It was once said by a talented writer, that the old devil was dead, and that there was a new devil now; by which he meant to say, that the devil of old times was a rather different devil from the deceiver of these times. We believe that it is the same evil spirit, but there is a difference in his mode of attack. The devil of five hundred years ago was a black and grimy thing, well pourtrayed in our old pictures of that evil spirit. He was a persecutor, who cast men into the furnace, and put them to death for serving Christ. The devil of this day is a well-spoken gentleman: he does not persecute he rather attempts to persuade and to beguile. He is not now the furious Romanist so much as the insinuating unbeliever, attempting to overturn our religion, whilst at the same time he pretends he would but make it more rational, and so more triumphant. He would only link worldliness with religion; and so he would really make religion void, under the cover of developing the great power of the gospel, and bringing out secrets which our forefathers had never discovered.
Satan is the fowler; he has been so and is so still, and if he does not now attack us as the roaring lion, roaring against us in persecution, he attacks us as the adder, creeping silently along the path, endeavoring to bite our heel with his poisoned fangs, and weaken the power of grace and ruin the life of godliness within us.
If the devil comes to my door with his horns visible, I will never let him in; but if he comes with his hat on as a respectable gentlemen, he is at once admitted. The metaphor may be very quaint, but it is quite true.
Your fairest pleasures will harbour your grossest sins. Take care; take care of your pleasures.
First, he delivers them from the snare does not let them get in it, secondly, when they do get in it he delivers them out of it. The first promise is the most precious to some of us, the second is the best to others.
Trouble is often the means whereby God delivers us from snares.
At other times God keeps his people from the sin of the fowler by giving them great spiritual strength, a spirit of great courage; so that when they are tempted to do evil they say, with decision, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?
But the second thought was, that God delivers his people, even when they get into the snare. Alas I my hearer, you and I know something about the net; we have been inside it, we have; we have not only seen it spread, we have been in its folds. We know something about the cage, for we have, unfortunately, been in the cage ourselves, even since we have known the Lord.
And now, to conclude, I am to dwell for a moment or two upon that word “SURELY.” The assurance of every truth of Scripture is just the beauty of it. If it were not sure, it were not precious; and it is precious just because it is sure. God's promises are bonds that never yet were dishonored.
None of God's people shall be cast away, or else the Bible is not true. The whole stability of the covenant rests on their final perseverance.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible