Would Job have been tried had God not brought his name up to Satan? "The Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job?" (Job 1:8). We cannot say with certainty. Perhaps because of Job's character and blessedness, the devil would at some point have fixated on Job even without the Lord's mention of His choice servant. Concerning another such faithful one, however, the very Son of God Himself, we do know that the Lord Jesus Christ would not have faced the wilderness temptation had the Holy Spirit not led Him to the place of challenge. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil" (Matthew 4:1).
Scripture teaches that God does not tempt anyone to evil (James 1:13). As in the case of the Lord Jesus, however, His purposes may mean that we cannot avoid being led into an arena where temptation awaits. In Job's circumstance, God seems to have instigated His servant's challenge, knowing full well that which Satan would request at the mention of Job's name and faithfulness. In such times, the Lord knows that many of His purposes involve not the absence or elimination of evil, but rather the overcoming of it. God was well aware that Job would pass the test of his challenge, namely, that Satan would fail in motivating Job to curse God to His face (Job 1:11; 2:5). Our Heavenly Father also knew that His Son would trounce the devil in a wilderness where the devil seemingly had every advantage, save the fact of the faithful One whom he tempted. A weakened, starved Savior presaged the greater victory to come when He would trample the devil under nail-scarred Feet by death and resurrection. "He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God" (II Corinthians 13:4).
Many of our trials may originate in the same Divinely-appointed furnace where our Father knows that dross will become shining silver through being exposed to fiery heat. The way is hard, but the holy outcome transcends in glory. In the fleshly sense, we may presently hope that the Lord does not mention our name to our enemy, or lead us into arenas where challenge awaits (the Lord Jesus even taught us to pray accordingly - Matthew 6:13). Deep within our hearts, however, the Holy Spirit bears witness that we cannot escape every fire or wilderness. Thus, we do best to pray for our Lord's continued strengthening and maturing process for the battles to come. His glory, the benefit of others, and our own blessedness hinge on the outcome. Knowing that such is the case may well serve as a vital aspect of our preparation, enabling us to faithfully trust and serve God as did Job, and even more, as did the glorious One he foreshadowed…
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously."
(I Peter 2:21-23)
"Glorify ye the Lord in the fires."
Weekly Memory Verse
By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.