Matins Devotion: August 29, 2023
Satan loves to chase after short term victories. But God always has His eyes set on the long term, on eternity. We see this in the martyrdom of John the Baptist.
So John does what prophets do. He calls the people to repentance so their hearts can be prepared to receive the salvation of God. As part of that prophetic work, John condemns Herod for taking his brother’s wife. He rebukes this false king because he wants Herod to find salvation from the hands of the true King. But Herod will not hear this rebuke, has John put in prison, and at his wife’s command, has John beheaded. In all of this, Satan thinks short term. “Silence the prophet and the voice of God will cease. Cut off his head and I’ll cut off the voice of God as He’s calling men to His mercy.”
But Satan’s short term thinking only hastens his demise. Because when John dies a prophet’s death, this is essentially the end of the Old Testament. John’s martyrdom is the final brick in the path the prophets have been building for the Messiah since the beginning, the long path Christ will walk that leads him to the cross, the path where He will crush Satan under his feet and rip the kingdoms of this world out of his hands. Herod didn’t obey John’s call to follow Jesus. But countless kings have and countless kings will, as have their subjects and citizens. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the nations heard and still hear John the Baptist point them to Christ long after the devil separated John’s head from his neck.
So when the devil afflicts you and persecutes, when he tries to wear you out and rip the tears from your eyes, don’t despair. Don’t give up hope. Don’t think that God has abandoned you. Instead, know that this just means the salvation of Christ is right around the corner, salvation that will stay with you long after Satan has been defeated. When Satan makes your life miserable, remember the lesson of John the Baptist: In the end, Short Term Satan always loses to Long Term Jesus.