Remember the two trees,
two brothers (Cain & Abel)
I don't think the devil was ever supposed to be a single literal person, even if he appears so in stories. I mean think about this. No, I mean REALLY think about this. The idea that a human writes a story featuring a conversation between God and the devil is kind of ridiculous... unless it was fabricated in order to set up and explain a story that already happened in hindsight.
Stop there for a minute. I don't think everyone always realizes that every bible story happened before it was ever written about. Which means the writer has 100% hindsight. Which means never getting caught off guard by inconvenient facts because you can always simply write whatever you need to make it make sense in your world view. And if it doesn't? Then you just don't tell that story. This means that every bible story is essentially curated content.
In the case of Job, what is the writer really trying to explain?
The real question isn't about the faith of Job as many would imagine. The real question is "why do bad things happen to good people who believe in God? Why doesn't God help them and prevent harm from coming to them?"
Think about it. It's a reasonable question to ask. After all, when God wasn't "with" the Israelites in Egypt (with as in protecting them) they were free to be whatever they wanted. I'm sure many followed the Egyptian gods while many others were atheists or agnostic. And we can really surmise this by the ease in which they turned away from YHVH; many times.
So if you're writing a story meant to unify people around a singular deity then you, at some point, want to tackle the questions that people would have. After all, polytheism didn't have this problem. If there are multiple gods then it isn't any one god's job to watch your back. You have to choose that god and petition that god to help or protect you.
This is where Satan comes in.
Satan is the best thing to ever happen to YHWH. Let me repeat that and then explain it before people start (or continue) to accuse me of worshiping Satan.
Satan is the best thing to ever happen to YHWH.
Now how do I defend this statement? Think about it. Satan balances the equation by being a negative force. Instead of God (YHVH) being responsible for everything, people could take all the bad things and believe (pretend) that Satan is responsible for those things. This allows people to cherry pick from every single event in nature. Whereas... nature doesn't have a universal good or bad agenda. Nature is simply the logical equation of all the forces in the universe interacting with each other. Energy in the form of a lion may consume energy in the form of a zebra. What's good for the lion is not universally good because its not relatively good for the zebra.
By the same token you cannot call God's actions in the bible good because they were only relatively good for certain people while being bad for others. In order to deal with the logical problem this poses for morality, moral thinkers simply justified the actions of God (the literary character they created... sorry folks) by assigning blame to the parties that were "consumed".
How do you blame the Canaanites for not believing in God (YHWH)? Whose fault was that? Noah preached for over 100 years? How many years did Abraham preach for? Abraham not only lived in Canaan but he also passed through Egypt and interacted with the Pharaoh. Instead of preaching the gospel of YHVH he deceived him into thinking his half-sister wife was just his sister. Instead of preaching YHWH to a the leader of Egypt and possibly converting them all, his descendants end up "enslaved" there for 400 years. ...which is an interesting turn of events.
Instead of all the conflict in Exodus, they could have gone the Jesus route of preaching and performing miracles. Because they didn't we don't know how many people died as a result. But again... these stories are told in hindsight. So things happened and they had to use God in some way to make the best sense out of what had already happened. They couldn't completely rewrite history. They could only tweak it.
If you're thinking critically then you might already know the point I'm getting to. The same justification for invading Canaan in essentially the same justification any tribal warrior nation could use as a pretense for invasion and pillaging. A similar justification was used in the taking of America and of course that same justification extended to the taking of Africans to use as a work force. All they had to say was "but they didn't worship our God so our God is cool with us beating them and taking them as spoils of war". In OT thinking its perfectly okay to make someone your geopolitical enemy, even though they haven't provoked you as a group in any way shape or form, even though your ancestor lived among them peacefully, and then steal their land and taking their women and children to be slaves, wives, concubines, etc.
This is what makes the crime of the transatlantic slave trade so heinous to us to this day and why we're still feeling the results of this... thinking. It is an idea as old as the bible and that's how they justify it. They say "you did it [slavery] too" so "why u mad bro?". And this makes it difficult to argue the moral obscenity of it all, because God = morality to them.
Again, nature doesn't really care. It doesn't judge the lion or the tiger for eating what they eat. It doesn't judge them from defending their territory from other lions or tigers. But animals aren't widely known to be homicidal and killing outside of their need to eat. More harsh than nature is the idea of Satan. Satan is therefore used to explain the propensity in humans towards evil. It has to be Satan because believers and those who master belief in order to control believers, they cannot put the responsibility for this on God. There had to be a shadow to his light. Otherwise, what would be the point? What would be the point in serving one God when that same God was just as likely to work against you as work for you? What was the point if that same God was just as likely to curse you as bless you? The whole point in serving a god, for them, wasn't because he was the king of the universe but in exchange for that power being used for their benefit.
After all, where does the idea of kings and queens come from? Is this an alien concept that we humans adopted? Or is it a human concept that places higher power on a higher level of reverence? We respect power inherently the same way the lion pride respects the Alpha male. The alpha male is a "king of kings" because all lions are kings but the alpha is the king of his pride. His power is worthless if he wont use it to defend the pride. We see these group dynamics in early Israelite history as the Hebrews politically protested and tried to reject the authority of Moses which he was not born with, but rather was indivisible of this idea of God being YHWH that all came from him. Because they only knew of the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob". They didn't know him as the name that Moses introduced.
If Moses was introducing YHWH as a different god altogether from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, how would anyone have known? And this is similar to what Paul did by telling the gentiles that his God was the same as their one invisible God. But does that mean that they knew God before? Who was this invisible God that they knew? Who spoke to him? What did he tell them to do? And are there any conflicts? None of this is ever answered of course, because, imo, its a con job. It's an attempt to borrow credibility and legitimacy from people's own historical past.
"oh yeah, you remember that time someone gave you the money you needed to pay your rent? That was me."
The goal of this is basically to make you feel indebted. It was the whole "salvation" thing that made people in the OT feel indebted to God. And in the NT the debt continues as "slaves to sin" and so this creates a sense of willing servitude for believers who cannot help but be gracious and loving in return for grace and love.
But what if its a lie?
What if we simply exist as part of nature where the strong often use the weak in order to eat and no one ever really protects us. Instead, we, like most animals, have defense mechanisms that we continue to evolve, that help us cope with our environment. Some animals are great at running away, others great at hiding, others are poisonous, and others just leave a bad bad taste in your mouth. We tend to heap praise on others when we all have to use these inborn tools in order to survive in a world where both good and bad things happen to ALL of us despite our beliefs and affiliations. And whenever we seek after someone else to provide salvation we do not focus and concentrate on building the tools we ourselves need to save ourselves. We try to give someone else that responsibility.
This is why Satan is the best thing to ever happen to God. Because as long as we separate nature into forces of light and darkness and apply evil to Satan we will continue to excuse evil and confuse it for the will of God whenever it benefits one group over another. And as long as we can be part of that "in group"... and support evil actions in disguise... we will continue to allow those willing to speak for God to control us for their own profit.