Life-Study of Job, by Witness Lee

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Ethically speaking, Job was very good. According to human eyes, there was no problem with Job. God even boasted to Satan regarding how good Job was (v. 8; 2:3). Only God knew that Job had a need, that he was short of God. Because of His loving concern for Job, God held a council in the heavens to talk about Job.

A. Held by God with the Angels

This council was held by God with the angels, the sons of God (1:6a; cf. 1 Kings 22:19-23; Psa. 89:5-7).

B. Satan Also Coming as One of the Attendants

I do not believe that Satan was invited to attend this council. He came without invitation; he came by inviting himself. Quite often Satan comes without being invited.

In Isaiah 14:15 and Ezekiel 28:16-17 Satan was condemned by God and even sentenced by God. Yet in His wisdom and sovereignty God did not execute His judgment over Satan. He still has given Satan a certain limited time so that he can do something to meet some negative need in the fulfillment of God’s economy. God could not and would not ask any of His many excellent angels to do what was needed to damage Job. Without Satan, there would have been no one to do the ugly work of damaging Job in order to strip him of everything that he might be full of God.

We may use the case of Judas in the New Testament as an illustration. One day the Lord Jesus said, "Was it not I who chose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil" (John 6:70). Why did the Lord choose Judas to be one of the twelve when He knew that Judas would betray Him (John 13:2, 27)? Regarding a particular aspect of God’s eternal economy, there was the need of Judas. Without Judas, how could the Lord Jesus have been betrayed, and without being betrayed, how could He have gone to the cross? Thus, there was the need for Judas.

The situation is similar with Satan in the book of Job. There was the need for someone to damage Job, not to judge him but to strip him of everything. Job had been laboring under God’s blessing for many years and he had accumulated many things. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a great many servants. He had a dear wife and seven sons and three daughters. Moreover, Job was very successful in being perfect and upright and in holding to his integrity. His possessions, success, and attainment made him a contented and satisfied person. Although Job was full of possessions and full of his attainment, he did not have God within him. As God looked upon Job, He might have said, "Job, what shall I do with you? You are full of your possessions and your attainment, but you are not full of Me. You have Me in name, but you do not have Me within you." Thus, for God’s dealing with Job, Satan was needed. Satan was the unique one in the universe who could and who would fulfill God’s intention of stripping Job of his possessions and his ethical attainment.

(Life-Study of Job, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)