“Nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27).”
We are living in some strange times. A satanic group recently unveiled designs for a 7-foot tall statue of Satan it wants to place at the Oklahoma state Capitol near where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012.1 A rendering of the statue features smiling children approaching the throne of Satan who is depicted as a goat-headed figure with horns, wings, cloven hooves and a pentagram. Lucien Greaves, a spokesperson for the group, said, “The statue will have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
The very suggestion would be laughable were it not so utterly tragic. The notion that little children would playfully approach such a grotesque figure is implausible. Jesus said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him (John 8:44). No, if he really appeared as such a hideous beast no child or adult would approach the monster that he is. But as Paul said, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).” He doesn’t appear as a soul murdering, joy stealing, miserable monster walking about the earth (Job 1:7) seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
So what does Satan really looks like? He looks like the cash under the table that you “really deserve.” Satan looks like the affair your spouse will “never know about.” He looks like drinking to the point of drunkenness so that you can “unwind.” He looks like envy, greed, lust…He looks like the works of the flesh that will not allow any who practice them to inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). He doesn’t appear scary or repulsive, rather he is quite attractive and seeks to draw each of us away and ensnare us in his deathtrap (James 1:14-15).
It says a lot about our society today that anyone would even dare to erect such an image in the heart of the Bible belt. In the Old Testament God would not allow such to stand in Israel. He commanded that His people then should destroy “all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places (Numbers 33:52).” By the first century Christians found themselves surrounded by such images. When Paul arrived in Athens he noticed all of the objects of their worship and found among them an altar to the unknown God (Acts 17:22-23). Like Paul we must be ready to tell those around us of the unknown God who is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Although we walk in the flesh we are fighting a spiritual war, and “weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).” The enemy is becoming bolder and his foothold is greater in this world than at any other time in our lives. Let us walk wisely and put on the full armor God daily (Ephesians 6:10-20).
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14).”