When I was meditating this morning, the devil came to mind. A book that has been a mainstay of mine, like the Hannah Hurnard book I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, is a book by C.S. Lewis called “The Screwtape Letters.”
Lewis’ book is about the devil and his works; how he gets to a person. It’s written in the format of a letter from the senior devil, Screwtape, to a junior devil called Wormwood. Wormwood is trying to earn points with his boss and will do whatever he is asked to in order to win a person’s soul for his boss. The idea behind the story is for the understudy Wormwood to tempt the people and give them what they want. He wants the person’s thoughts to be consumed with what they want, and then once they get it, hopefully they will focus on nothing else.
I read somewhere that the best weapon that the devil has against humanity is the fact most people do not believe in his existence.
As for the word devil, drop the “d” and you have evil. Can’t be too much of a coincidence. No one will disagree that this world is full of evil deeds. It’s not a far stretch then to say that evil exists and the devil is just another name for evil. In the Bible he is referred to as Satan, and he got to man right there in the Garden of Eden.
The Old English definition of devil is evil spirit, slanderer, false god, diabolical person.
The devil isn’t a little man in a red suit with horns and a tail. The devil is a darkness and an evil that seeks to destroy what Yeshua holds precious, what the Father holds precious.
When I was in Bible College I recall being astounded that the one we call HaSatan (devil) was a fallen angel; that he had been the Lord’s Chief Angel and the Lord loved him dearly. He fell when he desired and attempted to be like, or perhaps even greater than his Creator.
Is it any surprise that his first at-tempt at tempting the human would be to suggest that the human could become like or even greater than YHWH? Don’t we always use the tools that we are most familiar with?
I believe it is imperative that we at least believe that there is evil in this world: in forms of humans whom we can see, and in non-forms of entities that, as Screwtape did, tempt the person and have that person turn over control to the hands of evil for its unholy purpose.
Satan, aka the devil, has been hounding humanity tooth and nail since the Garden of Eden.
As this post is about evil called “devil”, I only reference here Scriptures that use that word. These are only found in the Old Testament (KJV).
- Matthew 25:41 – Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
- John 8:44 – Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
- 1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
- Ephesians 6:11-12 – Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
- James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- James 1:13-15 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: [Though ‘devil’ is not used, ‘evil’ is and I personally equate one with the other.]
- Revelation 12:9 – And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
- Revelation 20:10 – And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Devil – Chief Liar
In reviewing these Scriptures it comes to mind how I have always wondered why it was that all liars were included in those who would find themselves cast into the lake of fire and concluded that it was because when I lie, I am taking sides with the enemy, who is called the chief liar, that is the devil or HaSatan.
Even more importantly, it is not just choosing what the devil would do, it is in doing so I am rejecting Yeshua Himself. He is described as being “the Way, the Truth … .”
If you look at John 8:44 above, John speaks to this very point describing the devil as one who lives and feeds on lies and lies alone; who wouldn’t know truth if he tripped over it.
The verse in 1 Peter 5:8 addresses what I said about needing to be aware that evil does exist. Peter tells the people to be vigilant at all times.
How can we be vigilant about something if we do not believe in its existence. This reminds me of the parable in Scripture that asks what man, if he knew a thief was in the neighbourhood, would not prepare and protect himself against a possible invader?
Enemy of Yeshua
From where I sit at this moment, all I need to know is that evil does exist and that the devil is not my enemy. He is the enemy of Christ and he will do whatever he has to in order to take away from Yeshua those who are rightfully his:
- Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
- John 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
- John 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
The devil will at-tempt to tempt and we are called to resist. The devil cannot tempt us with something we do not long for or lust after.
You and I have the same tools. It is a matter of whether we wish to access, activate and use those tools.
Sometimes it is easier said then done. Anyone with an addiction will attest to this as being true. It is those times when we must press in closer to the Lord, trusting that we will get through the moment. Having been through that hell, I know how hard it is, but if we but hold on, one minute at a time, we will overcome with the Grace and help of the Lord and those who love us.
Don’t let the devil get in your head, and when or if it happens, resist the devil, in Yeshua’s name, and he will flee.
- James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
I don’t make lightly of this topic. It used to be I heard bible thumpers (sorry folks) but the good old preachers preaching about the devil all the time. We don’t hear much these days, and I am thinking that the devil (or whatever you wish to call him) is quite content with that state of affairs.
- Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.