It is our comfort to believe that it is not in the power of our wicked adversary, the Devil, to devour us. Our God will not suffer him to destroy one of His elect. The Devil may not, he cannot, he shall not devour one of Christ's flock.
Satan is wicked enough to eat up the whole human race, and does what he may: what God suffers him to do. Our God, the Lord Omnipotent reigneth! He hath the Devil chained; and the roaring lion, though ever so vicious, roar ever so loudly, shall not devour or destroy any of the loved, elected, and redeemed of the Lord. Though our adversary, this roaring lion, is chained, we do not always see that he is.
The Devil roars and we tremble, Oh, sometimes we have not only trembled, but have felt that we were given up to him as his prey, in his clutches, held in the claws of this lion, bitten, torn and mangled by his fierce insinuations. How we are buffeted and feel to be without power to deliver ourselves from the snare of the Devil! What then? The apostle Paul when so buffeted by the messenger of Satan besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from him. (II Cor. 12:8) What a mercy it is to have a mind to cry unto the Lord in our distresses. When by the lion we are torn in pieces and there is none to deliver, (Psa. 7:2) the Lord graciously moves us to cry unto Him in our troubles.
Though we feel to be in the very belly of hell, carried off in the teeth of our adversary to his den and he roareth over us as though we were his lawful prey, O children of God! do we not learn, and in our very souls, know that "salvation is of the Lord"?
Jehovah is the Shepherd of Israel. Therefore, "Thus saith the Lord, as the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or the piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch." (Amos 3:12)
Ah! we sometimes feel that our legs are gone, that unbelief and the Devil have torn them off, that we cannot walk, we cannot run, and we cannot even creep away out of our soul's miseries. We feel that we are the helpless prey of our fears, of sin and Satan, but the Lord our Shepherd is omnipotent! He hears the bleatings of the sick, torn and helpless ones of His flock. He seeketh out His sheep and deivereth them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. (Ezek. 34:12) Oh, He is gracious! He works miracles of grace in, and in behalf of His flock. He cometh to us while we are buffeted, while we are torn and bleeding, "two legs and the piece of an ear" in the mouth of the lion; and when He speaks in our heart saying, "Whom resist steadfast in the faith," then our faith is revived, nourished and increased by His gracious power in our souls. We are turned to the Lord, we are given to contemplate His counsel and doings, and our hearts go out unto His everlasting Covenant of grace, ordered in all things and sure. Then our faith in His everlasting love is strengthened. We are steadfast in our faith in Christ crucified, in Jesus' blood and righteousness, in God's exceeding great and precious promises.
Oh, if this in some measure is wrought by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, in our souls; if in some of the gracious manifestations of our God in Christ's Gospel our souls are confiding - then we begin to triumph over our adversary the Devil, and all adversities. What! Shall a poor, half eaten sheep, be made strong, wax valiant in the fight, and so, in faith in Christ, looking to Him, resist the Devil that he will flee away from one of Christ's lambs? Well, though you have not heard of such a case in natural history of a roaring lion fleeing from a lamb; nevertheless, this is no fable, for unnumbered miracles of grace are wrought by our God in Christ's kingdom. We read, "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is the LORD of lords, and KING of kings; and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful." (Rev. 17:14) It is in this One, with Christ the Lamb, who goeth forth conquering and to conquer, that we triumph. (Rev. 12:11)
When by faith of the operation of God we are enabled, like the apostle Paul, to sing; yes, to challenge the whole world, and say, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us," (Rom. 8:33,34) then the mouth of all iniquity is shut, and the Devil, the roaring lion, cannot roar over us. "Through faith they stopped the mouth of lions." (Heb. 11:33).
Nevertheless, O our God! deliver us from presumption; let us not be carried away with vain confidences, but in the riches of Thy mercy grant us Thy grace that we may be sober, and vigilant, because our adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
May we be enabled to resist him steadfast in the faith.
Selected from Sovereign Grace,
Vol.1, Issue No.2, Feb., 1932.