Satan, Our Adversary
“be sober, be vigilant. Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8. The workers of Satan are often referred to as the adversary. I Cor. 16:9, Paul stated, “there are many adversaries”. Paul in writing to the church at Philippi stated in chapter 1:28, “an in nothing terrified by your adversaries”. Adversary is one who “opposes” us.
We cannot understand all about how God works. Likewise, we cannot understand all of how Satan works in this world to tempt us, and get us to do wrong. He works in many ways. II Cor. 12:7, Paul says, “there was a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me”. We are not told what the thorn was, but do know it was a messenger of Satan to buffet Paul. Vines states on the word “buffet” is used metaphonically to “keep under”. Paul states in I Cor. 9:27, “but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection”.
As God works in many ways we do not understand, so does Satan. One of the ways we know Satan works is through people, and this may include self-proclaim Christians. Paul writes in I Thes. 3:5, “ for this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain”. Paul here alerting the danger of what Satan was trying to do.
I Thes. 2:18, “wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again. But Satan hindered us”. Gal. 5:7, “ye did run well, who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth”? I Peter 3:7, Peter in writing of husband and wife relationship states, “that your prayers be not hindered”. Vines states on “hinder “impeding (to delay or prevent) persons by breaking up the road or by placing and obstacle in the path. Who is doing this? Satan.
When Paul made the statement in I Thes. 2:18, “Satan hindered us”, he was referring to what took place in Acts 17:1-14. Paul, with Timothy and Silas (vs. 14) Paul went into the synagogue of the Jews and done so for three Sabbath days. Vs. 2. He preached Vs.3, “opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead. And that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ”. We are told that Paul stayed at the house Jason, a disciple in Vs. 7.
We are told in vs.4, “some of them believed () Jews) and “consorted or associated” with Paul, “and of the devout Greeks a great multitude of chief women not few”. (many). Vs. 5, “many Jews which believed not, moved with envy and set the city in an uproar”. The unbelieving Jews proclaim in Vs. 6 that the message Paul preach,” has turned the world upside down”. So they go to the house of Jason, Vs.6, and finding not Paul they bring Jason and certain brethren before the rulers of the city. Vs. 6.
Read verses 7, 8 as to what they accuse Paul of. Vs. 10, Paul, Timothy, Silas away to Berea. But Jews of Thessalonica followed them. Vs. 13. But how was Satan involved in this? Remember Paul’s statement in I Thes.2:18, “but Satan hindered us” from returning to Thessalonica. One is, the unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica follow Paul and his company to Berea, which lead Paul to go to Athens (vs.15) leaving Timothy and Silas at Berea.
We sometimes overlook a word or phase in the Scriptures. Acts 17:9, “and when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go”. What does it mean, “taken security of Jason”? Vines on this word states it means, “satisfaction, the sufficient”. Then Vines states, “probably the bond given to the authorities by Jason and his friends included and undertaking that Paul would not return to Thessalonica. Any efforts to have the bond cancelled were unsuccessful. Hence the reference to the Satan hindered me. I Thes 2:18
We need to know who our adversary is, and his workers. They could even be among us.
- CL Bruner