Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Devil’s "It Is Written"

The Devil's "It Is Written"

    Read the following passage carefully, noting the Lord's three statements regarding the authority of Scripture, "It is written… it is written… it is written."  Note also, however, a fourth "It is written."

    "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple and saith unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:1-10; emphasis added).

    The devil reads his Bible, as it were.  Moreover, he is quite willing to quote the "It is written" of Scripture in order to ply his cunning trade of deception.  The Lord Jesus did not fall for Satan's ruse, of course, soundly thrashing the devil with the rightly interpreted and applied "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).  We must be careful as well, understanding that merely reading and reciting Scripture does not guarantee that we or anyone else are actually in right relation to God and His truth. Along these lines,  I almost hesitate to express the thought that follows.  However, here it is, because we all know it to be true: some of the nastiest human beings on the planet read their Bible every day.  Ostensibly, they commune with God while doing so, but somehow come forth from the sacred page with selfish pomposity rather than sanctified piety.  How this can happen is difficult to fathom, although I personally have been guilty of the crime.  So perhaps I do understand that one can read the Bible without actually responding to its Author, message, and influence.  Again, our enemy the devil knows the Bible, likely far better than we do.  This should serve as a dire warning regarding his willingness to use even holy things as a means of deceiving and distracting us.

    Reading the Bible is vitally important for every believer.  Reading with the proper frame of heart and mind is even more important.  We must approach the altar of Scripture in faith, and with a great seriousness of humility and devotion.  Remembering the devil's "It is written" will help in our determination to ponder the Word of God with the realization that we are not necessarily bettered by our reading.  Our response, as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit, determines whether our Savior's "It is written" becomes the path we follow from time spent in the sacred Pages.

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
(II Corinthians 11:13-14)

Weekly Memory Verse
   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(Romans 5:10)

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