Did Satan Deceive God in Job?
In Job 1, a conversation between God and Satan is exchanged. Satan tells God that Job has no reason to fear Him because He has blessed the work of Job’s hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Satan continues on to say that if God were to take away everything Job has, Job will surely curse God to God’s face.
12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
God gives Satan permission to take everything that Job has so that Job may be proven righteous contrary to Satan’s assertion that was, he is only righteous because you haven’t given him a reason to curse you. The argument suggests that Satan already knows that Job will overcome his test for if God, omniscient, is the one implying that Job would not falter, then it must be the case that Job will overcome. God doesn’t say whether or not Job will succeed but gives Satan the power to find out on his own. If Satan were correct about Job when he said that he would surely curse Him, then God would not have permitted Job’s destruction. But because God instructs Satan to test Job, Satan certainly knows that Job will not curse God for how could God be wrong about Job’s ability to endure Satan’s destruction?
This is problematic because it suggests Satan was successfully able to deceive God. Obviously, God cannot be deceived so perhaps the fault lies with Satan, not knowing that God knows everything. If this is the interpretation, then Satan is surely lesser than ourselves when it comes to knowledge. For we know that God knows everything yet Satan, a being that has spoken with God, doesn’t know this. Does Satan not know that God knows everything?
Satan knows that God knows everything. Satan is described as cunning and deceptive. For Satan not to know that God knows everything, he would have to be fairly dull which would contradict scripture. To properly understand what took place in Job, we mustn’t isolate the conversation between God and Satan as an anomaly. Satan is at work at all moments and stories similar to Job occur throughout the world. The only difference between other stories and the one found in Job is the conclusion. Where Job stands steadfast with God, others may indeed curse Him. So God permitting Satan to destroy Job would not have suggested to Satan that Job would stand triumphant because God has permitted Satan to kill, steal and destroy those that have indeed, cursed our almighty God.