Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD…
This is one of those mysterious chapters of Holy Scripture wherein God hath graciously vouchsafed, for the strengthening of our faith and loving trust in Him, a brief glimpse of that which is continually going on, day by day, in regions mysterious to mortal vision, and in which, could we but at all times feel it, we are so greatly concerned. Scripture is consistent in its testimony throughout — that there is a prince of darkness, a fallen angel, whose constant aim it is to effect our eternal ruin. In this case the evil messenger is permitted by the Most High to afflict one of His own righteous servants with grievous losses and poverty and sore disease, for the trial and purification of his faith.
I. SATAN IS FROM TIME TO TIME ALLOWED TO MOVE THE LORD TO AFFLICT EVEN HIS MOST FAITHFUL PEOPLE IN VARIOUS WAYS. The Lord's ways toward His people, and indeed toward all men, are most mysterious, but from the analogy of His dealings with the patriarch Job we may safely conclude that they are full of secret love and mercy towards them, and designed to promote their everlasting happiness.
II. THE LORD GIVES SATAN ONLY A LIMITED POWER OVER HIS OWN PEOPLE. As the Lord said, "He is in thine hand, but save his life," so in your case He may have given him liberty to proceed just so far, and no further, with you.
III. FAITH UNTRIED IS FAITH NOT PROVED ACCEPTABLE. Many a man deceives himself with the empty counterfeit of faith. Hence an ordeal is requisite in which numbers fall away, whilst the faith of others is brought out as pure gold refined from the furnace of affliction. God graciously keep you from falling away in this your season of trial.
IV. SATAN IS MOST FREQUENTLY THE LORD'S AGENT IN THE INFLICTION OF DISEASE AND OTHER TRIALS. But Satan defeats his own purposes in afflicting God's people, because their faith, through God's grace, is thereby strengthened. In order the better to strengthen his position in attacking believer's faith, Satan will often incite his nearest and dearest relatives to seek to withdraw his heart's allegiance from God. He did this in the case of Job. In the moments of his fancied triumph Satan moved Job's wife to assist him in the deadly warfare. But God had not forsaken him.
(J. C. Boyce, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.