Satan is a cunning foe, and sadly quite good at what he does. And he is the enemy of Christ, and thus God’s people, ready to do what he can to destroy the souls of men.

1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Thankfully though, God is greater:

1 John 4:4 – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

However, we also have duties to perform in this arena…

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

Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

…but only with God’s help:

Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Psalm 144:1 – “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote an excellent book called “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”, where he identifies the various ways Satan goes about his work, and offers remedies to help against those devices. With this we can know our enemy better, and pray and work to resist him and sin, which hopefully we want to do because we hate sin as it is an act of rebellion and an offense to the One we love:

2 Corinthians 2:11 – “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The following is one of those devices, where the devil entices people to sin and remedies to fight off that attack approach.

The entire book is scanned in here:

From Thomas Brooks:

The fifth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (5). To present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy.

Oh! saith Satan, you need not make such a matter of sin, you need not be so fearful of sin, not so unwilling to sin; for God is a God of mercy, a God full of mercy, a God that delights in mercy, a God that is ready to shew mercy, a God that is never weary of shewing mercy, a God more prone to pardon his people than to punish his people; and therefore he will not take advantage against the soul; and why then, saith Satan, should you make such a matter of sin?

Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That it is the sorest judgment in the world to be left to sin upon any pretence whatsoever.

O unhappy man! when God leaveth thee to thyself, and doth not resist thee in thy sins. Woe, woe to him at whose sins God doth wink. When God lets the way to hell be a smooth and pleasant way, that is hell on this side of hell, and a dreadful sign of God’s indignation against a man; a token of his rejection, and that God doth not intend good unto him. That is a sad word, ‘Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone,’ Hosea iv. 17; he will be uncounsellable and incorrigible; he hath made a match with mischief, he shall have his bellyful of it; he falls with open eyes, let him fall at his own peril.

And that is a terrible saying. ‘So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lusts, and they walked in their own counsels,’ Ps. lxxxi. 12. A soul given up to sin, is a soul ripe for hell, a soul posting to destruction. Ah Lord! this mercy I humbly beg, that whatever thou givest me up to, thou wilt not give me up to the ways of my own heart; if thou wilt give me up to be afflicted, or tempted, or reproached, etc., I will patiently sit down, and say, It is the Lord; let him do with me what seems good in his own eyes. Do anything with me, lay what burden thou wilt upon me, so thou dost not give me up to the ways of my own heart.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That God is as just as he is merciful.

As the Scriptures speak him out to be a very merciful God, so they speak him out to be a very just God. Witness his casting the angels out of heaven, 2 Peter ii. 4-6, and his binding them in chains of darkness till the judgment of the great day; and witness his turning Adam out of paradise, his drowning of the old world, and his raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom; and witness all the crosses, losses, sicknesses, and diseases, that be in the world; and witness Tophet, that was prepared of old; witness his ‘treasuring up of wrath against the day of wrath, unto the revelation of the just judgments of God; but above all, witness the pouring forth of all his wrath upon his bosom Son, when he did bear the sins of his people, and cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Mat. xxvii. 46.

Go on to Remedy 3!

— David