It may have been the case that Job might have perceived the terrible news that follows, with four witnesses confirming the validity of the events, that it was due to something his children had thought or did that was against God’s law which led to the terrible news. The book opened with the topic of Job’s concern about this very possibility, cursing God, that offered sacrifices and prayers as God law demanded for any sins committed. However, the second part of chapter one refutes this, in that the LORD permitted these events to show his grace in Job’s life, in that he chose not to curse God.
With enemy onslaughts (13-15, 17), alternating with so-called ‘natural’ events, such as fire and wind, or so-called ‘acts of God’ (16, 18-19), Job responds as one who knows that God is sovereign in both kinds of calamity. He humbled himself and was moved to worship, not to cursing as Satan had claimed he would. “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (22) Instead, Job utters the profound testimony of one who trusted in his sovereign LORD – for good or ill (21). All of life is a gift from God. Who can charge God with wrong doing, when we do not earn these blessings anyway?
Job 1:6-12 Satan’s Mission, And The LORD’s Grace.
Job, as a writing prophet, is taken to the throne of heaven, where the angels and Satan are also summoned (6). God knew where Satan had been, but others, including ourselves, need to know. He was also forced to bear witness to his work while roaming the earth (7). He confessed His enmity toward the LORD, and thus also against his servant Job. The LORD speaks here as the covenant making and covenant keeping LORD, so that we are to understand that Job was “blameless and upright”, fearing God and shunning evil, because he was the object of God’s grace. Satan knew that Job had been blessed with unmerited favour (9-10). Satan suggests that Job was the man he was because God also blessed him with great wealth and peace.
It is as though Satan is forgetting his high and lofty position before he rebelled, and yet conscious of forever remaining the LORD’s defeated enemy (Is. 14:12-15; Lk. 10:18). Satan stated that if all this blessing were taken from Job that he would return God’s blessings with cursing (11). In other words, he suggests that Job was better than him, in that Satan cursed God while in his high position. He suggests that Job would, like himself, do so to the LORD’s face. However, Satan was destined for reprobation, while Job was not. Satan only had such limited power as God let him exercise (12a). Satan lived, and still lives, to seek to challenge the faith even of God’s elect, but only as he is sent from the presence of the LORD (12b).
Much stems from a proper fear of God, perhaps the most well-known being wisdom (Pr. 1:7, 9:10). It is certainly wise, from a biblical perspective, to shun evil, seeking to be “blameless and upright.” (1 cf. Pr. 16:6) He had seven sons and three daughters (2), and much wealth, “so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (3) Lest there be those who construe these beginning verses as somehow proving salvation by works, the verses that follow, and are clearly connected to the above, make abundantly clear that Job believed in Salvation by grace through faith alone, that atonement was and is necessary, through the shedding of blood according as the Lord has prescribed (5 cf. 42:8). Job knew that we all can have sins in our hearts that we suppress and become ignorant of, and these need atonement for our sanctification, even as the overt ones we are conscious of.