“In the middle of this pandemic, someone asked me if Satan has to get God’s permission for each individual act of wickedness like he did with Job?”
In Job’s day, everyone knew that God was rewarding good behavior with things like wealth and good health (Job 1:1-3). That’s why Job’s three friends all told him, in so many words, that he must have sinned to have incurred the loss of his health and wealth. This is also how God dealt with the people of Israel under the law (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). In such cases, God would use Satan and his host to effect the punishment (1 Kings 22:22; 1 Chron. 21:1), as well as the natural wickedness of men (Isa. 10:5-7).
But we are not under that kind of conditional blessing because we are not under the law, we are under grace (Rom. 6:14,15). Today God blesses us up front with “all spiritual blessings” in Christ (Eph. 1:3), and then beseeches us to walk worthy of them (Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10). That means that pandemics and natural disasters are not Satan’s doing, they are just the result of living in a creation that is cursed by sin (Rom. 8:22, 23). Today Satan is “an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), and his devils are “ministers of righteousness” (v. 15). They are busy teaching “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1), not wreaking havoc in the material world.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
“It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles.”
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you’ll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.