Job and the Great Controversy

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

The Essence of the Controversy

1 John 4:8 (AV 1873)
8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
The foundation of God’s government is love
Matthew 22:37–40 (AV 1873)
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Love necessitates free will, but it also allows for the possibility of abusing that free will.
C.S. Lewis, in his work The Case for Christianity, correctly states the following:
“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having...
Satan was the first to abuse his free will:
1 John 3:8 (AV 1873)
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning...
1 John 3:4 (AV 1873)
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Satan rebelled against God’s law of love.

War in Heaven

Revelation 12:7–8 (AV 1873)
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
This war in heaven was over God’s law of selfless love.

The War Comes to Earth

Revelation 12:17 (AV 1873)
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

War Tactics

Let’s look at how Satan deceived our first parents, then we can understand more about how he deceived 1/3 of the angels.
Genesis 3:1 (AV 1873)
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
What is Satan doing here?
Satan insinuates doubt in God’s word.
Genesis 3:2–4 (AV 1873)
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Here Satan is calling God a liar.
Genesis 3:5 (AV 1873)
5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan says that obeying God’s commandments is keeping them from being exalted like He is—so He is not only a liar but a greedy liar.
1. Satan caused Eve to be discontent and dissatisfied with her current state of existence.
2. Satan claimed that God’s command was unnecessarily restraining her from having a higher state of existence.
3. Satan led Eve to obey the dictates of her own will instead of obeying God’s will.
Satan led Eve to believe that God was UNJUST in His dealings with them
Is there any reason to doubt he used a different tactic on the angels?
If it worked once, may as well try it again!
“Leaving his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint...
Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself by representing that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seeking to secure liberty for all the inhabitants of heaven, that by this means they might attain to a higher state of existence.
“… He persistently defended his own course, maintained that he had no need of repentance, and fully committed himself, in the great controversy, against his Maker.” Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 495

Why didn’t God destroy Satan immediately?

In free countries everyone has a right to a fair trial before having judgment executed on them.
But in countries without freedom, if anyone questions a tyrant they will be killed immediately without a fair trial.
Consider what it would look like if God destroyed Satan immediately: Satan accuses God of being an unjust tyrant, so God destroys him.
If God destroyed Satan without giving him a fair trial and letting others judge, then Satan’s claims would have validity.
Some correctly say God could have done this and erased the memory of Satan from our minds, but then would we truly have free will?

Why did God allow sin to develop?

For all to see the outworking of Satan’s system of existence, so all may see that all of God’s ways are truth and righteousness.

Job Involved in the Controversy

Job 1:1
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Does anyone know what the name “Job” means?
“Job” means “persecuted” and “hated.”
2 Timothy 3:12
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Matthew 10:22
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
The record of Job’s life is an example of God’s people who will be persecuted and hated for their faith in God.

The Accuser of the Brethren

Job 1:6–7 (AV 1873)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
“Walking up and down” the earth?
Joshua 1:3 (AV 1873)
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
Satan “walking up and down” the earth can symbolize his dominion over it, as walking on the land symbolizes ownership (Deut. 1:36; 11:24; Josh. 1:3; 14:9)
What does Satan do as he goes to and fro on earth?
1 Peter 5:8 (AV 1873)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

God’s Judgment of Job

Job 1:8 (AV 1873)
8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
How does God look at Job according to His judgment? - as a man who is righteous by faith.

Satan’s Dispute and Accusation

Job 1:9–11 (AV 1873)
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
What is Satan saying here?
Satan is accusing Job of obeying God because of selfish motives, saying that His followers are loyal to Him only to receive blessings.
Idea of worship being like coins you put into a machine that dispenses blessings
In what type of countries do the leaders bribe people for their loyalty?
Not only is Satan attacking Job’s motivation for being loyal to God, He is simultaneously insinuating that God has to bribe people for their loyalty. This is a direct attack against the character of God.
He is saying this in front of the other sons of God for a purpose!
On top of that, Satan is saying that God’s estimation, or judgment concerning Job’s character, is mistaken.
Why is this significant?
Jude 6 (AV 1873)
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
If Satan can cause Job to give up his faith in God, then he will prove that God makes mistakes when He judges.
If God makes mistakes when He judges, then the coming judgment condemning him to destruction can be wrong too. Essentially, if God’s judgments are proven wrong, then Satan wins.
Job 1:12 (AV 1873)
12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
The Lord allows Satan to persecute us, so that God can work in us to vindicate us and Himself
Let’s read what Satan did to Job (lookout for prophetic parallels):
Job 1:13–15 (AV 1873)
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: 14 and there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:16 (AV 1873)
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burnt up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:17 (AV 1873)
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:18–19 (AV 1873)
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: 19 and behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
How does Job react when he hears this news?
Job 1:20–22 (AV 1873)
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job’s faithfulness showed that his motive for serving God was not out of selfishness.
It likewise showed the fact that God’s judgment was true.
But Satan wasn’t done yet.
In Job 2.1-3 we see the same thing happening again as at first...
Job 2:1–3 AV 1873
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Satan has a different accusation to bring against Job and God this time.
Job 2:4–6 (AV 1873)
4 And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
The first time Satan accused Job of serving God out of selfish motives for gain, this time he says Job serves God out of fear and self-preservation.
And like last time, this is not only an accusation against Job, but also God.
Satan is insinuating that humans and angels only serve God out of fear.
What kind of leaders have people who are only loyal to them out of fear?
Job 2:7–8 (AV 1873)
7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
Here we see that God allows Satan to physical hurt Job, but he does not allow Satan to take his life.
But this is not all Satan does to try to make Job turn from God.
Job 2:9 AV 1873
9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Satan works through Job’s wife to try causing him to forsake his faith.
Job not only suffered physically from the sores, but also suffered mentally from his closest family urging to forsake God.
Job 2:10 (AV 1873)
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
So did Job serve God only because He protected him from harm?
Because of Job’s faith in God, he was able to be used by God to vindicate the character of God to the unfallen intelligences as One who only accepts the service based on free will-not fear.
Do we see any similarities between Job and anyone else in the Bible?

Job a Type of Christ

When we consider the story of Job we should see the suffering of Christ.
Do you think Jesus understood the kind of grief Job had?
Isaiah 53:3 (AV 1873)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not.
When we consider the life and struggle of Job, let us see Christ in the story.
Just as God allowed Job to suffer, so did He allow His only begotten Son to suffer for us.
In the life of Christ, especially His death on the cross, we see the ultimate vindication of God’s character.
Luke 2:34–35 (AV 1873)
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
With the death of Christ, the heart of God and the heart of Satan was fully seen by all the universe.
His only begotten Son was given up as Satan's victim. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed a character entirely opposite to that of Satan. As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous, pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of a common priest, so Christ emptied himself, and took the form of a servant, and offered the sacrifice, himself the priest, himself the victim. RH September 7, 1897, par. 12
By causing the death of the Sovereign of heaven, Satan defeated his own purpose. The death of the Son of God made the death of Satan unavoidable. He was allowed to go on until his administration was laid open before the worlds unfallen and before the heavenly universe. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he uprooted himself from the affections of the unfallen beings. He was seen by all to be a liar, a thief, and a murderer. RH September 7, 1897, par. 13
Job lost everything in his life, his family, his fortune, his friends—yet he remained loyal to God.
In the same way, Christ lost everything in his life—including His very life—being obedient to the point of bearing the sins of all upon His shoulders.
Satan attacked Job in many ways, but Christ alone was attacked with every weapon Satan had in his arsenal.
How did those around Christ consider Him as He was being crucified?
Isaiah 53:4 (AV 1873)
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
It is interesting to note that Job’s friends thought the same thing about Job.
Job 4:7–8 (AV 1873)
Job’s friend, Eliphaz, said to Job: 7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? 8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, And sow wickedness, reap the same.
Satan, working through Job’s friends, accuses Job of being a wicked sinner, seeking to discourage him.
This is the very thing Satan said to Jesus in the wilderness and when He was on the cross! Satan tried making Jesus think that He himself was the one who sinned and had fallen from heaven.
Isaiah 53:8 (AV 1873)
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: And who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: For the transgression of my people was he stricken.
But what is the answer to Eliphaz’s rhetorical question? Do only the wicked suffer?
Jesus taught that trials do not always come because someone has sinned:
John 9:1–3 (AV 1873)
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus is saying that when we have not sinned and go through trials, it is so that God can be glorified through us!
Jesus suffered for this exact reason!
We should all think it is an honor to suffer for Christ, because when we suffer the attacks of Satan, which God allows, we are helping affirm the truth of who God is to the people around us.
1 Peter 4:12–13 (AV 1873)
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If we are privileged to be a part of the 144,000, we can absolutely expect Satan to say the same things to us as he said to Job and Jesus.
But if we remain steadfast and have the faith of Jesus, we will overcome as He overcame!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more