In Job 2:3 it says, “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my
servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and
upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still mantains his
integrity, thought you incited me against him without any reason.’ ” My
question is this; Can Satan incite God to do what he did to Job?
When you read Job, it seems to give the impression that God is treating
Satan almost as an equal. However, a good practice is to take the Bible
as a whole and let it speak for itself. Passages such as James 1:13-15
helps me to understand Job. “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is
tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor dies he tempt anyone;
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away
and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and
sin, when it is full-frown, gives birth to death.”
I believe that what we read in Job does not contradict the truth in
James. Therefore, God is not somehow incited or tempted by Satan and God
is not tempting Job to sin. I believe what is going on here is that God
allowed Satan to tempt Job. He did this to demostrate to Satan, but more
importantly to us, how a man of God can remain righteous despite being
tempted. I would say that God certainly “won” in this situation. Because
he allowed Satan to tempt Job, and because Job, although he almost “lost
it,” proved faithful, we have a wonderful example for all ages to come.
Clearly, God does not keep us from all temptations. He will allow us to
be tempted, but not “beyond what we can bear.” (1 Cor 10:13). The testing
of our faith produces perseverance and maturity (James 1:2-4). God does
not tempt us, and he certainly cannot be goaded into bad behavior by
Satan!!!! However, through being tempted by our own evil desire, and
through overcoming the temptation, we will bring great glory to God.
(Romans 5:2-5, 1 Peter 1:3-7).