Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How Does Satan Get Away With This?

I recently had some excellent questions asked of me regarding the story of Job:
"Why would God allow Satan to come back up to heaven (after being thrown out)…..and allow him to accuse believers before God?
"Why does he even HAVE the ear of God . . . an unholy, fallen angel, standing before a Holy God . . . and God listens to him?"

Here's my response:

Good questions. My quick answers (there are volumes written on this though) are the following:

1. God may have allowed Satan to approach Heaven in order to further humiliate him. Think about it. If you're thrown out of your natural home and habitat but allowed to visit it as an outsider with no rights of ownership, wouldn't that be agonizing, especially if you lost yet another contest with God? As for the accusing part, where does it matter where Satan accuses? It is his nature to accuse, and God is omniscient, so He can see everything all the time. Whether in Hell, Heaven, or on Earth, God hears the accusations as does His people. Which leads to the next response:

2. Part of Satan's goal is to defeat God and all that is good. God permits Satan's efforts at this for a season (however at the Second Coming, this will completely end). There are at least two reasons: a. To completely discredit evil (which in the discrediting, ultimately glorifies God). And b. To allow an alternative for humanity to choose. If there is no alternative, humanity cannot choose to love God. This explains why Satan is allowed in the Garden. The freedom to genuinely choose God (which loves requires) also means an alternative must exist (the freedom to choose evil). However, one day, this choice will no longer exist among humanity, at the consummation of all things (the End of the world as we know it).

 One of my Professors, Dr. Roy Zuck, says this in his commentary on Job:

 "The Book of Job does more than raise the question of the suffering of the righteous. It also, through Satan's words, deals with the motives for godly living. Will anyone serve the Lord if he enjoys no personal gain from it? Is worship a coin that buys a heavenly reward? Is piety of a contract by which to gain wealth and ward off trouble . . . Job, Satan claimed, would no longer insert his coins of worship if nothing came out of the machine . . . Surely God knew Job's heart, but He used Job as a demonstration to silence Satan. In addition, God wanted to deepen Job's spiritual insight."

 Also helpful is S. Michael Houdmann's insights from his excellent website,

 "Here are some other facts to note: 1) Satan does not have open access to God’s presence. He is summoned by God. 2) The visits are temporary. His time before God’s throne is limited. 3) In no way is the purity of heaven tainted by the brief, God-ordained presence of a sinful being, “quarantined,” as it were, by God’s regulatory power. And, 4) Satan’s access is only granted prior to the final judgment. After the judgment, God creates a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1), wipes away all tears from our eyes (verse 4), reveals the New Jerusalem (verse 10), and promises the complete absence of sin (verse 27)."

 Hope this helps! PR