Proof in Suffering

Some angels in the Old Testament were assigned to keep an eye on the earth and report their findings back to God’s throne room. One angel in particular came back with a super negative report. He found humanity to be the same everywhere he went. They were corrupt and not worth anybody’s time.

God disagreed and brought up one particular righteous human as a proof that this wasn’t true. The angel debated back: “That guy is only righteous because life has been good for him. Take away all the good stuff and he’ll be just as horrible as all the other ones.” God wouldn’t buy it. He would defend his creation and let the case be proven that humanity is worth it.

We don’t always know why we suffer, but in Job’s case, he was proving to the angels that humanity is worth saving. What might be behind your suffering?

Facebook Question: Can you please provide the Scripture reference to where angels reported the things that you stated in the first paragraph of your post?

Answer: Sure. It’s found more in ancient worldview and language studies. First off, some spiritual beings are seen throughout the Bible checking things out and reporting back to God’s council (for example, Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18-19, the patrol of the four horsemen in Zechariah 1:7-17, or Jesus saying angels report in about how children are abused in Matthew 18:10). The spiritual beings of Heaven also had chances to go before God’s throne room and weigh in on how God might conduct affairs on the earth (for example, what Micaiah sees in 1 Kings 22:19-23 or how the watcher angels decide Nebuchadnezzar’s consequence in Daniel 4:13-17).

Now take this biblical view of God’s courtroom and place it on Job 1:6-12. As we read it in English, it says that Satan went to talk to God, but “satan” in the Old Testament is different from “Satan” in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, Satan means “accuser” or “adversary,” and it is a word applied to anyone (good or bad) that accuses or is adversarial to anyone else. For example, the Angel of the Lord (the greatest and holiest angel of the Old Testament) is called a “satan” once because he was an adversary to a man named Balaam. The Angel of the Lord was not “Satan,” nor was he evil—he was simply an adversary.

That being said, it’s not necessarily thee “Satan” that goes to God in the book of Job, rather it’s a spiritual being/angel that belongs in God’s courtroom. God asks him where he came from and he says, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” His point is, “I’ve been doing my job and working the patrol on the earth.” Since God’s response to this is, “Have you considered my servant Job, a blameless and upright man?” there’s an implication that God already knows what this adversarial angel is trying to say: “I’ve gone to and fro throughout the earth, working my patrol, and everyone down there is not blameless or upright. That’s the report I’m bringing before your council today.”

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