Even the devil will attend divine worship to serve his own ends. It is, therefore, a poor confidence which looks for salvation because church or chapel have been regularly attended. We ought also to watch and pray even when we are in the assemblies of the saints, for Satan enters there, and is busy with his temptations.
Full of evil as Satan is, he is not idle. A lazy man commits one more sin than the devil himself.
The glory of Job’s character was his sincerity and uprightness, and this like an impregnable fortress defied the attacks of hell, though the prince of darkness himself personally assailed him, with permission from God to take from him all that he possessed.
Satan suggested that bodily pain would be the weapon to wound Job’s faith; yea, and turn it into rebellion. There was much malicious cunning in this, for many a man has yielded before the miseries of physical pain though he had been proof against every other trial. Yet the Lord can make his people more than conquerors even there.
In this wretched state he had no soft bed, but lay upon the hard ashes; nor does it seem that he had either surgeon or nurse. There he sat, the prince of misery; but there was worse to come.
Satan tried to ruin Job through her who should have been his best comforter, but he was defeated, for he only led Job to utter another of those notable speeches which are now the treasures of the church.
This showed sympathy, but even this was not permitted to continue lest it should comfort the afflicted one. Soon these three friends judged Job’s condition, and came to the conclusion that such unusual sorrow could only have been brought about by unusual sin. Under this impression, they added the last drop of gall to Job’s cup by accusing him of hypocrisy and secret sin.
I am a sinner—shall I dare
To murmur at the strokes I bear?
Strokes, not in wrath, but mercy sent,
A wise and needful chastisement.
Saviour! I breathe the prayer once thine,
“Father! thy will be done, not mine!”
One only blessing would I claim;
In me, O glorify thy name!