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Meeting With Satan

21 February 2017
4 minutes to read

Read Job chapters 1 & 2 to better understand this article about Satan & God


So, here’s a ‘one-to-one’ you didn’t expect! If we believe every word of Scripture (and we should), then what we read in Job 1:6-12 & Job 2:1-7 tells us that Satan has one-to-one encounters with God.

Satan’s name means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’, and that’s exactly what he is: a slandering accuser of God’s children (to God himself!), and an adversary who’s anti-God. At some point after God had created everything perfect (Gen. 1:31), this once high-ranking angel sinned by thinking he could be greater than God. Along with the other angels who joined him in this rebellion, Satan was thrown out of the immediate presence of God. These fallen angels are referred to in the Bible as evil spirits, or demons, or ‘Satan and his angels’. Their fate is the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).

Satan is not all-powerful or all-knowing. He’s a mighty fallen angel, yes, but he can do nothing unless God gives him permission.

We cannot physically see them, because they are spirit beings, but the influence of demons in our world, and our lives, should not be ignored (we read a lot about the effects of the influence of demons in the accounts of Jesus’ life). Alongside our physical life there is a spiritual reality where a battle is being fought, and we are told by Paul to make sure we are dressed for battle in the spiritual armour of God (Eph. 6:10-18).

Council of angels

From Job 1 & 2 we learn that there are times when there’s a gathering of angels before God. Satan appeared at one of these angel council gatherings and God questioned him about what he had been doing. Satan said he’d been going about on the earth (probably looking for opportunities to ruin anything that gave God pleasure).

When God pointed Job out as being a wonderful example of a faithful believer in God, Satan started to accuse him, saying that Job had life easy, and suggesting that if Job’s comfortable, enjoyable life and good health were to be taken from him then he’d stop trusting God. God granted Satan the opportunity to go and influence the life circumstances of Job. What happens next is painful to read, but by the end of Job chapter 40 we see that Job, despite all that happened to him, still believed and trusted in God.

Alongside our physical life there is a spiritual reality where a battle is being fought, and we are told by Paul to make sure we are dressed for battle

What’s important for us to learn from this is that God restricted Satan, telling him what he was allowed to do. Satan is not all-powerful or all-knowing. He’s a mighty fallen angel, yes, but he can do nothing unless God gives him permission. And it’s the same for all the other demons. They are anti-God but they have no power like God’s. When Jesus commanded the demons to leave people alone, they left. When, in the name of Jesus, the disciples commanded demons to leave people alone, they left!

Satan comes after you

Read Luke 22:31-32 and you’ll see that Satan had asked God (maybe at one of these angel councils) for permission to go after Jesus’ disciples (the ‘you’ in verse 31 is plural). Jesus, in particular, knew that Satan would try to ruin Peter’s devotion. So Jesus had prayed for him! Peter would stumble, but because of the prayers of Jesus, and the power of God, he came through the experience a stronger man, going on to be a great leader in the early church.

Peter wrote in later life:

“Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

He knew what it felt like to be a target of the adversary, so let’s listen to Peter, and resist the devil’s influences, being strong in our faith in God, trusting that he is in complete control.

Finally, turn to Matthew 4:1-11 and you’ll read of another time when Satan had a one-to-one with God. Notice how Jesus quoted Scripture verses to counter the attack of the devil. It’s good for us to memorise the promises contained in God’s Word, and use them as a powerful weapon against Satan who is already a defeated enemy.

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