I've been thinking a lot lately about what Satan says in Job 2. We all know the context of the passage: in chapter 1, Satan is allowed to take all of Job's possessions and his children, yet Job's reaction is "'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." (1:21-22)
This brings us to chapter 2. God points out Job's response to Satan, and Satan responds. "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face."
This is coming from Satan, so it shouldn't be a surprise, but this has to be one of the most wicked statements in Scripture. I agree that it is better to lose possessions and retain your health, but Job had lost many servants, and all of his children. What a wicked thing to imply, that a man will sacrifice anything for his own life, even the lives of others. Even the lives of his children.
And God help us, it's true. Better him than me. Most of us wouldn't go so far as to say it, but haven't we all felt it? I have. To my shame, I have. Cancer. Better them than me. Loss of job. Better them than me. Embarrassment, pain, brokenness, failure, poverty. Better them than me.
I should clarify. When something bad happens to someone else, we can be thankful for the blessings we have. Going to a funeral should cause you to give thanks for the people you love. Visiting a friend in the hospital should cause you to value your own health.
I'm talking about the voice that says "If it had to be someone, I'm sure glad it wasn't me."
So this is depravity.
It shouldn't surprise us that this is Satan's point of view. Or that it is the inclination of our hearts.
Rom. 11:33 "Oh, the depths of the riches and widsom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!"
Rom. 5:6-8 "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Skin for skin. Christ's perfect, righteous, holy body for our dirty, worthless, undeserving corpses.
Freed from the curse of self-preservation.