17.4 John – Evil has no new tricks

As I thought about the way Judas gave himself over to Satan, I was drawn to the actions of evil today.  Not to show too much of my inner-geek, but these actions are exactly the same steps that hackers use today.  Hacking is normally not a sledge-hammer approach.  It more commonly happens by probing along the perimeter of a network.  It tests for open ports on a firewall.  It looks for vulnerabilities in systems that have not been maintained.  It looks for weak passwords for carelessness.  It tempts action through phishing emails, luring someone to click a link or allow a download to occur.  It works through lies and deceit, using Trojans that appear harmless but secretly are harmful.  It can be targeted but most of the time it is simply trolling the internet looking for any opening anywhere.  Malicious programs are launched and go from IP address to address across devices and across nations.  Once inside the network, it is patient, lying in wait until it begins to take action.  It tries to spread through connections of one infected system to other connected systems in its network.

These are all the same tricks Satan used.  The fact that the disciples had no idea which of them would betray Jesus demonstrates both the quietness with which evil penetrated Judas, but also the fact that they all had likely been probed and tempted.

We all have weaknesses.  We all have sin in our lives.  We all have areas of our life that lack maintenance in fasting and reading the scripture and daily prayer.  But it is not of our own strength that we resist the probes of wickedness, it is only by the protection of the Holy Spirit.

One of the great reassurance is found in 1 Cor 10:13.  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful…”  Satan has no new tricks.  There is no temptation in the world except the same old common temptations that have been around since the garden of Eden.  Satan has no ability to create anything new and nothing more powerful in reserve.  The worst he has at his disposal is the same old tricks that God has thwarted over and over and over again.

We are wise to protect our hearts, but it is not our work or our action that provides the real protection, it is putting our faith in God and the mighty power of our Savior and the Holy Spirit.

My Answers:

7.
The fulfillment of prophecy is not simply a broad overview that could apply to Jesus but might also apply to many other things.  It is specific, down to the fulfillment of the one who ate was the one who would betray Him.  This shows me the cyclical nature of time and how events overlay and overlay as foreshadows of each other.  Jesus did not shy away from what He knew was coming because He knew and trusted in God.  David goes on to say that God is gracious to him and lifts him up and delights in him and upholds him and sets him in His presence for over.  He does the same for us.

8.
Satan is prowling to harm and destroy anything created by God and particularly anything associated with God.  He asks to sift us like wheat.  he tests and prods and looks for weaknesses to exploit.  He seeks only harm and hatred.  He lies and is the father of all lies.

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