By Elizabeth Prata
Some people think they can ‘bind satan.’ They strut around uttering words to the effect that they’ll ‘tie up the strong man’ while busily casting Jesus’ name before them like a magic charm.
Other people don’t take satan seriously. They rely on senses to ell them what’s true, and thus, since they can’t see satan they underestimate satan’s strength. Either kind of thinking causes too many people to rely on their flesh to conquer sin.
Underestimating satan, or worse, inflating our own power to deal with sin, the devil’s lies, and his thievery, is a woefully inadequate way to handle one’s walk in Christ. Let’s take a precise look at the power that satan possesses (power which is at Christ’s behest and allowance)-
When the devil strutted into heaven and the LORD asked satan where he had been, satan said roaming up and down upon the world. He isn’t omnipresent. That is, satan can’t be in all places at once like Jesus is, but he is a supernatural being who can in a second be in Australia, then Thailand, then Kansas. He really does have free rein at the present time to wander at will upon the earth and perform his evil plots (again, within limits of God’s plan and purposes).
The LORD asked satan to consider Job, and the devil was immediately incensed with how the LORD protects Job. Note that the devil knew of Job, there was no extended explanation as to who Job was and where he lived. Satan knew immediately of whom the LORD was talking.
Satan said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made 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.” (Job 1:9-10).
Job had a lot of possessions, so it’s obvious satan had been watching Job for a long time if he knew of how the LORD had blessed Job by increasing Job’s holdings.
Observe, Satan knows who the super worshipful are. He may or may not know personally of the minor Christians like me, but he definitely knows the super Christians. He knew of Paul, (Acts 19:15) and he knew of Job. The conversation went on, and the arrangement was confirmed.
Now, to the meat of it- satan’s power. Job had 7000 sheep. Satan caused fire from above to kill all 7000 at once! The servants were killed too, with 1 survivor. Think of the power of satan to cause lightning powerful enough to slay thousands of sheep all at once, and the precision to kill all the servants, except one. Just ponder that for a second!
Not that we need a scientific explanation for obviously supernatural occurrences like satan’s slaying of 7000 sheep and many humans at once- except 1- but this doesn’t normally happen. Here is some lightning strike and animal kill info from John Jensenius of NOAA. Jensenius is a lightning expert-
“Animals do tend to group together in storms and huddle under trees. If lightning strikes the tree or somewhere nearby, the entire group can be killed. We don’t know how common this is because it’s hard to track, though usually it’s herds of 10 or 20 animals that get killed. When animals or people are in groups, most are being killed by the ground current. First, there’s a direct strike — this is what most people think of when they think of lightning — that hits the tree or maybe the ground nearby. The energy then spreads along the ground surface, and if you’re anywhere near that lightning strike, you absorb it and get shocked.
Job had 3000 camels. Camels need about 2 acres per camel. They can eat a variety of vegetation but they need 5 ounces (140 grams) of salt every day. They must be groomed and checked, just like any other cattle. That’s a lot of camels requiring a lot of care and guarding, so there must have been many servants. Satan simultaneously incited the heart and mind of three bands of raiding Chaldeans. Satan possesses great quantities of power to be able to incite so many men so quickly and get them organized to the extent that they raided all the acres where camels grazed at once.
Habakkuk 1:6-7 says of the Chaldeans,
“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
That grim and impetuous people
Who march throughout the earth,
To take possession of dwelling places that are not theirs.
7“They are terrifying and feared;
Job had 1000 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, which the Sabeans took all at once and killed the servants with the sword. (1 lone survivor again). Note the language in the verses, “While he was still speaking” over and over.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says, “I alone am escaped—cunningly contrived by Satan. One in each case escapes (Job 1:16, 17, 19), and brings the same kind of message. This was to overwhelm Job, and leave him no time to recover from the rapid succession of calamities“
Satan knew where Job’s children would be. Think on that for a moment. He knew they’d be together and which house. He killed all 10 of them at once, by raising up a mighty wind. Note the language in the verse from Job 1:19, “a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house.”
Wind usually comes from one direction at a time. A tornado would swirl and direct wind from all 4 compass points. Satan caused what was likely a tornado within seconds of being allowed to do it by God, and it was strong enough to smash the house to bits and kill everyone inside. He did this in succession with raising the Chaldeans, inciting the Sabeans, and pouring out fire from heaven (likely lightning).
And people think they can raise a puny fist and bind this powerful being?
And people think they can handle their sin in their own power? Satan caused killing thoughts in the Chaldeans and Sabeans, thousands of men all at once. You can resist your own flesh in your own strength?
There is one being who is more powerful than satan. Jesus, the Lion of Judah! He has conquered satan, all the demons, death, and hell!
And one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5).
Jesus is worthy, powerful, magnificent, and perfectly wise. His Spirit will aid us in slaying sin and resisting the devil. We must rely on our God every moment for all our helps. We are stupid sheep, stuck in a ditch, rescued, only to dive into the ditch again! (have you seen that clip? It’s funny and sad at the same time!) If you think for a minute that “I’ve got this!” you don’t. Jesus does though. If you are IN CHRIST, in Him, he is your very present help in times of trouble, which means every day. Sin troubles us every day. Rely on Him alone. He is perfect.
Sheep clip (video) This is exactly us! We are stupid.
What are cherubim? (article)
Angels: God’s Invisible Army (sermon)
Satan: How does he operate? (sermon)