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the one-two punch
"The Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your power.' " —Job 1:12
Satan is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). He is the expert in tempting us. For example, he tried to get Job to say something "disrespectful of God" (Jb 1:22) and to curse God (Jb 2:9). Job, however, did not fall for Satan's series of temptations. First, Satan had the Sabeans steal Job's oxen and asses (Jb 1:14-15). In our economy, this would have been a theft of several thousand dollars worth of property. Next, lightning struck and destroyed more of Job's property, killing some of his employees (Jb 1:16). If Job hadn't forgiven the Sabeans and placed the first catastrophe in God's hands, he probably would have blamed God for the second catastrophe. This would have turned his heart from God and planted a seed which would have grown into a sin of disrespect and cursing against God.
After this one-two punch failed, Satan tried it again on Job, but with greater intensity. The Chaldeans robbed Job of camels which were probably worth much more than Job's oxen and asses (Jb 1:17). These Chaldeans also murdered several of Job's employees (Jb 1:17). If Job had hated these Chaldeans for their crimes, he probably would have sinned and been knocked out when he heard the devastating news that all ten of his children had been killed in an accident (Jb 1:18-19). Doesn't bad news often come in pairs or bunches? Don't we often get the worst news when we already feel bad? That's why we must turn to God, forgive, and shake off the first punch before the second one hits.
Prayer: Father, give me wisdom and love so that I will not be outwitted by the evil one (see 2 Cor 2:11).
Promise: "Whoever welcomes this little child on My account welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him Who sent Me; for the least one among you is the greatest." —Lk 9:48
Praise: St. Wenceslaus began the last day of his life with "Praise to You, Lord; You have allowed me to live to this morning." He ended it by forgiving and praying for his murderer.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998