(An introductory comment: Welcome! Drop in anytime and at any point in this “journey.” But please keep in mind this is one part of a series of studies. Hopefully, they are arranged in a somewhat logical sequence, but It’s sort of like you’ve entered the back door. If you click on the ‘ABOUT’ button you’ll be at the beginning and can follow the way I’ve been developing the blogs. In preparation for the ideas we are discussing here, I posted a list of questions earlier. I hope you’ll check that site and perhaps add some of your own questions and thoughts. As always, I encourage you to FIRST prayerfully read the verse(s) that we’ll be examining, do your own thinking, form your own conclusions, and then tell me what you think. . . and perhaps “what you think about what I think!” I am really interested in encouraging friends to “hang in there” and that together we’ll gain greater love and understanding for the wisdom and strength and hope contained in Scripture. –dk)
“… Simon, Simon, Satan has desired you that he might sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith fail not…” Luke 22:31 and 32a
May I make these brief comments about the existence and identity of Satan? You will notice the Bible simply declares a truth. It does not debate, nor does it ever make an attempt to satisfy idle intellectual curiosity or to justify a statement. Jesus doesn’t get philosophical, and never defends a point He’s making. He assumes Satan’s identify. He is much smarter than I am, so I make the same assumption. It is said that the great theologian, Martin Luther, felt the reality and presence of Satan so strongly that he once threw an inkwell at him.
Jesus was warning Peter. It is not a compliment. On the face of it, being “desired” doesn’t sound too bad. Everyone wants to be “desired.” But, before I begin to strut, I need to ask who it is that wants me. And for what reason? Satan does not have my best interests in mind.
Somehow, I can almost picture this in my mind’s eye. When I was preaching, I had a set of books by Kenneth Wuest entitled: Word Pictures in the New Testament. With skilful artistry, he could paint pictures with words and they were so real you could almost see the ideas. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a Disneyworld “Imagineer” to “see” Satan “desiring” Simon Peter.
When I was small and read the fairy tales I could almost “see” the Big Bad Wolf “desiring” Little Bo Peep. Can’t believe I just said that!! LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, forgive me, please! But, can ‘t you see him scheming with glee, leering, drooling, licking his chops, wanting nothing but an evening meal? I can “see” a despicable child molester stalking his innocent victims, “desiring” them. And it will do no good to scream in anger or pain after they’ve done their dastardly deeds!
Being informed and always alert is our best and perhaps our only defense against such evil.
It is not a compliment that Satan “desired” Simon Peter. Or that he desires you. Jesus is warning one of His best friends to be alert to danger. Ever present danger, clear and eminent! Therefore, we must be ever alert!
Peter must have had this lesson sink in, because in a letter written years later he warned us: “Be sober. Be vigilant. For your adversary, the Devil, goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What some of us may not realize is that the lion doesn’t roar until he’s in the process of striking. By then, it may be too late.
( A PARTING THOUGHT: We’ll come back to it later, but I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten the question I raised when we studied Psalm 19:14.= To whom is the Psalmist praying? He calls the Person “Lord” “strength” “redeemer.” One translation I saw used “Rock” in place of “Strength.” If you have any insight on this question, I’m anxious to hear it. When he prays “Lord,” It seems obvious to me the Psalmist is praying to someone whose authority he respects completely. “Rock,” “Strength” would suggest stability, dependability. Someone who has the ability to accomplish what is requested and promised. “Redeemer,” of course, is a title taken up in the New Testament and applied to Christ. It is a word used commonly to designate someone who’s paid a great price and “bought back” something and restored it to its original owner. Think about the significance of those titles. I’m doing further research and thought…and would welcome your thoughts. dk)