Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Three Strikes...But he's not out!

I decided to try to read through the book of Matthew last week. I started Sunday and read the first three chapters. Monday I started chapter 4 and have been stuck on this chapter ever since. I have read it over and over and over. Matthew 4 begins with the devil tempting Christ in the wilderness. As I read this three things (the three R's) came to my mind.

First, Satan is Restless - Restless is defined as: 1. Never resting; unquiet; uneasy; continually moving; 2. Not satisfied to be at rest or in peace. These definitions took me back to the beginning of the book of Job:
Job 1: 6, 7 - 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
Satan is constantly roaming the earth. I have no idea if he has to rest. I don't think he takes a smoke break nor do I think he is roaming the earth admiring the beauty of God's creation. I think he is looking for opportunities to reek havoc. As I read Matthew 4 I wondered how Satan knew Christ was going to be in the wilderness:
Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Did God have a conversation with Satan like he did back in Job. Did he tell Satan I have another one for you to consider? I can only imagine what was going through Satan's mind. I blew it with Job but I will take this Jesus down. I learned much from my encounter with Job. Who knows what transpired but apparently Satan was in the wilderness waiting.

The second thing that came to my mind is Satan is Ruthless - Ruthless is defined as pitiless: without mercy or pity. Look at how Satan attacks Christ. He knows his weakness and he goes straight for it.
Matthew 4: 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Talk about an understatement "he was hungry" How about he was completely malnourished or physically wasting away or he looked as though he was nothing more than skin and bones! Satan knew the condition Christ was in, he had spent 40 days and 40 nights with Christ and saw his physical condition so he tempted him with physical food. However Satan did not know about Christ's spiritual condition. God in flesh overcame Satan's physical temptation with a practical, spiritual response in verse 4.

Finally, Satan is Relentless - Relentless is defined as persistent: never-ceasing.

Satan did not back down after the first attempt failed. He came back two more times. If food was not the weakness how about power or prestige or popularity. Satan may have backed off of Christ but it appears that he continued to converse with Christ at a later date:
Luke 22: 31 - “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.
Satan asked Christ if he could take a shot at Peter. Again, Satan's power is limited to the point of him having to ask God for permission to attack. Never-the-less he asks. Even though he failed with Job and he failed with Christ he wanted another shot at someone else.

Satan is not a funny looking guy in a red suit with a plastic pitch fork and a pencil thin mustache. He is the arch enemy of God. He is pure evil who is hell bent on destruction. I believe Satan would love to take a shot at me and you. He may have already taken a shot at us and he got to us. He may be planning yet another assault right now. Are we ready to fight him? Are we armed with the Word of God to defend ourselves and our families. Beware of the Restless, Ruthless and Relentless evil one!

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