Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Captives of the Devil

Days of Praise
Captives of the Devil
"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10)
Strange as it may seem, the experience of Job indicates that godly believers can be captured by the devil. God Himself allowed Job to fall into such captivity, for He told Satan: "Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life" (Job 2:6). All the sufferings which Job endured were inflicted by his captor, who hoped thereby to get him to renounce the Lord. Similarly, Peter was briefly bound in Satanic captivity. "Simon, Simon," said Jesus, "behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).
Such bondage, however, is temporary. Job was delivered "when he prayed for his friends" and Peter when he was "converted" and went forth to "strengthen |his| brethren" as Christ had told him (Luke 22:32). In both cases, they continued strong in faith during their captivity, and deliverance came when they turned their concerns to others.
More serious is the case of those who are in bondage because of sin. Nevertheless, Christ died to set them free, "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Christ died to set the captives free, but they must first be told and then gently led to freedom by those who care for their souls. "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26). HMM
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