So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Satan struck Job.
Yet, Job spoke of receiving evil from God.
And… “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
So, who struck Job? From where did the evil come? Satan or God? Scripture simply answer is “yes.” But, this is far from simple.
What Job recognizes is that God is sovereign over all… even Satan and evil. There is nothing that befalls Job which somehow escapes the sovereignty of God. However, this does not make God morally culpable for evil! Job’s assumption is that God has good purposes behind all that he is allowing to befall him. It is to be received without cursing God, for God is at work for good.
Satan is at work for evil! Satan is at work to destroy Job’s faith and defame God. Yet, God is at work to establish Job’s faith for the fame of his name.
In the same event, Satan is at work for evil and God is at work for glory and good.
This is true all over the Bible and it is true in all the evil that befalls you. Evil is evil and can be called such. When you experience pain, suffering, and wickedness… you can talk about how Satan and others are at work to destroy your faith. You can denounce evil as evil.
But at the same time, we do not despair! For… we know that God is sovereign, and he is at work in the same events for his glory and our ultimate good!
So, we can look at every ounce of evil that comes our way and confidently say, “This doesn’t win! God wins!” Evil doesn’t get the final word, our great-sovereign-God works all things together for the good of those who love him!
I can receive what he is graciously doing in me even through the most painful of my days! I can receive “evil” from the Lord, knowing that he is sovereign over it, in it, and through it for glory and good.
Just look at the cross.
The crucifixion of the sinless son of God is the greatest act of evil that has ever happened. Simultaneously it is the greatest act for God’s glory and our good. If God was sovereign there for his great purposes, then truly he is sovereign everywhere.
Truly we can say with Job, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”