The Biblical book of Job is my favourite book of the Bible.
Here is this successful man. Wealth, family, health and blameless before God.
Then there is this heavenly chess match between the Creator of the universe and satan a mere angel.
Job is caught between the wrestle.
Will he waver, whom will he choose to side with, is his faith dependant on tangible assets? How does he handle the opinion of others such as his wife and his close friends?
Mysterious questions are asked and answers are elusive.
Friends come and try to help with band aids for broken soul.
In the end Job comes out with probably more questions than he had before but also his tangible wealth is restored and increased.
Some writers write in such a way that you want to slowly read each word and each sentence over and over again. Like a fine wine that you sip slowly to enjoy the flavour.
Here is a long, but worthwhile, quote from his devotional book The Gospel according to Job.
A duel is a highly formal, almost civilized contest between two combatants in which the circumstances are scrupulously controlled so as to make the odds as even as they can possibly be. Neither party is to have an unfair advantage, and to that end the duelists choose identical weapons and observe a strict ritual, a code of conduct.
In a duel the point that is being proved has nothing to do with brute strength, nor even, in the final analysis, with skill or marksmanship. Rather, what is on the line is that peculiar commodity known as honor. The entire rationale for the contest is the defense of personal honor.
In the case of a spiritual quarrel between God and Satan, surely it would be perfectly legitimate for the omnipotent Lord of the universe simply to parade His superior strength and prowess by unleashing his big cannons against the Devil’s pea-shooter.
But the problem, in terms of honor, is whether such a triumph would prove anything. Would it-as insane as this might sound-be fair? No, it would not be fair at all, but lopsided. From the standpoint of honor such a fight would be rigged, and so in the end it would prove nothing.
So what is fair?
In an area as subtle and abstruse as the honor of celestial beings, what are the ground rules? What possible code of ethics might apply? Where is the common territory upon which these two inscrutable adversaries can meet? And what common weapon might they employ that would be truly equitable to both?
The answer, of course, is man. Human beings, soul and body, are the dueling ground where heavenly powers clash.
It is as though two magnificent warriors were to strip themselves entirely of armor, throwing aside not just weapons and shields but raiment itself, and were to step forward stark naked and join in hand-to-hand combat, wrestling in the mud.
For this, finally, is the only way in which the Lord Almighty can begin to prove moral supremacy over the Devil without in any way drawing upon His infinitely greater resources of brute strength.
God’s omnipotence, remember, is never in question in this fight.
Like it or not, even Satan is compelled to bow before the throne of God. But what is being disputed in dubious battle on earth is God’s moral right to omnipotence, His mandate to rule. It is a question of honor that is at stake, and therefore the theater of conflict must be one that is appropriate to the display of purely moral qualities.
Who will win the prize of humanity’s allegiance and praise? Will it be the Lord or the Devil? To whom, in the crunch, will man entrust his soul?
The test is an eminently fair one.
Indeed if the advantage falls either way it is to Satan, in that the duel ends up being fought not in the full light of day, but in confusion and darkness, on the Devil’s own turf.
And so in bewilderment and in exquisite torment man, through the subtle moods and shades and turnings of his own high-mettled spirit, selects the winner.
He is the weapon of choice between giants.
Questions to Consider and Leave a Comment
Mike Mason states ‘Human beings, soul and body, are the dueling ground where heavenly powers clash’. What does this statement invite you think, feel and do?
What is ‘fair’?
There is a battle going on according to Paul in Ephesians 6. Mike Mason believes we individually select the winner. How does meeting with others strengthen the choices we make?
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