Our nation is said to be at war against terrorism. Since “9/11” the subject of terrorism has taken center stage in the minds of many governments, military leaders and everyday citizens in nations around the world. The reality of terrorism is probably being given more focused attention, on a wider scale basis, than has ever been the case.
But terrorism is not new to the world scene. It is probably safe to say that it has been practiced about as long as man has lived on the face of this earth. Terrorism is the practice of violence and intimidation against others for the purpose of achieving a specific goal. The goal can be personal, political, ideological or sociological. The use of terrorism can be framed as a necessary means to achieve a worthwhile end. Or, it can an expression of total selfishness- blatant, brute force used to get what the terrorist wants.
Terrorism is violent and ugly by its very nature and results in harming those against whom it is used. The use of terrorism can have short-term success. But in the long run terrorism usually fails. People will not continually live under oppression without eventually rising up to throw it off.
Different people at different points in history have been labeled as some of the worst terrorists the world has ever known. But there is one terrorist that stands more than head and shoulders above all the rest. He’s been around longer and is more accomplished than all of the others combined.
The devil, Satan himself, is Terrorist #1! Peter describes him as “your adversary.” He further likens him to “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” ( 1 Pet. 5:8 ). In other words, the devil is our deadly enemy and seeks our destruction.
Satan described himself as “going to and fro on the earth, and…walking back and forth on it” ( Job 1:7; 2:2 ). The sense is one of continual pursuit of his task at hand. The devil is constantly about his goal of bringing down mankind, of bringing about the eternal condemnation of as many souls as possible.
The Lord described Satan as “a murderer from the beginning,” one“who does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” He goes on to identify the devil as “a liar” ( Jn. 8:44 ).
There is no one who can do us as much harm as the devil. There is no enemy more avowed to our destruction than is he. Human terrorists may be able to injure and maim, even kill. But the limit of their ability to do harm is physical and relegated to this life. The devil is about our spiritual destruction on an eternal scale!
Let us take heed to Peter’s warning. Let us “be sober, be vigilant,” for the devil is truly Terrorist #1 …
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Gary L. Hutchens