Resist the devil – 1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

I Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Job 1:7
“Where have you come from?” said the LORD to Satan. “From roaming through the earth,” he replied, “and from walking back and forth in it.”

Mark 4:15
Some are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

2 Corinthians 2:11
in order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles would hear it. So I was delivered from the mouth of the lion.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be sober-minded. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:10
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God.

SELECT COMMENTARY

  1. Peter has in mind Christ’s warning to himself to watch against Satan, from forgetting which he fell.

Be sober … vigilant—”Care,” that is, anxiety, will intoxicate the soul; therefore be sober, that is, self-restrained. Yet, lest this freedom from care should lead any to false security, he adds, “Be vigilant” against “your adversary.” Let this be your “care.” God provides, therefore do not be anxious. The devil seeks, therefore watch [Bengel].

because—omitted in the oldest manuscripts The broken and disjointed sentences are more fervid and forcible. Lucifer of Cagliari reads as English Version.

adversary—literally, “opponent in a court of justice” (Zec 3:1). “Satan” means opponent. “Devil,” accuser or slanderer (Re 12:10). “The enemy” (Mt 13:39). “A murderer from the beginning” (Joh 8:44). He counteracts the Gospel and its agents. “The tempter.”

roaring lion—implying his violent and insatiable thirst for prey as a hungry lion. Through man’s sin he got God’s justice on his side against us; but Christ, our Advocate, by fulfilling all the demands of justice for us, has made our redemption altogether consistent with justice.

walketh about—(Job 1:7; 2:2). So the children of the wicked one cannot rest. Evil spirits are in 2Pe 2:4; Jude 6, said to be already in chains of darkness and in hell. This probably means that this is their doom finally: a doom already begun in part; though for a time they are permitted to roam in the world (of which Satan is prince), especially in the dark air that surrounds the earth. Hence perhaps arises the miasma of the air at times, as physical and moral evil are closely connected.

devour—entangle in worldly “care” (1Pe 5:7) and other snares, so as finally to destroy. Compare Re 12:15, 16

The Pulpit: The words express the restless energy of the wicked one. He cannot touch those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation; but he walketh about, looking eagerly after any lost sheep that may have wandered from the fold. He roars in the craving of his heart for prey, like a hungry lion, seeking whom he may devour, or (for the reading here is somewhat uncertain) to devour some one, or simply to devour. The Greek word means literally “to drink down;” it implies utter destruction. It is the word in 1 Corinthians 15:54, “Death is swallowed up κατεπόθη in victory.” Satan now seeks whom he may destroy: “The Lord will destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).

MHenry: Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance. To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs. Be stedfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there. The consideration of what others suffer, is proper to encourage us to bear our share in any affliction; and in whatever form Satan assaults us, or by whatever means, we may know that our brethren experience the same.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

Like any wise enemy, stealthiness is often employed as an effective tactic. Satan no doubt benefits from foolish people denying his very existence. Without the strong shield of the Lord, we are pretty much defenseless sheep. God certainly know this and thus we should use the armor as described in Ephesians 6.

This passage specifically calls out the power of faith. It no doubt is the active ingredient to victory in so many ways. In Ephesians 6, what is representative of the shield? Yes, faith. The shield of faith!

It says we should be sober minded and alert. If one is drunk or doing psychotic drugs, this allows the devil an easy pass. No wonder so many of the mass shootings have been done by people on these power drugs. A mixed up mind on mood altering drugs are certainly fertile ground for the destroyer.

It is war. The war of the mind and heart. How effective can a soldier be if he doesn’t even realizes or care the battle is on? Well, if he isn’t doing anything and way back of the battle line, maybe he won’t be on Satan radar but make know mistake; spies abound.

The Screwtape letters by CS Lewis is a fascinating fictional account of all this.

PRAYER

LORD, I know the real battle is an invisible, spiritual battle. Please extra charge your good angels to protect me. Help my dive deep in faith and prayer for strong cover. I know victory is mine because of Jesus. He won and wins.

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