Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
From stories in Matthew 26 and John 12
Satan is never specifically mentioned as being the one who deceived Eve, either in the Old or New Testament. Never. That omission seems to be a sort of back-handed compliment to the craftiness of “that old serpent” and a warning to us to hide ourselves from his cunning in the blood of Christ Jesus.
We all know now that the Devil, being the “father of lies”, must have been involved somehow with the lying serpent in the Garden of Eden, but at the time, Eve never suspected that she was being lured into sin and death by a wicked creature. Isn’t this how it always is? People can see Satan’s handiwork when they look back at what he has already done to them, but while he is doing it, they didn’t even know he was there. In the order of books that the Bible presents to us, the Devil is not even mentioned until near the end of the thirteenth book, the book of 2Chronicles. Not only does this tell us that Satan is not as important or powerful a character as he would like for us all to think, but it also tells us that he works very quietly to accomplish the great wickedness that he accomplishes.
It is the Bible’s silence concerning the Devil that speaks most powerfully about his cunning, wicked wisdom. Man is no match for it. By that wisdom, the Devil has “deceived the whole world.” The only antidote to that wisdom available to us is the marvelous wisdom of God, compared to which, Satan’s “wisdom” is shown to be abject foolishness, unworthy of even the least of us. No one walking in the wisdom of God in Christ Jesus is fooled by or victimized by Satan because their eyes are lightened by the light of the Lord, and they are not walking in darkness. To them, that proud creature called the Devil appears as nothing more than a pathetic figure, a proud fool who deserves no following. To all others, he walks in silence through their lives, deceiving and destroying, while they blame something or somebody else.
This is the first step to understanding Judas’ work as a slanderer. It is a quiet work. And it succeeds only as long as it stays in the shadows.
Tomorrow: Where the word “slander” comes from.