There is a case in the Old Testament where a man is tempted to curse God and turn away from being faithful to Him. This man was an ordinary man like all of us. He was faithful to the Lord. He was obedient to God. In fact the Bible says this about him:
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil.
Being blameless and upright are signs of a relationship with God. A person who fears (respects) God is blameless and upright, turning away from what is evil. When Job was tempted to sin he turned away from temptation before it led him to sin. He applied what we learned from II Corinthians 10:13 about recognizing God’s way of escape and taking advantage of it.
In the midst of Job’s faithfulness he was still tempted on a daily basis. God opens the doors into Job’s life in the Bible to allow us the chance to see one of the times Job was tempted and how he responded.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 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?” Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand.” So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
From the context we realize that Satan knew about Job from experience. He knew that there was a hedge around Job and his family. We also understand that Satan cannot tempt us unless God allows him. God sets the limits on how far Satan can go. Back to II Corinthians, God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He knows your limits.
Job does not suffer because of his sin. In fact he is not tempted because of his sin. As I have said earlier, we are all tempted every single day. The difference is what you do with that temptation. Job responds the right way every time. Satan receives permission to attack Job but God still sets the limits. Here is what Job looses all at the same time, on the same day:
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; 14 and there came a messenger to Job, and said, “The oxen were plowing and the asses feeding beside them; 15 and the Sabe’ans fell upon them and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, “The Chalde’ans formed three companies, and made a raid upon the camels and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Job looses everything but his life and his wife all at the same time. Job does not about Satan’s encounter with God, he is just experiencing life as it comes his way. Just imagine being in Job’s shoes. How would you respond? Here is how Job responded:
20 Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Job was saddened by the event, hence the torn robe and shaved head. His response was not self pity or anger at God. He responded in worship. He acknowledged that God is the One who is in control of all things. He blessed God and did not sin not blame God for what happened.
When you face difficult situations in life, do they bring you closer to God or do you choose to allow them to turn you away from God? As you have seen, Satan wants to use temptation and difficult times to turn you away from God but if you will allow God to work then He will use the difficulties and temptation to draw you near to Him. It is up to you my friend, which will you choose?