The Devil’s Specialty
My dear youth:
When you study the Bible you realize the existence of the devil, a disgusting being and an enemy of God. The Bible defines it with different qualifiers that are shocking: accuser of our brethren, adversary, roaring lion, prince of demons, dragon, ancient serpent, murderer, etc. His work consists of demolishing all the monuments of the Creator, such as the seventh day of the week, marriage, the Edenic diet and, of course, the human being made in the image and likeness of God.
Lead to despair
The title of this pastoral letter is quite suggestive, because when we use the term “specialty,” we are referring to a quality, something in which the devil excels. We do not give the word a positive use as it is normally done, but in this case it has a negative meaning. The devil’s specialty would be what he does best and he does it very well: lead people to despair.
When we analyze the story, we find characters who suffered the attack of the enemy, to the point of feeling at a dead end. Take the case of Job. He was a man of good reputation, with friends, highly regarded in the city where he lived, of great resources, with a good family, servants, and more. What stood out about that patriarch was his fidelity to God, and this is precisely what bothered the enemy the most, because he has never been able to stand people who love God, serve Him, and want to go to heaven to live with Him. The best description of this man’s life was made by God himself: “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Job 1:8.
Because of Job’s adherence to God, the devil determined to make him suffer until he was driven to despair, at which point he would deny God, the devil thought. This is usually the case. When people find themselves in extreme situations, there are many who give up their faith; they lose their trust in God, in His promises and in His church.
The devil knows this human weakness and that is why he argued with God, arguing that Job was faithful to Him because everything was going well for him. “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:11. It’s like saying: “Let me take it to the extreme and see how he denies you.” Incredible, right?
This is usually the case with those Christians who are pressed hard against the wall. It has always happened during periods when the church was persecuted for the sake of the faith. Thousands who claimed to be faithful followers of Christ, faced with the threat of the rack, the execution wall, the stake, the guillotine or the scaffold… gave up their peculiar faith and became persecutors of their former brethren, denying everything that they had previously embraced with joy. Let us remember the position that the wife of the patriarch Job took during the crisis they had to face. Seeing her husband in the situation he was in, she told him: “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9.
The only way out
Wow! What words! Job had determined to be faithful no matter what situation he found himself in, and he was not going to back down because the devil shook him so violently. Job knew that the only way out of the pit of despair is Christ. When on his personal Calvary he saw death so closely, he declared his deepest conviction, that is, that which had sustained him in the midst of the storm: “For I know that my Redeemer lives…” Job 19:25. The expression, “I know,” speaks of his most intimate and strong conviction, of what has motivated and inspired him in his life, the driving force of his existence: His Redeemer.
Job, by faith, could contemplate Christ as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, and knew from personal experience that only in Him is salvation found; that our life is safe if we place ourselves under his wings; that in the worst circumstances He has promised to be by our side and help us, and that although we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, we should not fear any evil because Jesus is at our side. Job was anchored in these powerful convictions and they were his anchor when the devil violently shook his little boat.
Dear youth, convictions can move worlds, especially convictions that are based on the Word of God, because it is true, powerful, and everlasting. Paul knew this and that’s why he put it like this: “for I know whom I have believed.” 2 Timothy 1:12. We can see that the convictions of these great men were based not on what they could do, not on their abilities or talents, not on their hunches, not feelings, not emotions, but on the One in whom they believed. Paul was convinced that the only weapon that Christians can wield in the fight against the enemy of souls is faith in the Beloved Savior.
In the book of Zechariah we find the same concept: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6. The Hebrew people did not leave Egypt because of their logistics and the skill of their army, but because of the power of God. David did not defeat the giant Goliath because he was stronger, but because of his faith in the God of Israel. Joseph did not come to the viceroyalty of Egypt because of his great talents, but because he placed his trust in Him that he knows all mysteries and can do everything.
The devil’s specialty is to drive us to despair and destroy us in our alley; But God’s specialty is to save us from every distressing situation. Do you believe it? So be it. “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” 1 Chronicles 16:11.
José Vicente Giner
Pastor and leader of the Youth Department
of the General Conference
- What is the devil’s specialty according to the Bible?
- Why does the devil want to destroy us?
- What can we do to get rid of the enemy’s attacks?