“Serving in true fear”
Only upon himself put not forth thine hand. —Job 1:12
Read Job 1:1-12
In the glimpse of heaven this passage gives, the sons of God (the angels), Satan among them, present themselves before the Lord. This development in heaven’s history raises many questions, of which only a few can be answered.
Although Scripture tells us that Satan was given entrance into heaven, he remained a wretched being. His dwelling place is outside of heaven, not in it, and on Judgment Day he shall be sent to eternal perdition with all other evil spirits. From the answer Satan gave the Lord concerning his whereabouts, we know that he is a deceiver and a liar, for Satan does not just meander through the earth. He goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Sometimes he appears as an angel of light, directing his attacks against God’s people, looking for an area in their life where they stand guilty be-fore God so that he might accuse them and drive them to despair. In our text the Lord directs Satan’s attention to His servant Job. Satan, however, does not believe in what he describes as disinterested piety. What Satan really says is that if God took everything away from Job, he would no longer serve Him. He reasons that people serve the Lord only for the benefits.
This is an ancient reproach, still used today. This struggle between serving God for benefits only (according to Satan) and serving the Lord as a result of true godly fear (according to the Lord) would become central in Job’s life. But the focus would still be on God’s honour. The Lord was ready to commit His servant Job to this test with the prince of darkness, for He knew what He Himself had worked in Job’s life.
Of what did Satan accuse Job?