"Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house; and a messenger came to Job and said, 'The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away--indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!'" (Job 1:13-19).
As the terrible day dawned, everything is normal. But, Satan was able to use men (through the lust of the eyes) to steal Job's oxen, donkeys, and camels. He used fire from above (perhaps lightning?) to destroy the sheep and many servants. Finally, he used a great wind (perhaps a tornado?) to slay Job's children. Tragedy pilled up upon tragedy at Job's feet as each messenger delivered his portion of the grim news. Job's life, in the course of one day, literally falls apart. Yet, Satan's real objective is not achieved.
As a side note, I find it intriguing to observe that the devil was granted permission here to manipulate natural elements. Typically, we view God as the controller of nature, but from this context we should learn that it is false to assume that all natural calamities arrive directly from the hand of God.
It is very difficult for me to relate to the suffering of Job here. I cannot imagine the grief I would experience if my house and possessions were completely destroyed and my children were slain all in the same day. How would I respond? Would I be strong in my faith or would my convictions crumble as my blessings vanished? Friends, how would you respond in Job's circumstances?
"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:20-22).
Job's response is an indication of his righteousness. Job has a fourfold reaction: (1) tearing his robe, (2) shaving his head, (3) falling prostrate on the ground, and (4) worshiping. The patriarch had already lost so much, but he does not want to lose his relationship with God too! Job truly had a balanced outlook on life (cf. Eccl. 5:15; I Tim. 6:7). He did not allow his possessions to possess him.
From Job's perspective, God brought this devastation upon him (cf. Job 2:10). But, even under that mistaken impression, he did not forsake the Lord or accuse Him of doing wrong. It's been said that when you have nothing left except God, then--for the first time--you become aware that God is enough. I'm reminded of Paul's words in Philippians 4:11-13 - "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content; I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Even though Job's life had been crushed around Him, He did not sin. This is an important point to reflect upon and remember.