Gambling with God
The prologue in the Book of Job is truly amazing. In it, we get one of the few small glimpses in the Bible of the heavenly realm through the eyes of the writer of the book, and what a truly remarkable place it is.
At center stage, we see God in His splendor observing all creation and celebrating the righteousness and goodness of his servant Job.
Enter from stage left, the Adversary (aka Satan). The Adversary has a wager for God, he bets God that he can make Job curse God, that Job is not truly righteous but only acts that way in order to receive God’s blessings.
Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I would not gamble with someone who not only set all the stars in motion, but also knows the future as well as the past. Psalm 147 says:
“He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name
Great is our Lord and mighty in power
His understanding has no limit”
So why did the Adversary make this wager against the creator of the universe? I can think of a couple of reasons although there are probably more:
- He wanted to be able to touch one of God’s servants, this could imply that he needs permission.
- He really thought he could beat God, this could imply he’s not very smart.
- Perhaps, it’s just his nature. After all, the name of Satan is the word Adversary, implying that Satan is defined by being against God. In the same way that antimatter is the opposite of matter, the Adversary is the opposite of God by definition.
These reasons tell us some very interesting things about God and the Adversary. But they don’t tell us WHY God would let the Adversary attack Job in the way that he does – why did God accept the wager.
After all of the soul searching and seeking of wisdom is done, Job finally hears from God and his life is restored to him. But God still doesn’t tell us the why. It makes you wonder if perhaps, just perhaps, even though we get a glimpse of the heavenly realm through the book, we still can’t handle it in the here and now. Perhaps, like Job, we don’t have to understand, we just have to say, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours will be thwarted” (Job 42:1).