“O LORD, how long must I call for help before you listen, before you save us from violence? Why do you make me see such trouble? How can you stand to look on such wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are all around me, and there is fighting and quarreling everywhere. The law is weak and useless, and justice is never done. Evil people get the better of the righteous, and so justice is perverted...Why are you silent while evil men destroy people who are more righteous than they are? How can you treat people like fish or like a swarm of insects that have no ruler to direct them?” (Habakkuk 1:2-4,13,14)
“Was a wicked person's light ever put out? Did one of them ever meet with disaster? Did God ever punish the wicked in anger and blow them away like straw in the wind, or like dust carried away in a storm?” (Job 21:17,18)
Cain and Abel Job Elisha Ezekiel Isaiah Jeremiah “Some were mocked and whipped, and others were put in chains and taken off to prison. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were killed by the sword. They went around clothed in skins of sheep or goats---poor, persecuted, and mistreated. The world was not good enough for them! They wandered like refugees in the deserts and hills, living in caves and holes in the ground.” (Hebrews 11:36-38)
“They shouted to the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before You judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.” (Rev 6:10-11)
Why do bad things happen to “good” people? “Did you notice my servant Job?’ the Lord asked. ‘There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is.’” (Job 1:8 – GN) “Perfect and upright” (KJV) “He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” (NLT)
“You did not speak the truth about me, the way my servant Job did.” (Job 42:7 – GN)
Satan’s challenge “When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord, Satan was there among them. The Lord asked him, ‘What have you been doing?’ Satan answered, ‘I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth.’ ‘Did you notice my servant Job?’ the Lord asked. ‘There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil.’ Satan replied, ‘Would Job worship you if he got nothing out of it? You have always protected him and his family and everything he owns. You bless everything he does, and you have given him enough cattle to fill the whole country. But now suppose you take away everything he has—he will curse you to your face!’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said to Satan, ‘everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job himself.’ So Satan left” (Job 1:6-12 – GN).
Trial #1 – loss of family and wealth “One day when Job's sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's home, a messenger came to Job. He said, ‘While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, men from Sheba attacked. They took the livestock and massacred the servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.’ While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, ‘A fire from God fell from heaven and completely burned your flocks and servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.’ While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, ‘The Chaldeans formed three companies and made a raid on the camels. They took the camels and massacred the servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.’
“While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine at their oldest brother's home when suddenly a great storm swept across the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It fell on the young people, and they died. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.’ Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother, and naked I will return. The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken away! May the name of the LORD be praised.’ Through all this Job did not sin or blame God for doing anything wrong.” (Job 1:13-22 – GW)
God: 1 Satan: 0 “When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord again, Satan was there among them. The Lord asked him, ‘Where have you been?’ Satan answered, ‘I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth.’ ‘Did you notice my servant Job?’ the Lord asked. ‘There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. You persuaded me to let you attack him for no reason at all, but Job is still as faithful as ever.’ Satan replied, ‘A person will give up everything in order to stay alive. But now suppose you hurt his body—he will curse you to your face!’ So the Lord said to Satan, ‘All right, he is in your power, but you are not to kill him’” (Job 2:1-5 – GN).
Trial #2 – Physical suffering “Then Satan left the Lord’s presence and made sores break out all over Job’s body. Job went and sat by the garbage dump and took a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores. His wife said to him, ‘You are still as faithful as ever, aren't you? Why don’t you curse God and die?’ Job answered, ‘You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?’ Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God” (Job 2:7-10 – GN).
Job’s depression “I hate my life; I do not want to live forever. Leave me alone because my days are so brief.” (Job 7:16 – GW)
This earth is a “spectacle for the whole world of angels…” (1 Corinthians 4:9 - GN) “God, who is the Creator of all things, kept his secret hidden through all the past ages, in order that at the present time, by means of the church, the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world might learn of his wisdom in all its different forms” (Ephesians 3:9,10 – GN). “God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand” (1 Peter 1:12, GN).
“Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say, ‘He will be proved right in what he says, and he will win his case in court.’” (Romans 3:4, NLT)
Trial #3 – The “friends” “While they were still a long way off they saw Job, but did not recognize him. When they did, they began to weep and wail, tearing their clothes in grief and throwing dust into the air and on their heads. Then they sat there on the ground with him for seven days and nights without saying a word, because they saw how much he was suffering” (Job 2:12,13 – GN).
Eliphaz speaks “Once a message came quietly, so quietly I could hardly hear it. Like a nightmare it disturbed my sleep. I trembled and shuddered; my whole body shook with fear. A light breeze touched my face, and my skin crawled with fright. I could see something standing there; I stared, but couldn’t tell what it was. Then I heard a voice out of the silence…” (Job 4:12-16 – GN). “But you – you terrify me with dreams; you send visions and nightmares…” (Job 7:14 – GN).
Is suffering evidence of God’s curse? Eliphaz asks Job: “Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster” (Job 4:7 – GN) “Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you” (Job 5:17 – GN) Job: “You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust. Don’t condemn me. I’m in the right” (Job 6:20 – GN)
You are being punished Job “Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God. Put away evil and wrong from your home. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more” (Job 11:4-6 – GN). “But now you are being punished as you deserve” (Job 36:17 – GN) “God is punishing you less than you deserve” (Job 11:6 – GN) “Any sensible person will surely agree; and the wise who hear me will say that Job is speaking from ignorance and that nothing he says makes sense. Think through everything that Job says; you will see that he talks like an evil man. To his sins he adds rebellion; in front of us all he mocks God” (Job 34:34-37 – GN).
Wealth/health = blessed by God Poor/sick = cursed by God “Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents’ sin?’ Jesus answered, ‘His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins’” (John 9:2,3 – GN).
“How hard it is for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God! It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The people who heard him asked, ‘Who, then, can be saved?’” (Luke 19:24-26 – GNB). “Jesus answered, ‘What is humanly impossible is possible for God.’” (Luke 18:27 – GNB)
The Rich Man and Lazarus “The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.” (Luke 16:22-23)
“What about those 18 people who died when the tower at Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more sinful than other people living in Jerusalem? No! I can guarantee that they weren’t.” (Luke 13:4-5)
“Where was God? He was in the winds of Katrina. Just as He came against Sodom and Gomorrah, it was God who came against this American Sodom and Gomorrah, New Orleans.” – Ken Kemble
“So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD… “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:12,16)
“For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil” (Matthew 5:45 – GN).
Cosmic conflict in the early Christian church “Their utter stupidity (of the Christians) can be illustrated in any number of ways, but especially with their misreading of the divine enigmas and their insistence that there exists a being opposed to God, whom they know by the name devil (in Hebrew, Satanas…” Celsus 175-177 AD
“It is blasphemy to say that when the greatest God indeed wishes to confer some benefit upon men, He has a power which is opposed to Him, and so is unable to do it.” - Celsus
The Holocaust = the result of Hitler’s kingdom Planet Earth = the result of Satan’s kingdom
Satan is “the prince of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30) “Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept in bonds for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16)
“The LORD was angry at Israel again, and he made David think it would be a good idea to count the people in Israel and Judah.” (2 Samuel 24:1) “Satan wanted to bring trouble on the people of Israel, so he made David decide to take a census.” (1 Chronicles 21:1)
“Can you catch Leviathan with a fishhook or tie his tongue down with a rope? Can you put a rope through his snout or put a hook through his jaws?...Touch him once and you’ll never try it again; you’ll never forget the fight! Anyone who sees Leviathan loses courage and falls to the ground. When he is aroused, he is fierce; no one would dare to stand before him. Who can attack him and still be safe? No one in all the world can do it.
“Let me tell you about Leviathan’s legs and describe how great and strong he is…. “His pride is invincible; nothing can make a dent in that pride. Nothing can get through that proud skin-- impervious to weapons and weather…” (Job 41:15- 16) “Even angels* run for cover when he surfaces, cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.” (Job 41:25) *gods, or “the strongest”
“His stony heart is without fear, as unyielding and hard as a millstone. When he rises up, even the strongest are frightened; they are helpless with fear. There is no sword that can wound him; no spear or arrow or lance that can harm him. For him iron is as flimsy as straw, and bronze as soft as rotten wood. There is no arrow that can make him run; rocks thrown at him are like bits of straw. To him a club is a piece of straw, and he laughs when men throw spears.
“Nothing on earth is his equal— a creature without fear. He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud." (Job 41:33-34 – NIV)
“On that day the LORD will use his fierce and powerful sword to punish Leviathan, that slippery snake, Leviathan, that twisting snake. He will kill that monster which lives in the sea.” (Isaiah 27:1)
Paul: “the god of this age” and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2) John: “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19)
“May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 - GNB) “Keep us safe from the Evil one.” (Matthew 6:10 – GNB)
“God…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). “[God] is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“We are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age” (Ephesians 6:12).
“And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.” (Revelation 12:12 GNB)
“Everyone worshiped the dragon…It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed..’And it deceived all the people living on earth…”(Rev 13:4,12-14)
“An enemy has done this--not God!” (Matthew 13:28)
“The Son of God appeared for this very reason, to destroy what the Devil had done” (1 John 3:8) “Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil…” (Hebrews 2:4)