One more thing about Satan from the book of Job, and then we'll move on - does it bother you that God seems to so naturally talk with Satan? Does it bother you that God talks with him at all? Is it unsettling for you that God appears to be making a deal with the devil?
It's a good question. For most of us, the last thing we think God would be doing would be having a casual conversation with Satan. The last thing we think we want Him to be doing is having a nice back-and-forth with the enemy. Especially if we're the ones who get stuck in the middle. I mean, sure, we expect God to bring the hammer, to drop the full weight of His glory and goodness on Satan and crush him again and again and again, but to just...talk? To just...chat about things? To make a deal?
It's almost unfathomable.
And yet, however unsettling it is, this is potentially one of the most encouraging passages in all of Scripture. At least, it can be. And it sheds a certain light on Saturday.
Because it proves that there is no length that God won't go to for the righteousness of His people. There is no risk He won't take, no challenge He won't accept. God is just as willing as we are to put our faith to the test so that we know for sure on the other side just how certain it is. God is ridiculously comfortable standing face-to-face with Satan to demonstrate to us that His love, His goodness, His nature is real. Just look at Job.
One of the lingering questions in Christianity, one oft-debated by scholars, is what happened on Saturday - between the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection. He couldn't have been...dead. He couldn't have simply just been dead in that tomb, could He? It defies everything we think we need to believe.
But why couldn't He? If God can stand face-to-face with Satan and defend His glory and the righteousness of His people, why can't Jesus stand face-to-face with death and do the same? If God can come into a realm where Satan reigns in order to establish His absolute rule, why can't Jesus go into the realm of death in order to establish His undeniable life?
This is absolutely vital for us, particularly as a people coming out of a time in the church that has been historically fixated on sin. There are many Christians still questioning whether or not God can save them, whether or not He even wants to. Whether or not they are so bad, so depraved, so wicked that they are beyond the reach even of God. And maybe it's easy to look at God's conversation with Satan and say, see? They're in cahoots. They're conspiring to get me. They're out to sink me, to destroy me, to prove to me my own sin.
But maybe there's another way to look at it. What if...what if God is willing to go to any lengths for you? What if He's willing to do whatever it takes to cement your redeemed heart? What if God would go to the gates of Hell and have a conversation with Satan just to justify you, to purify you, to honor you? What if He would go to the depths of death to bring you back to life?
How far is God willing to go for you?
However far He needs to.