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God on Trial

Key References: Job 1; 2; The Great Controversy, chap. 36, pp. 582-592; Education, chap. 16, pp. 154, 155; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 6, pp. 161-168; Our Beliefs, nos. 8, 3, 11.

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“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have su ered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,  rm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).

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We trust in God even when we suffer.

Have you ever been in the middle of a dispute? How did it feel? This week we’ll take a peek at a celestial dispute and the amazing outcome.

It was time for the celestial council meeting with all of God’s heavenly subjects. Satan, self-appointed prince of the earth, also showed up at the meeting. He was the one who had caused war in heaven. Now he was back.

“Where have you come from?” God asked.

“From roaming throughout the earth,” replied Satan.

“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is loyal and honest. He fears me and doesn’t want anything to do with evil.

“Does Job fear You for nothing?” Satan asked. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

“Very well, then,” God said, “everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a fi nger” (see Job 1:7-12).

Satan didn’t waste any time. He returned to Planet Earth, thinking to himself that Job would surely deny God when he would experience loss, heartache, and grief.

One day Job was at home thinking about how grateful he was to God for all that he had—houses, land, livestock, good health, family. Suddenly a messenger burst through the door, crying, “Master, I’m so sorry to bring you bad news. A group of outsiders, Sabeans, attacked. They stole your livestock from the fields and killed all your servants except me.”

The servant hadn’t even finished speaking when another messenger came running. “Master, it was horrible!” he said, falling at Job’s feet. “Fire fell from the sky, and all of your sheep and servants were burned up. I’m the only one who escaped to tell you.”

A third messenger arrived. “Master, the Chaldeans have stolen your camels and killed your servants!” he exclaimed. “Only I escaped!”

When a fourth messenger arrived, Job quickly thought, What now?

“Master, I have terrible news to tell you,” the messenger said, weeping. “All of your sons and daughters were having a party at your oldest son’s home. Suddenly a big wind came in from the desert and hit the house. It collapsed, and everyone died. I’m the only one left from the household.”

Up until this time Job had neither said nor done anything. Now he tore his robe and shaved his head in mourning. Then, to his servants’ surprise, he fell on the ground and worshipped God.

Satan, who had been watching with satisfaction, frowned as he witnessed Job’s faithfulness. He decided to change Job’s test at the next council meeting.

God was ready for Satan. “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

“Very well, then,” the Lord replied to Satan. “He is in your hands; but you must spare his life” (Job 2:3-6).

Satan caused Job to be covered with itchy, painful sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The sores oozed and then developed horrible scabs that left deep scars. Job sat hour after hour in the ashes, mourning his dead children and scraping his sores.

Finally his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (verse 9). But

Job wouldn’t say anything against God. Instead he asked, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (verse 10).

Although Job had many questions, he believed that God could use anything that happened to him for good—even if the purpose was to show the world Satan’s evil workings. Thus people would acknowledge God’s loving character and would learn to trust Him. Job trusted in God’s loving care.