The Book of Job – God Did Not Give Satan Power

The common belief that God gives power to Satan by permission to test our faith or teach us some lesson is one reason that many believers in Christ have departed from the faith or resent God.


When a preacher preaches at a funeral saying, “God took this child, mother, grandmother, friend, or whoever.”  Did he mean that God caused or allowed the accident?  It leads a Christian to believe that one day everything is ok and the next day God tortures a person for reasons above our understanding.  Consider this, if you had a baby who contracted cancer and suffered for years before her death, thinking God was in control, you may hate God, but if you hate God you will go to Hell.  Understand the severe emotional conflict that this teaching inflicts on the body of Christ!  If God is controlling your life and your life is in a mess, then who’s to blame?


You Allow Bad Things, Not God

God created the world and gave dominion to Man (Gen 1:26).  Man sinned and became a slave to sin (John 8:34).  Satan is the father of disobedience (Eph 2:2) which is lawlessness, and all lawlessness is sin (1Jn 3:4).  Simply put, sinners belong to Satan.  God does not own the earth again until he takes it back at the end of this age.  Until God takes back the earth, He has empowered His children so that they can “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).  What bad thing does God cause or allow in your life unless you ask Him through prayer?  If anything happens in your life, it’s because you allowed it by not using your God given authority, not God.  Why?  Because:

Matthew 17:20 – “if you have faith… nothing shall be impossible unto you”.

IF you have faith, nothing shall be impossible unto YOU, so that YOU will be empowered.

Matthew 18:18 – “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  You have total control to bind all evil in your life and loose all good things in your life.  Nothing about this says that God will do it in His own time IF He wills.  He says here that He DOES WILL IT, the time is NOW, and it’s your responsibility to see it through.  If you do not use the power that God has given you, don’t blame God.

Mark 9:23 – “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

If anything is impossible for you, your unbelief is to blame, not God.  You must decide whether you believe in the word of God or in your own opinion.

Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

If you do not believe that you shall receive the things you pray for, then we have found the problem.  This is not a matter of if God wants you to have what you’ve asked for; He has already said, “Ask for whatever you want.  If you believe that you’ll receive them, then you’ll receive them.”  That is God’s will.


Why We Are Different Than Job

Job is one of the most referenced books when it comes to God causing or allowing tragedy in the life of His own children.  It is commonly interpreted that God offered Job up to Satan, either to see for Himself, or to prove to Satan, that if horrible tragedies came upon the most righteous man in the world, righteousness would prevail.

I will propose two alternative interpretations to that popular interpretation:

1) God didn’t allow/empower Satan.  Satan wanted God to destroy Job so Job would curse God.

2) God allowed Satan, but Job didn’t have the gospel promises we do today to defend himself.


If you believe that God in fact did allow the tragedy in Job’s life and will not be convinced otherwise, you can trust in the promise that is given to each believer NOW in the New Testament here:

James 4:7-8 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  How does one resist the devil?  By drawing close to God.

Job was not under this New Testament promise like us, and in fact, since Job’s story happened before Moses received the law, Job wasn’t under the Old Testament, did not have the Holy Spirit, nor did Job have any scripture to guide him because his story happened before Moses wrote Genesis (Gen 46:13).  Even if Job was under the new covenant with its new promises, Job did not resist the devil (the true author of his calamity) but instead BLAMED GOD!  How did Job blame God?


Job Blamed God

The following verses show how Job blamed God while Satan was attacking him:

Job 1:21b – “…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job 6:4 – “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.”

Job 12:9 – “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?”

Job 16:11-14 – “God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.  I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.  His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.  He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.”

Job 19:6 – “Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.”

Job 19:21-22 – “Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.  Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?”

Job 27:2 – “As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul

Job 30:19 – “He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.”


Was Job Right?

Here we have two things said from God that seem opposite until looked at closer:

Job 38:2 – “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?”  This was the first thing that God said to Job when He appeared.  It was in response to Job blaming God.  During his suffering, Job did not know that Satan was the one behind his tragedy, and because he blamed God instead of Satan, he spoke without knowledge.  In blaming God, Job was wrong.

Job 42:7b – “… ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.”  What did Job say that was right if he was just previously rebuked for speaking without knowledge?  Most people believe the “right” thing Job spoke was that he needed to talk to God face to face (Job 23:3).


Job Sinned

Once again, it seems that there are two contrary ideas: Job is blameless and upright, yet from Job’s own mouth he says that he sinned.  Actually, ‘everyone has sinned’ (1Ki 8:46 & Rom 3:23), including Job, but Job was the most righteous with what was available to him.  The only covenant Job had was the covenant passed down to him from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; not Moses.

Job 14:16-17 – “For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.”

Job 7:20-21 – “I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? For now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.”

Job 42:6 – “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”


New Testament Promises

These are the promises that Job did not have access to rely on.  They are better than the old promises of the Law of Moses that Job didn’t even have during his life.

Hebrews 8:6 – “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”  Promises like this:

Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

John 15:7 – “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”


What You Should Know About God & Satan

The meaning of the Book of Job is found in God’s and Satan’s conversation in Heaven.  You must understand who God is and who Satan is, what they know, and what their motivation is.  Satan, the thief, has come to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10), and walks around like a roaring lion looking for people to devour (1Pet  5:8).  Jesus came to give life to the full (John 10:10).  Why mention Jesus?  Because He could only do what He saw the Father do (John 5:19), therefore, Father God wanted life for Job.  Satan had 2 goals.  1) To convince God to stretch out His own hand (Job 1:11 & Job 2:5) to harm Job for nothing so that God would be at fault, but God does not tempt/test with evil (James 1:13) like sickness/death.  2) To show God that if the most upright man alive would curse Him, that everyone less upright would curse Him too.  And of course, Satan just wanted Job killed (Job 2:6).


Explanation of Job Chapter 1

Job 1:1-5 explains that Job was a perfect and upright man who was blessed with a large family and a lot of physical possessions because he feared God and shunned evil.  Verse 4 & 5 says that his sons and daughters would have dinner parties and since Job thought they were committing sin during these parties, he would offer burnt offerings FOR them.  The problem is that a man can’t repent FOR another person, but as you can see, it wasn’t sin for him to do this, it was just ineffective; God still calls Job blameless and upright.


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.

[whence comest thou?] – God likely knew the answer to this question…

[from going to and fro the earth] – 1 Peter  5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  God knows Satan’s heart.  He knew the fact that Satan was walking around looking for someone to destroy.  God and Satan are at war with each other.  Jesus was sent to destroy the works of the devil (1Jn 3:8), and Satan wants to destroy God’s works.  In any war, soldiers are commanded to kill the highest ranking officers and work their way down to the lower ranks.  Since Job was the most righteous man in the world at that time, Satan set his sights on him.  God knew this, which is why God made His next statement…


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?

[Considered] – this one word is taken from two Hebrew characters: H3820 lêḇ & H7760 śûm.  H3820 is translated as “the heart” 508 times and “the mind” 12 times.  H7760 is translated as “put” 155 times, “make” 123 times, “set” 119, “lay” 64 times, and “appoint” 19 times.  When these two Hebrew characters are put together, they should be translated as, “to set the heart upon”.

[Have you considered my servant] – What God was saying was, “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job (to destroy him) since he is the most upright man on earth who fears Me and works against you?”  Therefore this wasn’t God offering Job up to Satan to be tortured, but God predicting Satan’s motive.  In Rev 12:10 Satan is called “the accuser of our brethren“ and that’s exactly what he did here.

God also knew the answer to this question.


9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

[Doth Job fear God for nought?] – This was Satan’s attempt to manipulate God.  Why did Satan feel that he could do that?


10 Hast not thou made an 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.

[Hast not thou made an hedge about him] – God never acknowledged a “hedge”.  The only one who said anything about a hedge of protection was Satan.  Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).  Should you trust Satan?  Say out loud, “I BELIEVE SATAN when he said God put a hedge around Job.”  Does that sound right?


11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

[put forth thine hand now] – EXACTLY.  Satan’s suggestion was, “God, you yourself should personally destroy his possessions with your own hands, then he’ll curse you to your face.”  Satan was not asking for permission to do this.  Satan already had power on earth to act as a god (2Cor 4:4).  Nowhere in scripture does it say that Satan asks for God’s permission to do anything.  Satan himself is “the spirit that works in the children of disobedience” (Eph 2:2).  Shall we conclude that Satan is obediently asking for permission to destroy God’s beloved, and God approved!?  He’s not in sin if God permits his actions!

[he will curse thee to thy face] – This was Satan’s mission, to make things so bad that Job would curse God to his face.  In Job 2:9, Job’s wife’s thoughts are synchronized with Satan’s when she said, “curse God and die”.  Satan first wanted Job to curse God, then he wanted God to kill him for it.


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.


[Behold, all that he hath is in thy power] – This was not God empowering Satan or giving something to him that wasn’t already in his power.  Once again, Satan is the god of this world (2Cor 4:4) and he already had the power.  God was saying, “You don’t come here and command me to do something evil to my servant.  Look, everything he has is already in your power, but don’t you dare harm him.”  Compare this to when Jesus gave power to His apostles:

Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  In Luke 10:19 Jesus gave power that his apostles didn’t have beforehand.  In Job 1:12 God merely states that Satan has the power.  If this doesn’t convince you that God’s children aren’t thrown to Satan to be stomped on, then at least believe Luke 10:19 that says that Jesus has given His children power over the enemy (Satan) and James 4:7 that says if Christians resist the devil that he will run away from them.


Job 1:13-19 explains: So all at once, the Sabens killed his servants and stole his plowing animals, fire fell from the sky and killed his sheep and servants, the Chaldeans stole his camels and killed his servants, and finally, a tornado killed his 10 children while they were in a house partying.  There are some notable issues to address in this:


Job 1:16 – “…there came also another and said, ‘The fire of God is fallen from heaven’…”  The fire was not from God but from Satan.  The servant said the fire was from God just because it came from the sky.  Job had the same thinking.  Remember, they had no scripture to tell them otherwise, so fire from the sky was assumed to be from God.


Job said, “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:22).  Though Job blessed God, he also pinned the loss of his possessions, livestock, servants, and children all on God.  It was not the Lord who had taken away.


Job 1:22 – “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”  Job didn’t curse God as Satan suggested.  This is the reason for Satan talking to God in chapter 2.  Though Job mistakenly thought God was the one to “steal, kill, and destroy” as John 10:10 says Satan does, he didn’t accuse or resent Him but was at peace and didn’t curse God.


Explanation of Job Chapter 2


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.

[from whence comest thou?] – Didn’t God know the answer to this question?

[from going to and fro in the earth] – Same answer as before.  Once again, since that’s where Satan was, God knew exactly what Satan’s motivation for presenting himself was: Job.  That’s why God answers Satan like He did before, “have you set your heart on my servant Job because he’s perfect and upright?”


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.

[still he holdeth fast his integrity] – Job didn’t curse God like Satan said he would.

[movedst] – H5496 = persuade, provoke, to incite (to a request), to allure, lure, to instigate (bad sense).  “Job still holds his integrity even though you provoked/incited me to act against him and destroy him”.  This does not mean that God was won over by Satan’s argument to personally act against Job, just that the very act of Satan’s proposal was to provoke/persuade.  With God’s awesome power, if he wanted Job destroyed, Job would have been completely obliterated.  Satan was the one that acted against Job, not God.  Do you believe that God already knew the outcome before it happened?  If so, how could Satan convince God of something that He already knew?  The truth is, God’s knowledge is deep (Rom 11:33) but God does not know what choices people are going to make (Deut 13:3).  That’s not to say that God wanted Job tortured to see if he would curse Him or stay blameless…


4 And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

[skin for skin] – meaning…  “In order to save his own skin, a man would give all he has and the skin of his livestock/family/friends etc. so that his own skin/life would be safe”


5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

[But put forth thine hand now] – Satan tried one last time to have God personally put forth HIS HAND.  Satan’s hand is not the hand of God.


6 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

[Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life] – “Look, he’s already in your power but don’t you dare kill him.”  Satan wanted Job dead and used his own power to attack Job (2Cor 4:4).  If Satan’s plan had worked out the way he wanted it, God would have personally tortured Job until he either cursed God or died from the torture, and if Job cursed God, God would have killed him.  In doing so, Satan would have removed the most righteous man alive and would be able to slander God for destroying his own servant.  God wouldn’t do it, so Satan took the initiative.


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.

[So went Satan forth … and smote Job with sore boils] – This clearly says that Satan was the one to attack Job.


8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

[curse God, and die] – Exactly what Satan wanted.  Notice the similarity in statements from Satan to Job’s wife here and in Job 1:11 & 2:5.


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.


[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] – Job did not sin WITH HIS LIPS.  This means that Job did not curse God as Satan predicted he would.  Job did sin (Job 7:20).  This doesn’t mean that Job was correct when he said that this evil was from God’s hand, after all, the first thing God said to Job when He appeared was, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?”  (Job 38:2)


11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent everyone his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.


[seven days and seven nights] – At least 7 days since Job was attacked with boils… so the question is, if God wasn’t testing Job, why didn’t He do something to put an end to this misery since there was such a long period of time to do so?  Compare this situation to Daniel who waited for a response from God but didn’t receive one for three weeks.  Why not immediately?  Here’s the answer:

Daniel 10:13 – “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”

In the same way here, God wasn’t trying to teach Daniel a lesson by a delay in communication… There was a spiritual conflict of two groups opposing each other that delayed things.  It is very much possible that this same reason was why Job had to wait.  It may be a hard thing to accept, believing that things can be done by the snap of a finger, but that is how things worked in Daniel and perhaps in Job too.


Last Chapter of Job

Job 42:11 – “Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold.”  It was their understanding that the Lord was responsible for the bad things that happened in Job’s life.

[all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him] – Everyone thought that “the Lord had brought” all of the evil things that happened to Job, including Job.  The first two chapters of Job show that Satan was the one that started this, and it was Satan who went forth and smote Job (Job 2:7), not the Lord.



James 1:14 – “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth (G3985) he any man:”

[tempteth] – G3985 – test, prove, try, or examine.  A longer description is “to test for the purpose of seeing how he will behave himself”.  Therefore, we must conclude that in Job 42:11, Job’s friends came to comfort Job for what they thought was evil that the Lord had brought upon him, but in fact, no one can say that it was God who tested them; it was Satan as is revealed in the first two chapters of Job.  “The tempter”, even in the New Testament, is, was, and always will be Satan (Matt 4:3).


1 Corinthians 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

[a way to escape] – What’s our way of escape?  By all of the promises of authority that Jesus gave us.


How You’re Different than Job

Job’s tragedy was not a response from his sin, but his righteousness.  “I’ve had a Job experience”, is really only something that Job can claim.  If you say that you’ve had a Job experience, what you’re essentially saying is that you’re the most blameless and upright person in the world, like Job, and that’s why you’re being attacked with some tragedy.  Perhaps you can say, “Yes, through Jesus I am holy, blameless, upright, sanctified, godly, and sinless”, and that’s correct; in Jesus you are all of those things.  But if Jesus is in you, know this; Jesus and His followers never suffered from sickness, nor was sickness promised.  Jesus’ followers were promised persecution (meaning, men will “pursue” them) but that’s not sickness.  Jesus was never sick (unless perhaps on the cross), His apostles were never sick, and neither were His other followers, if they got the right amount of rest and didn’t over do it like Epaphroditus (Phil 2:26-27) who overworked and didn’t rest (Phil 2:30), and Trophimus (2Tim 4:20) who may not have been sick, but only weak, as G0770 translates. The prayer of faith will save the sick (James 5:15).


If a “Christian” with multiple fatal diseases who believes that God caused or allowed his illness shares his faith with an unsaved man, the message that he is delivering is, “If you become a child of God like me, God may also give you what He gave me; this horrible disease”.

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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