1 Peter 5:8a…. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: In our text for today, we find that the devil is said to be our “adversary”. The word “adversary” is a very interesting word that speaks volumes about Satan’s activity in our lives.
“Adversary” is translated from a fusion of two Greek words:
1. the first word means “to be opposed to” or “instead of”.
2. “the second word is the common NT root word for “judgment” that carries with it the idea of “justice”, “judicial punishment” or “a sentence declared by a judge”.
When the Lord calls Satan our adversary… He is describing Satan’s work as that of an opposing lawyer in a court of law. Satan is attempting to persuade the judge to come to the wrong judgment and for an injustice to be committed. He is “opposed to justice” being done.
The Bible gives us examples of Satan’s work as adversary…
1. In Revelation 12:9-11, Satan is described as “the accuser of our brethren” and he is said to have “accused them before our God day and night”.
2. In Job 1: and 2: we find Satan, while on earth, speaking to the Lord questioning Job’s dedication and love for the Lord. Satan then puts events in Job’s life in an attempt to discourage Job and wanting Job to forsake his Lord.
3. In Psa 109:6 we find wicked men abusing God’s people and Satan is said to be standing at the right hand of the saint encouraging him to no longer serve God.
4. But in Zech 3:1-2 we find the clearest description of Satan’s adversarial work against God’s people … “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
In this account, we find Satan resisting Joshua the priest’s service to Jehovah. Satan’s hope is to cause Joshua to no longer be faithful to the Lord. Satan’s motive is to cause God to question Joshua’s salvation and to judge him as if he was a lost individual.
The Lord responds to Satan by rebuking Satan because Joshua is saved. (Joshua’s salvation is pictured as pulling a branding iron out of the flames.) The Lord will not forget that the work of Christ that has been applied to Joshua. Christ’s work has wrought forgiveness for Joshua’s past, present and future sins. The Lord will not turn on His people nor bring condemnation upon those for whom Christ has died. (Rom 6:29-37 please see for much more information)
Folks, Satan stands before God accusing each us based upon our failures and disobedience. He is pleading for the Lord to judge us (as if we were unsaved) for the sins we have committed. This is one of the great reasons why Satan opposes us and is constantly striving to lead us into sin. He wants A LOT of ammunition to use against each one of us as he attempts to undo the work of Christ by bringing God’s judgment upon His people.
This is one of the great reasons why we are to be sober and vigilant as we seek to serve our Lord… Satan and the powers of darkness will be right there seeking to discourage, tempt and mislead us into sin. He has deceived himself into thinking that by having us fail in our service he will have legal grounds to undo the work of Christ on the cross and to have God’s hand of judgment placed upon each one of us. But we know this cannot be. We cannot lose our salvation nor can the work of Christ be undone.
Let’s be thankful to our Lord for the eternal security we have in Him and to be ever vigilant of Satan’s tactics as he stands as our adversary.
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.
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