Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 111 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Job 1 today and our focus is on How Can We Worship When Tragedy Hits? + Where Does Satan Live??   We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Al Qahira, Egypt,  Parts unknown, China, Madhya Pradesh, India, Dallas, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri and South Bend, Indiana.  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Shorter episode today to try and make up for our longest episode of the year yesterday.  First question: Where does Satan live? If you grew up watching American cartoons in the 70s-90s, you’ll possibly think that Satan lives and rules in hell, where he is the ultimate authority – ruling on his throne with a pitchfork, and torturing the sinners that God sends to him. Actually, no – That is cartoon theology. Not the Bible. In Fact, we see some degree of evidence in the Old Testament that Satan had access to the Heavens, and may have even lived there: 
JOB 1 AND 2 One day the sons of God came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Compare that to Ephesians 2:2 2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.

So Satan has now been cast out of God’s (upper) Heavenly realms and now rules in the lower Heavens. In Revelation 12: We are told there that the dragon tries to kill the mother of Jesus, but God rescues her …17 So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus.

And that is where we find ourselves in the present day. We are on a battlefield, and Satan the Dragon is hunting us: 

1 Peter 5:8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him and be firm in the faith

That’s Bad News, but 1 Peter gives us a hint of good news: 

1 Peter 5:9 10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.

So in Job, we see that cartoon caricatures of Satan, the accuser, tell us very little real theological truth about him. Get your theology from God’s Word, not cartoons.

Let’s go deeper. Job is visited with terrible tragedy, losing his wealth and his precious children all in one day. Job’s reaction to this is jarring, and fascinating. He does not curse God…he worships. I consider Job 1:20, our verse of the day, one of the most shocking passages in the Bible:

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, Job 1:20

Job’s response to unspeakable tragedy is to worship. How is such a response even possible? Let me say this: Job’s worship was not blissfully unaware of the tragedy visited upon him. If you read the whole book, you will see that Job has many questions of God, and many lamentations, and much confusion about why these catastrophes happened, but never once does he sin against God in his questions and statements. What can we learn from Job? From the whole book, we can learn that tragedy happens to good people, that God owes us no explanation, that God is good, even when circumstances are bad, that understanding this world is beyond the wisest of us, and that it is possible to go through unspeakable tragedy and stay faithful to God, even though we are confused, cut and bleeding from a thousand wounds. Spurgeon helps us to see the wisdom in Job’s actions:

Now indeed was Job great. Surely no man, besides the Son of Man in Gethsemane, ever rose to a greater height of resignation. Instead of cursing God, as Satan said he would, he blesses the Lord with all his heart. How thoroughly beaten the evil spirit must have felt. May the Holy Spirit help each one of us to triumph over him in like manner. Neither in his heart, nor in his speech did he offend. He was taught the sacred wisdom of resignation, and in nothing was he displeased with his God.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1964), 64.

Is it wrong to be sorrowful and mourn in the midst of tragedy? Does it demonstrate a lack of faith? Not at all, says Spurgeon:

JOB was very much troubled, and he did not try to hide the outward signs of his sorrow. A man of God is not expected to be a stoic. The grace of God takes away the heart of stone out of his flesh, but it does not turn his heart into a stone. The Lord’s children are the subjects of tender feelings; when they have to endure the rod, they feel the smart of its strokes; and Job felt the blows that fell upon him. Do not blame yourself if you are conscious of pain and grief, and do not ask to be made hard and callous. That is not the method by which grace works; it makes us strong to bear trial, but we have to bear it; it gives us patience and submission, not stoicism. We feel, and we benefit by the feeling, and there is no sin in the feeling, for in our text we are expressly told of the patriarch’s mourning, “In all this Job sinned not.” Though he was the great mourner—I think I might truly call him the chief mourner—of Scripture, yet there was no sin in his mourning. Some there are who say that, when we are heavy of heart, we are necessarily in a wrong spirit, but it is not so. The apostle Peter saith, “If need be ye are in heaviness through manifold trials,” but he does not imply that the heaviness is wrong.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Job’s Resignation,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 42 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896), 133.

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April  James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

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