Satan “incites” God to act against Job? Really?!

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Job 2:1 One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.”

You’ll note this passage is from Job chapter 2. It’s the second such encounter between God and Satan in the book of Job. In Job chapter 1 God gave Satan permission to bring calamity upon Job to prove that Job will not curse God, but would remain righteous. Even as all of this 10 children died in one fell swoop, Job did not rebel against God. In this second chapter calamity will move from Job’s children to Job himself as he will be afflicted in his body. What gets my attention this morning is the end of v.3 as God says to Satan,

“(Job) still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.”

God is saying that Satan “incited” God to allow Job’s suffering. That word “incited” is interesting to me. In other places in scripture it is God who incites/compels/encourages people to do things. But here it is Satan who incites God to act against Job – or at least to permit Satan to act against Job.

The agency/power lies with Satan, not with God.

That’s blowing my mind this morning. How might this change my understanding of God? Of the relationship between good and evil? Lord open my mind to comprehend what I find confusing. Amen.

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