Once, I had a fleeting thought during a church meeting, and couldn’t help smiling about it. I was having one of those brief Rhema moments, where some strange insight just strikes you outta nowhere. Do you realize how that the devil isn’t disobedient? And how when God issues a command to him, he obeys but instigates man to do the contrary? Lets, for instance, take a look at Job’s book to see how the devil often tries to set us up against God.
In Job 1:12, God instructed the devil:
All right, you may test him, do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.
You know the devil. He went no-holds-barred on Job. Job lost all his children to sudden death, he also lost his cattle, almost all his servants, most of his property in summary, except his wife – the devil had to keep someone with him to constantly remind him of how foolish he was to retain trust in his God. Don’t we all still remember her words? “curse God, and die.” The devil did all of this but refrained from physically hurting Job as God had instructed.
As the story goes, Job stuck with God, which only served to shame the devil but not deter him from trying again – which reveals a lesson in tenacity to learn from him. So he thought to hurt Job more with the hope that Job would give up on God. This was quite simple: all the devil had to do was move beyond hurting all that belonged to Job to physically hurting Job. Yes? No. He remembered God say “don’t harm him physically.” God did not have to spell out the penalties of disobedience to the devil. He just knew Good wasn’t to be disobeyed. Experience had taught him that. So here’s what the devil does. He returns to God and asks for Job to be physically hurt. Read him:
Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. Reach out now and take his health and he’ll curse you to your face!”
And God goes:
All right, do with him as you please. But spare his life.
That was all the devil needed. He returned to afflicting and in every of Job’s response, he said nothing reviling against God.
This display of obedience by the devil and his cohorts is seen through scripture. See Mark 5:8-13, Luke 4:35. There are a host of others. He obeys, knows who is boss. And even in darkness where he seems to dominate, he’s still second in command – the bible never called/calls him king: he is best tagged as ‘prince’: ‘prince of this world’, ‘prince of the power of the air’, ‘prince of……’. And this is so because he’s got a Superior he’ll always fear despite hating.
So here’s how the devil gets a go at God: man. He attempts at instilling in us humans a certain disregard for authority which some of us accept in folly, resulting in a selfish exhibition of irreverence for God and His commands.
It’s supposed to be plain to see how the devil cares not about man. He’s where he is today because of his first act of disobedience, which resulted from pride. Now he wants us, God’s most priced creation to also experience the consequence of our disobedience. And by this, he somewhat sends a message to God which says: “Hey Most High One, have a look at the ones You call Your own, the ones You made in Your image.”
Isn’t it supposed to hurt how some of us easily get entrapped in this game of his? When God says “don’t lie, steal, fight, fornicate, hate,” He refers to you, not the devil. When the devil lies, steals, hates, destroys, etc. he is not disobeying God, he is rather abiding within the confines of his powers, because those instructions aren’t meant for him but us.
Are you reading this? And you know you’ve been disobedient to God all this while? Turn around dear friend, He waits to help you help yourself. It’s for you Christ died not for the devil. Obeying God begins to feel a lot less like punishment the moment you accept the Salvation Christ brought.
DON’T BE DISOBEDIENT!
1 Samuel 15:22