If You Don't Know Your Enemy How Will You Make It?
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under..." Matthew 2:16 The whole intent of Satan is to oppose everything God does and to destroy everything that God loves. At the birth of Jesus, Satan moved upon king Herod's heart to murder all the male babies two years old and under in order to destroy the child who would grow up to be the Messiah. But God intervened and told Joseph to take Mary and the child to Egypt and to stay there until Herod was dead. Just as we need to know our God, we also need to know our enemy. Satan is not "an evil force," he is a person, an angel who was cast out of heaven when he tried unsuccessfully to rise higher than God. He managed to get a third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion, and they were all defeated and thrown out of heaven. And now, Satan hates God with a pure hatred. He despises all that God loves and moves against all that God purposes to do. He especially hates those who belong to God, because he knows the redeemed will spend eternity in the heaven that he lost. Satan also knows the Word of God, and from the Word of God he knows about his end, that he will be thrown into the Lake of Fire by the One he hates the most, Jesus Christ the Son of God when he comes. He knows the redemption story and at every point in that story he wars against it. Every person he manages to corrupt, these are his trophies, and he has many. When the Jews were in Egypt and being used as slaves, God brought Moses into the world. Satan put it into the heart of the Pharaoh of Egypt to declare that all the male babies be slaughtered in order to kill the one God would use to deliver his people. This was Satan's attempt to prevent the work of God in God's plan to redeem his people out of Egypt, which would turn out to be one of the greatest deliverances in history. It was so great that today the Jewish people celebrate it at every Passover, recounting the whole story of how God sent Moses to bring the children of Israel out of bondage into freedom from slavery. Satan knows how to recognize "the last days," knowing that it will be the time his end will come. He knows that the signs of "the last days" will take place when God is in the process of fulfilling his promise to bring the Jews, who were scattered across the entire earth, back to the land of their fathers. Seeing the budding of this plan, Satan moved against God's plan for the Jewish people. He put it into the heart of Adolph Hitler to kill them all, because if he could manage to destroy them, then the events of "the last days" couldn't take place. He devised an enormous plot to get this accomplished, and succeeded in slaughtering six million Jews during what would be called "the Holocaust." But he failed. Though few in number, there were survivors and they went on to emigrate to the land of their fathers in one of the greatest stories in the history of the world, the story of the restoration of Israel. Today, the story goes on, and Satan's role in it is only too obvious. Though he didn't succeed in destroying them all in the Holocaust, he now has a better plan. He has raised up the leaders of the nation of Iran to attack them with nuclear weapons, something that didn't even exist until this generation. If he succeeds in this, he will destroy every Jew in the country of Israel. So ...what do you think the odds are that he will succeed? The God of Israel has promised to bring the Israel story to completion. This will happen when the Messiah returns to this earth and they will finally see that he is the Son of God, the one who first came to die as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind, but who will come this time as the warrior King. All the nations of the earth will be there warring against the Jews in a united determination to destroy them at the war called "Armageddon." That is when the Messiah will come and put an end to Satan and his maniacal hatred, throwing him and his followers into the Lake of Fire where they will remain through all eternity. This, my friends, is also YOUR enemy. Every born-again believer becomes a hated enemy to Satan. Every person filled with the Spirit of God is a threat to Satan and he will move against them with all kinds of hateful attacks, bringing as much trauma and tragedy into their lives as he can, so as to make them hate God and turn from Him. The only protection we have is in knowing the Word of God, feeding daily in God’s Word and spending time with him in prayer. This kind of believer Satan cannot destroy. But he never gives up, so it behooves us to stay on guard always, and be aware of the traps set to cause us to fall. If Satan can keep you from the Word of God, he can cause your heart to become spiritually dull. He can take you down with doubt, and if not doubt then fear, and if not fear, then discouragement. Your survival spiritually necessitates an intimate closeness to the Lord and an undying determination to remain faithful to him no matter what. Our sojourn here is short, and for those who keep the faith they have the joys of heaven ahead for all eternity.