Anglican Morning Devotion, 16 July 2021 Anno Domini
A Ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:1-5; all scripture quoted is form the King James Version)
Bible study among professing Christians has fallen far too low into complacency in our day. Men and women have come to believe they do the Lord a favor simply by showing their faces in Church at the worship hour. Few have opened, or even touched, their Bibles in the days preceding. Such Christians are choice targets for the wiles of the Devil. He KNOWS Scripture, and he knows how to twist and distort it. A prime example is in his approach to Eve in the Garden. Satan almost always begins his intrigues with a question – “Hath God said?” But even the question is a distortion of truth. God did not say that the two could not eat of every tree in the Garden = just the one from which Eve now heard the voice. God actually said: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) Satan began with a question, and ends with a flat denial of god’s word: “Ye shall not surely die.” He then appeals to the false pride of Eve: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Satan is not divine – he is not omniscient; but he knows our weaknesses from careful observation. Here are some examples of the devices Satan uses to trap his victims.
- Peter was a strong and masculine fellow – a fisherman by trade. He was accustomed to men admiring him for his strength. It was, in his opinion, his strong suit. When Jesus informed the disciples of His coming sacrifice, Peter boldly proclaimed: “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” (Matthew 26:35) Before the cock crew that very night, Peter had denied the Lord thrice out of cowardly fear. Satan used Peter’s self-confidence to trap him.
- David was trapped in the snare of fleshly lust: “And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.” (2 Samuel 11:1-4)
- The disciples were caught in the net of hunger for power: “Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. 47And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, 48And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” (Luke 9:46-48)
- Pontius Pilate was caught in the trap of petty political correctness and fear of the wicked. He pronounced our Lord innocent and then, astonishingly, sentenced Him to be crucified. “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 15No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.” Luke 23:14-15 (KJV)
Satan has myriads of ways to approach the unsuspecting sinner. But when the believer is well-armed with
the shield of faith and loins girt with truth; That only comes through knowledge LEARNED from Scripture!
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:13-18)