“Simon, Simon, Satan has appealed to sift you like grain, but I have interceded regarding you in order that your faith might not fail. And at the point when you return, undergird your brothers.”
“And Satan answered Yahweh and said, ‘Is it not without cause that Job fears God? Have you not put up a hedge of protection around him and around his house and around all that is his—surrounding him? You repeatedly bless the work of his hands and his cattle cover the land. However, I beg you to stretch our your hand and strike all that is his and see if he won’t curse you to your face.”
How similar this event is to the account of Job being tested. The Christian walk is not one that is meant to be an easy walk, but one where we will be tried and tested in every way as we walk along life. Yet notice the promise that Jesus makes to Peter. Satan will make his attack, but Jesus is the one interceding for him. How the same may be said for us as well. Yet, so often, we give in willfully to temptation and in doing so betray that we do not really trust Christ’s intercession as much as we say we trust it. How often the temptation to sin seems an overwhelming pull, yet neither Peter nor Job fell away—they stumbled and sinned, that is clear, but never cursed God and gave in to lessen their burden. Judas, on the other hand, took a different route in his grief.
That raises an interesting question. Why was Christ willing to intercede that Peter might return to faith and not willing to intercede in the same way for Judas? He certainly could have had he chosen to, and had Jesus chosen to, what a witness that would have given Judas—it would have been one much like the Apostle Paul, the one who persecuted and murdered believers. Yet, in God’s electing work, that was not the plan for Judas. Why one and not the other? On some level, we are not really fit to ask, for God has not revealed the fullness of his plan of election. On another level, the answer we must give for God’s electing of Peter and not Judas is that it was done for God’s own glory and for his praise. Though we do not always understand the why’s and wherefores of our God, the praise of his glory should ever be on our tongue—it should be the center of our thought, the joy of our heart, and the awe of our being. Who can say that they are a counselor to God (Romans 11:34)? Indeed, what He does is right and for all of the right reasons—some of those reasons he reveals to us, others he does not—and so it is with God.
Oh, the depths of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unfathomable are his decrees and incomprehensible are his ways!
For who is he who knows the mind of the Lord?
Who is he that has become his counselor?
Who is he that first gave to him that he might receive repayment?
For out of him and through him and for him are all things.
For to him is the glory unto eternity, amen!
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.