Reading a familiar passage and getting a deeper understanding is as common as it is interesting and exciting; at least for me it is! However that excitement quickly changes to deepened thought that catches you off guard at times. For example, reading through the 1st chapter of Job today I was stopped in my tracks when I got to verse 8.
If you're not familiar with the story it might not be as impacting to you, but Job's character (of being a very godly and blameless man with much wealth and prosperity) was introduced. Then a council met, and God gave Satan the authority to test Job's faith (with some restrictions). You see, Satan said that if he lost the things that were close to him (family, wealth, health) that he would surely curse God and walk away. He said the only reason he still worshiped God is because he has never been tested. God didn't quite agree ...
Though in verse 8 it became very apparent apparent to me that Satan didn't come up with the idea to test Job's faith; God offered it up before Satan even asked!
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8 ESV)You could argue that God knew the idea (or request) would be forthcoming, but as I read that passage, it’s God who plants the seed about Job in Satan’s head. I can almost picture Job (if he was part of the council discussing this matter) responding “Doh! Don’t point that out!”. Perhaps though his character would welcome testing? Interesting thoughts.
A close friend of mine when discussing this responded that "God was bragging on Job!". Which got me thinking; would I want God bragging on me?
Satan, go ahead and test Matt, he's solid.
Satan, go ahead and take all that stuff away from him, he'll still worship Me.
Satan, go ahead and ruin his worldly possessions, you still can't shake his faith.
Satan, so long as he still breathes he will stay true to me.
Would I want God bragging on me?
I think that's the beauty of not being part of that council, I don't have to make that decision! He knows when, how, and by whom I can be tested ... and that I do trust.
In the meantime, I will continue to brag about my God!