Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Satan bested at his own game

Satan deceived Eve
Satan tempts Eve
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

TO CHEW ON: "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see HIs seed, and He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall proper in His hand" - Isaiah 53:10

In this one verse we have a sum-up of what we celebrate this coming weekend. It is the ultimate defeat of Satan in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The opening line of our focus verse reminds us of the ancient prophecy that God spoke to the snake-incarnated Satan in Eden:

"And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise your head
And you shall bruise His heel" - Genesis 3:15 (emphasis added).

We may wonder why, in the face of such a prediction of his own demise, did Satan pursue Jesus' death? In his book Unlocking the Mysteries of Satan (Ebook Shorts), Dennis McCallum suggests that God deliberately hid the connection between Jesus the predicted Messiah and Jesus the Suffering Servant. He notes that in all the Suffering Servant Songs (Isaiah 42-53) there is not one reference to Messiah. Satan, with his fixation on confounding Jesus the Messiah (King), missed that He was also the Suffering Servant.

"Satan … thought Jesus had come to rule immediately. Indeed, he tried to kill Jesus when he was a baby. Jesus' self-effacing behaviour must have been confusing, but most people thought he would reveal his power any day (Luke 17:20; 19:11; Acts 1:6) and Satan may have thought this as well ….

If Satan were mistaken about Jesus' intentions, he naturally would have concluded that arranging to kill him would short-circuit the planned kingdom …. too late he realized that he had facilitated not the destruction of God's everlasting reign but the salvation of the human race!" - Dennis McCallum, Unlocking the Mysteries of Satan,  Kindle Locations 253-259.

It was after Jesus' resurrection ("…and He shall see His seed, and He shall prolong His days") that the disciples' (and no doubt Satan's) eyes were opened (Luke 24:45-47). Imagine the disciples' euphoria on realizing God had had the whole matter in control the whole time.

This outworking of God's cleverness in the face of all Satan's scheming prompts reactions in me, perhaps you too?

1. Admiration at God's wisdom in giving Satan the slip.

2. Gratitude for God's sacrificial love as He allowed Jesus to die in our stead.

3. Confidence in God's ability to keep us from getting snagged in Satan's schemes as we entrust ourselves to Him.

Dear God, thank You for Your plan which included Jesus' death for me, but also the resurrection and the final defeat of Satan's destructiveness. Help me to live in that victory now. Amen. 

MORE: Handel's Messiah Alert

G. F. Handel used words from today's reading in five Messiah choruses:

Chorus 23: "He was despised" - Isaiah 53:3.

Chorus 24: "Surely He hath borne our griefs" - Isaiah 53:4,5.

Chorus 25: "And with His stripes we are healed" - Isaiah 53:5b.

Chorus 26: "All we like sheep" - Isaiah 53:6.

Chorus 31: "He was cut off out of the land of the living" - Isaiah 53:8b.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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  1. Love the title of this piece, Violet. It tells it all. Yay, God!

  2. Thanks Mary! The massiveness of God's plan continues to amaze me. I love the Bible and all the hints and clues scattered in it. The more we dig, the more we find!


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