Friday, October 28, 2011

Keep the Real Enemy in Mind


 Many do not believe that Satan exists. Thus, although they might be alarmed about world conditions, they do not discern the real cause—Satan the Devil. True, much of the responsibility for mankind’s woes rests with humans themselves. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose independence from their Creator. And since then, successive generations have acted very unwisely.

Still, it was the Devil who deceived Eve into rebelling against God. He is the one who has developed among imperfect, dying mankind a world system under his control. 

Because Satan is “the god of this system of things,” human society displays the same basic characteristics that he does—pride, contentiousness, jealousy, greed, deception, and rebelliousness. (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:14; 3:6; read James 3:14, 15.) Such characteristics have led to political and religious conflicts, hatred, corruption, and disorder, which contribute much to mankind’s misery.

 What precious knowledge we as Jehovah’s servants have! Yes, we understand who is to blame for deteriorating world conditions. Do we not, then, feel impelled to share in the field ministry so as to inform people of the identity of the chief troublemaker? And are we not happy to stand up for the true God, Jehovah, and to explain to others how he will put an end to Satan and to mankind’s woes?

 Satan is responsible not only for many of the world’s sorrows but also for the opposition that God’s people experience. He is determined to put us to the test. Jesus Christ told the apostle Peter: “Simon, Simon, look! Satan has demanded to have you men to sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31) 

Similarly, each of us who follows in Jesus’ footsteps will experience trials in some way or other. Peter compared the Devil to “a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.” And Paul said: “All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.”—1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Tim. 3:12.

 How can we show that we keep the real enemy in mind when a tragedy befalls a fellow believer? Instead of distancing ourselves from the affected brother, we act like Elihu of old, who spoke to Job as a true friend. We join our brother in the struggle against our common enemy, Satan. (Prov. 3:27; 1 Thess. 5:25) Our goal is to help our fellow servant to maintain his integrity, come what may, and thus make Jehovah’s heart rejoice.

 The first asset that Satan caused Job to lose was his livestock. Those animals were valuable, likely his livelihood. But Job also used them in worship. After Job had sanctified his children, “he got up early in the morning and offered up burnt sacrifices according to the number of all of them; for, said Job, ‘maybe my sons have sinned and have cursed God in their heart.’ That is the way Job would do always.” (Job 1:4, 5) 

Thus, Job sacrificed animals to Jehovah on a regular basis. Once the trials began, that was no longer possible. Job had no “valuable things” with which to honor Jehovah. (Prov. 3:9) But he could—and did—honor Jehovah with his lips!

Why not check the Scriptures here? 


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Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.