Obviously Satan does not believe God is omniscient, which is seen in the fact that he did not realize God knew Job is always faithful, regardless of what he encounters. Surely one of the greatest comforts to us can be in just knowing that God not only already knows all that we will encounter, but also that He has sovereign control of it all to “work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28). The most the Enemy, or any opposition (esp. old self, which is used most in our “being conformed” – Ro 8:29) can achieve in opposition to a believer is to delay spiritual growth in the lifestyle of our walking “as He walked” (1Jo 2:6).
Satanic ServiceIt is essential to know that even where Satan is working with the children of God, it is the Father Himself who prompts the trial, and not Satan. It was God who took the initiative in praising His servant Job. The first person who acts, who even sets the trial going, is the Father Himself. Now at all times, whether before the Lord Jesus came or since, there is one grand truth that lies at the bottom of all divine doings or revelations—that God is supreme—“God over all, blessed forever” (Rom 9:5). He is “the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen 14:19, 22).
It was in this consciousness of being above all evil that God spoke to Satan about His servant Job. He knew
what that enemy was, and what he was especially towards man. He knew that if any were more obnoxious to him than others, it was those men that were called by grace to be saints of God. But God, knowing His power and love to be above all the evil that Satan can do, actually makes use of Satan for the good of His own children. This is the marvelous story that is so fully developed throughout the book of Job. We know that the end of it is the full blessing of Job, and through him even of his friends, when the battle has been fought and the victory won. Through all his trial and sufferings, Job learned both the blessing of the Lord’s giving, and of His taking away.
The comforting thing that meets us at the very beginning of the Book is, that it is God who begins the trial. Satan may be the instrument of it, but there is always God above and before Satan. In man’s ways mischief first comes in, and then a remedy is provided. But that is not the way of our Father. Redemption is not merely a remedy for the evil that Satan and men have wrought upon the earth; it was always in the mind and in the heart of the Father. It was His triumph, the manifestation of what He is as rising above all evil.
Therein He is not merely looking at man or the devil, but He must have an opportunity for showing out His love. He must make known His power, wisdom and love in meeting evil, in using even the chief of evil as a means of greater good to His children, as if there had not been such an evil one at all. What man does is to deny evil, to make light of it, and so despise God; or he makes Him in some way or another to be the cause of it, and so hates God. But what joy it is for us to see our Father as He is—always above it all!
Think of where we are now, in the Son! It is not only that we can reason from what God is as supreme above Satan, but we have to do with Satan as an enemy that has been overcome in the Cross, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus, and we with Him! Satan was at the Cross, God was there too, and the Lord Jesus was smitten. There was that blessed One, falling under the whole power of the enemy, then overcoming him and rising alive again for evermore with “the keys of death and hades” (Rev 1:18). The Lord has won the victory, and we have this new and heavenly fruit for our souls to feed upon.
Whenever we can know Satan to be in anything, whenever we can discern the power of evil, and judge it as evil, it is powerless as far as we are concerned (in relation to our redemption which is invariable, but opposition can interfere and delay our growth in Christ’s image, which progresses from “glory to glory”—NC). It is his wiles, his deceits, that we are to be alert for (2Co 2:11; Eph 6:11; 1Pe 5:8). But the comfort is, that let all the power that Satan wields be put forth, touching our circumstances or in any way nearer still, in all the confusion that he may introduce, we owe it to the Lord to cherish simple peace in Him, and the certainty that He will appear (not waiting for the grave but the Rapture—NC) , that He works, that Satan is defeated because he has already been conquered, and that the very trial is for the safety and bringing out of greater blessing for those who are looking to Himself.
— G V Wigram (1805 – 1879)
12-23. PERSONAL PRIVILEGE
“THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED” (MATT. 17:5).
All the Father accomplished on our behalf is that we might have all He has in His beloved Son. “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
“Of all the marvels of the Father’s grace, none is more marvelous than the fact of His bringing men into fellowship with Himself. That He should interest Himself in the concerns of our daily lives, is wonderful indeed; that He should give us glory in heaven above the angels is a wonder deeper still; but that He should call us to like thoughts, feelings, and to common objects with Himself is beyond conception.” -H.F.W.
“It is by occupation with, and contemplating the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are brought, by the enablement of the Holy Spirit, into fellowship with our Father; enabled to enter into His own thoughts concerning, and even to share His own affections for, that blessed One who is now seated at His own right hand.” -E.D.
“There is a marked distinction between the Father’s actings in old times and since the day of Pentecost. He had revealed Himself to man in man’s circumstances till that day; since then He has been requiring man to come into His circumstances. The whole testimony of the Father now is to what the Lord Jesus is in heaven.” -G.V.W.
“We only touch the positive blessings of Christianity as we reach the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. One may have a measure of relief and the assurance of eternal security because we trust the shed Blood and His finished work on the Cross, but when we come to divine favor and the reality of the Christian life, that is all connected with a Person, and inseparable from that Person.” -C.A.C.
“WHEN THEY HAD LIFTED UP THEIR EYES, THEY SAW NO MAN, EXCEPT JESUS ONLY” (MATT. 17:8).