That's a great article, Jab. Eby agrees that Satan is a spirit being and brings out some very important points. Thanks!
So it is with us as human beings. One who grows up in a sheltered environment, who is pampered all his life, grows up a weak, spineless individual. ADVERSITY builds strength of character. If we were never exposed to trials and tribulation, we would grow up weak indeed! The more we are exposed to ADVERSE circumstances, the more we have to wrestle with our environment, the more we are CHALLENGED by the world around us, the stronger we become. Saints, IF WE WOULD BE THE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH we must be STRONG in the Lord and in the power of HIS might! Our Father wants us to be strong, so He has wisely given us wrestling partners to wrestle with, so we will become strong. There are opposing forces (thank God for them!) that we must constantly battle against. Some of these adverse things are the principalities and powers in the heavenlies
. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
Now, what does God do but deliberately hand over this perfect and upright man into the hands of Satan to do his worst upon him, only that he should not touch his life. It was be cause God desired to test Job that He brought forth "the smith to blow the coals up on the fire." Please note that it was not Satan's idea to persecute poor old Job! Oh, no! it was God Himself who brought up the subject! There Satan was, presenting himself before the Lord, appearing for duty, and God asked, "Where have you been?" Satan replied, "Walking up and down in the earth" (No mention of Job at all). Well, Satan," the Lord asked, "Have you considered My servant Job? Have you noticed that he eschews evil and fears God? Have you noticed that, Satan?" You can be assured, dear ones, that Satan HAD noticed Job, but he wasn't doing anything to him.
One of the most glorious testimonies of the preservation of the saints of God is given here in this passage by Satan himself. "Does Job fear God for naught? Have You not made a hedge around him and about his house and about all that he has on every side?" Praise the Lord! Yes, there truly is a hedge around the people of God, and that hedge is Jesus Christ Himself. The Psalmist recognized and rejoiced in this fact when he said, "He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. will say of the Lord, HE IS MY REFUGE and my fortress: my God in Him will I trust: (Ps. 91:1-2). "You've put a hedge around him," Satan said, "and I can't get to him!"
Then he went on to say, "You must put forth YOUR HAND and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face." But the Lord, who searches the reins of the heart, who knows them that are His, knows who can be trusted with affliction, and will not allow any to be tested beyond what they are able to bear. He therefore said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power - in your hand - only upon himself put not forth your hand."
The New Testament abounds with this same truth, Did you notice how strangely Matthew and Mark speak of Christ's temptation? "And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil" (Mk. 1:12; Matt. 4:1). What a strange statement! The Holy Spirit of God drives the sinless Son of God into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan, the arch enemy of all righteousness, a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies! Ah, but it was necessary for the Son to be PROVEN, to be made STRONG, to OVERCOME in these realms before proceeding on into His glorious ministry and the death of the cross. Truly God creates evil and uses it, too, for His glory! The apostle Paul fully understood this great truth and practiced it himself. He instructed the Corinthian believers to "deliver such as one to Satan FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus," and he declares in his letter to Timothy that he himself has delivered certain brethren unto Satan "that they might learn not to blaspheme." But the apostle had experienced something of this kind of discipline also, for he says, "Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, THE MESSENGER OF SATAN TO BUFFET ME, lest I should be exalted above measure." All this clearly shows that Satan is a creature created by God for a specific work, and even that work shall result in blessing for God's children and redound to the glory of God!
Dear saints of God, don't believe for one moment that anything in all God's great universe is out of control! God is GOD, He IS in full control of every sphere of activity, and Satan himself is under the province of God. May God enlighten our minds to perceive the truth that Satan has no power at all except that which God delegates to him. Do you REALLY believe that Satan could cause all the trouble in the world UNLESS GOD HAD ORDAINED IT? My friend, if you believe Satan is a problem to Almighty God, then your God is entirely too small! Satan is no thorn in God's side who made him in the first place, who binds his hands daily, who sets his boundaries and limits his power and marks his path. Oh, yes, those who would be Sons of God MUST OVERCOME HIM. Beloved, when that purpose is accomplished, Satan will have completed his course as an INSTRUMENT in the hand of God who has everything under control! Hallelujah! http://www.kingdombiblestudies.org/serpent/Serpent.htm