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Don Stewart :: How Has the Devil Attempted to Thwart God's Plan of the Ages?

Don Stewart
The Devil has tried to thwart the plan of God from the beginning. He has attempted to do it in five different ways. His five target areas of destruction have been:

1. The Human Race

2. The Nation Israel

3. The Promised Line

4. Jesus Christ

5. The Church


Target 1: The Human Race

When God created humanity, He made them according to His image and likeness. Adam and Eve were created perfect, and placed in a perfect environment. Yet Satan tempted them to sin, and they gave in to the temptation. The race that was created perfect would now have to be judged. Sin continued to have its way. Satan attempted to corrupt the human race to the point where God would destroy everything that He had made. It almost came to that.

The LORD saw that the wickedness of humanity was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made humanity on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart (Genesis 6:5,6).

God sent a Flood to destroy the entire world, except for eight persons. The human race was spared Satan's attempt to annihilate it.

Target 2: The Nation Israel


A second target of the Devil has been the nation Israel. Four thousand years ago God gave a man named Abram a number of promises.

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3).

Among other things, God promised that the descendants of Abraham would exist forever. If the nation that came from Abraham's descendants, Israel, were ever annihilated as a nation, then the Word of God would be untrue. It is for this reason that Satan has paid special attention to Abraham's descendants.

Esther

In the Book of Esther we have an example of the attempted destruction of the entire nation. A decree went out to destroy all the Jews.

Then were the king's scribes called in the first month, on the thirteenth day thereof; and there was written according to all that Haman commanded unto the king's satraps, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the princes of every people, to every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and it was sealed with the king's ring. And letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. A copy of the writing, that the decree should be given out in every province, was published unto all the peoples, that they should be ready against that day (Esther 3:12-14).

God providentially intervened and saved the nation from annihilation. If Satan would have been able to destroy the nation Israel, then the promises of God would not be true.

Target 3: The Line Of The Messiah

From the beginning, Satan has attempted to destroy the chosen line of the Messiah. If the chosen line were destroyed, then God's plan would be thwarted. God promised to judge Satan through the promised Messiah.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel (Genesis 3:15).

From The Beginning

He has persisted in this effort from the very beginning. Cain, the first child born to Adam and Eve, killed his brother Abel. The Bible says of Cain.

We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous (1 John 3:12).

When Abel was killed, another son was born to Adam and Eve. His name was Seth. He was in the promised line of the Deliverer. Throughout history, the serpent has continued his attempt, with no success, to destroy the promised line.

Target 4: Jesus Christ

A fourth way in which Satan has attempted to stop the plan of God is in the mission of Jesus. Satan attempted to keep Jesus from fulfilling His destiny.

The Slaughter Of The Innocents

We find Satan behind Herod in the slaughtering of the innocent babies in Bethlehem. In attempting to kill the baby Jesus, Satan was trying to keep Jesus from fulfilling His mission.

Temptation

At the temptation of Jesus, Satan attempted to thwart God's plan by having Jesus worship him.

and he said unto Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:9).

Jesus refused, and Satan was again defeated.

Bypass The Cross

When Peter attempted to get Jesus to bypass the cross, Jesus rebuked him, and declared that Satan was behind such talk.

And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to You." But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things" (Matthew 16:22,23).

Mission Accomplished

The mission that Jesus set out to do was indeed accomplished. Right before He died, He uttered these words.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit (John 19:30).

Jesus came as promised and fulfilled His mission - in spite of all the efforts by Satan.

Target 5: The Church

Jesus said He would build His church and nothing would stop it.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

The church, the true believers, in Jesus, is carrying out His plan to spread His message throughout the earth. However, from the very first mention of the church by Jesus, a warning was given that it would be opposed by Satan. The Book of Acts, as well as two thousand years of church history, gives testimony to the fact that Satan has tried to stop its mission. But just like in all the other cases, the Devil has failed to stop the plan of God.

Until The End

Before Christ returns, the dragon, or Satan, will still attempt to destroy the people, and the plan of God.

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).

Summary

From the beginning, Satan has attempted to thwart the plan of God. First, he has attempted to destroy the human race, then the chosen people - Israel. Next, he has tried to cut off the Promised line of the Messiah. He has sought to interfere with the mission of Jesus to the earth. Finally, Satan has tried to destroy the work of God in the world today, the church. In all of these attempts, he has miserably failed. Satan has lost, the Lord has prevailed!
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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