Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil - Ephesians 6:11
What exactly are the “schemes of the devil”? They must be pretty serious because the apostle Paul warns us to be well armed against them, putting on the full armor of God daily and being always alert and always in prayer in order to resist him.
Was the goal of Satan to cause Job to suffer, his body to blister and his soul to mourn?
To me, the most accessible example of the schemes of the devil can be found in the book of Job where Satan sets out to cause every kind of calamity imaginable to the Lord's servant. His wealth, his children, and his physical health are all taken. His friends turn on him and blame him for his own suffering. Even his wife loses all hope. Based on this example it seems reasonable to expect that Satan wishes to harm us physically, to attack our finances, our safety, our health, and our relationships. Unfortunately, the logical conclusion of this assumption can too often cause us to interpret every calamity or instance of suffering as a punishment against us. After all we are told to resist the enemy, to guard against him, so if we assume based on the experiences of Job that physical or circumstantial suffering is an attack or punishment from the enemy, then it would make sense to also assume that when we experience the same, it must be because we failed in some way to guard against the evil day, the day in which the enemy succeeds in harming us, right?
And yet...Job was in no way being punished! We know from scripture that he was in every way righteous and a faithful servant of Christ. In fact, he was attacked because of his faithfulness, not because of any failure. So then, if he was faithfully guarding against the schemes of the enemy, how did they succeed against him?
Did they succeed? Was the goal of Satan to cause Job to suffer, his body to blister and his soul to mourn? What does he say his motivation is?
Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge 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 stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” -Job 1: 9-11
Job’s health, family, and suffering were not the devil’s end-goal! They were the means to his actual end. His real purpose was to cut Job off from his God, to cause Job to do exactly what his wife exhorts him to do, to curse God and die. Satan knows that we can survive the trials he throws at us in this temporal life, his hatred of us is not expressed in a desire to end our paltry earthly life, not when he knows we will live forever! He wants to turn us against our creator, to shake our faith and cause us to self-destruct permanently by cutting ourselves off from our father and king.
His real purpose was to cut Job off from his God
Job did not fail to guard against the schemes of the enemy. On the contrary, he never took off the full armor of God, remaining alert to the efforts of the father of lies and never, even in his greatest sorrow, allowing himself to be deceived by his enemy. The result was that after a season the enemy was forced to flee from him.
Let us be like Job who cried of the Lord “though he slay me, I will trust in him” and found his strength by trusting in the Lord in seasons of suffering as well as in seasons of plenty.
Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina
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