adam. Shortly before His arrest, Yeshua said to His disciples, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30 NKJV).
Because of the redemptive work of Christ, God’s children are now born again into the 2nd Adam. We are new creatures in Christ, born again in Him (by trust), and are set free from the curse of sin and death brought by the first Adam. When we die, we immediately go into the presence of God (through the portal where the angel guards the Tree of Life, and there we await the resurrection of our physical bodies). However, if we are still alive at the time of restoration (The Resurrection), we are instantly changed and united with all the saints of heaven.
When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him when He pardoned us all our transgressions. He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. After disarming the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15 TLV).
The Giving of the Spirit
To live and navigate in the fallen world, born again believers have been given a “helper” who is the Holy Spirit. He inhabits man in his inner being. Believers operate in the power of the Holy Spirit, and Satan has nothing over God as Scripture teaches in Proverbs 21:30 (TLV), “There is no wisdom, there is no understanding, there is no counsel against Adonai.”
Concerning the spirit inside of us, we can trust that, “ You are from God, children, and you have overcome them because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 TLV). We can also trust that “[Christ] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God. Angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him” (1 Peter 3:22 NKJV).
In his letter to the people of Galatia, it’s interesting to note that Paul compares the new believers (who are now inheritors to the kingdom of God) to children who will one day receive an inheritance from their earthly father, but until that time, they are under the oversight of “trustees.” And to the people of Ephesus, he explains God’s eternal purpose.
“…the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So, with us; when we were children (before Christ), we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe” (Galatians 4:1-3 RSV).
“…the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church (born of the spirit) the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11 RSV).
The apostle Paul has a message to those who once believed in God’s Messiah, but because they gave in to the temptation of the prince of this world, they have backslidden into their old ways, re-subjecting themselves to the principalities of this world.
“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?” (Galatians 4:9 RSV).
Backsliding has been a weakness in God’s children, as we see in this account of the children of Israel going back to worship these fallen angels:
“So, they [Israel and Judah], left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal” (2 Kings 17:16 NKJV). Also, see 2 Kings 21:3.
The Judgment and Restoration
God, all along, had a plan of rescue. He is now about to perform His final phase.
“…That He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times” (Acts 3:20-21).
When Phase Three begins, here is what will happen. God will separate those who are His from those who refuse Him (i.e., wheat from tares – sheep from goats). The believers will be translated into heavenly clouds of glory to wait until His wrath passes (see Isaiah 26:30). He will battle Satan, who will embody the one world leader. All the armies from the nations who curse and judge God’s nation where He chose to place His Name and His throne will be gathered in one place. (God judges the nations by how they treat Israel.) He will smite them with the brightness of His coming and will conquer them in the battle called Armageddon. The rulers and principalities of darkness will not hold on to their positions of power any longer.
“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels” (Hebrews 2:5 NKJV).
God had already declared to these angels, who have unjustly ruled the nations, what their outcome will be:
“I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for to Thee belong all the nations!” (Psalms 82:6-8 RSV).
The Restored World to Come
Just as the Psalmist above speaks of the eventual fate of these heavenly princes, the prophet Isaiah reveals more about their coming punishment:
“So, it will happen in that day, that the LORD will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth. They will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon and will be confined in prison, and after many days they will be punished” (Isaiah 24:21-22 NASU).
Unmasking the Enemy
Once God judges and separates His people, He will send His wrath upon the anti-Messiah leader, the fallen ruling angels, and all the kings and nations that obeyed the kingdom of darkness as they went to battle against God and His Holy City, Jerusalem. Then comes the Restoration as God connects the earth back to the Holy Mountain. We will watch as God’s heavenly city comes down, and the two shall once again become one as it was in the beginning. The following Scripture passages assure us of this;
“Now it will come about that in the last days, The Mountain of the House of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it” (Isaiah 2:2 NAS).
“Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD” (Isaiah 11:9 NLT).
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down” (Revelation 12:10 NKJV).
Job realized God’s plan was a wonderful mystery that was beyond his limited human ability to understand. This, too, we must come to understand. That all will be restored. We are to endure and be patient until God has put every enemy under His feet, defeating Satan and restoring His Kingdom with mankind as co-heirs once again.
Job also realized that through every trial, God was actively pursuing His plan. He refused to question the divine works of God. From his example, we also must realize that nothing is lost in God even though trials can test our faith. His plans are to renew and restore. He’s our vindicator and righteous Judge. We must be patient and endure until the end until He repays and establishes righteousness in all the earth.
And rest assured, these days are coming. He will bring all enemies under His feet. We must keep the faith and not waiver because whatever we have lost will be restored. We must not be discouraged or dismayed. Everything the enemy has stolen from us will be paid back seven times. We must trust God, for the Day of Restoration is coming!
An End to Suffering
The Bible is filled with information about Satan—in all his permutations. To understand the truth, all this information must be pieced together and interpreted in context. First and foremost, we must understand that God uses all things to bring about His will—even Satan. However, while Satan is currently the “god” of this world, in the end, Messiah will return as King of kings and subjugate all those who don’t submit to God’s authority. Undoubtedly, Satan is the world’s highest-ranking evil spirit, having been given authority over all the fallen angels and the demons. However, his punishment will come, and we are assured of his destruction. All creation will be physically redeemed from death. And mankind will obtain the promise of His inheritance that is the earth as all the righteous will be revealed as the sons (and daughters) of God.
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19 NAS).
“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till He has put all enemies under his feet” (I Corinthians 15:24 NKJV).
“All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree” (Isaiah 34:4 NKJV).
In the court of heaven, Satan, the accuser, has been relentlessly bringing before the overseeing Judge the guilt and sin of every person alive, requesting to grind them as wheat as they deserve according to God’s Word.
But we have been given an adversary, Yeshua, who objects and declares that the wages of the sins of the saints have been paid in full and that we are acquitted. Yeshua speaks for all those who trust God’s plan for redemption and restoration, including Job and all who believe His promises.
Scripture assures us that God has nothing to prove to Satan. He has already spoken His Word. We know the outcome. God’s kingdom will come. Job gets his family and fortune back. Just as we will get back all we have lost.
While the Book of Job may seem, at times, to be filled with unimaginable pain, it is less about suffering and more about God’s sovereignty. Less about persecution and more about perseverance. God alone knew the purpose behind Job’s suffering, yet He never explained it to Job. Despite this, Job refused to give up on God—even amid excruciating suffering.
“How did he manage?” You may ask. Quite simply, Job never placed his hope in his experience or wisdom, friends, or wealth. He focused solely on God. We serve God for Who He is, not what we feel.
In the story of Job, we are shown the kind of trust we are to have as Christians. When everything is stripped away, we are to recognize that God is all we ever really had. And we must remember that this life, with all its pain, is not our final destiny. There is so much more. Yes, testing is difficult, but the result is often a deeper relationship with God. And those who endure the testing of their faith will experience God’s great rewards and restoration of all things lost when He comes as King.