SATAN THE ACCUSER


One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.’ Then Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’” (Job 1: 6-11)

The name “Satan” means “accuser” or “adversary.” God asks Satan whether he, having walked “to and fro on the earth,” has noticed the especially good on the earth, namely, His servant Job. But Satan is blind to the good; he is stuck in his diabolical pattern of accusing, slandering, and “turning around” (διάβολος comes from διαβάλλω, to turn or throw over) any good he comes across.

While Satan’s distorted “judgment” seeks to drag us down, God’s true Justice brings us light, vision, and growth. This truth is revealed with particular clarity in His Son, to Whom the Father hands over all judgment (Jn 5: 22). “I came into this world for judgment,” says Jesus, “so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” (Jn 9: 39)

Today let me beware of the kind of “judgment,” both in the area of self-criticism or with regard to others, which seeks to drag down and stunt growth. Let me rather step into God’s light, taking some time for prayer and reading of His word, that I “may see” myself as He sees me, and grow in His Self-giving, cross-carrying love.

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