An Antidote to Satan's Devices
Charles H. Spurgeon
Of course, we understand that this verse refers to "that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan." The Samaritan Version reads, instead of the word "serpent," "deceiver" or "liar." If this is not the genuine reading, it nevertheless certainly declares a truth. That old deceiver, of whom our Lord Jesus said to the Jews, "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it," was "more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made." God has been pleased to give to many beasts subtlety-to some, subtlety and cunning combined with strength-in order that they may be the more destructive to certain classes of animals whose numbers require to be kept under. To others, that are devoid of very much strength, He has been pleased to give instincts of most marvelous wisdom for self-preservation and the destruction of their prey and for the procuring of their food; but all the wise instincts and all the subtlety of the beasts of the field are far excelled by the subtlety of Satan. In fact, to go further, man has, perhaps, far more cunning than any mere creature, although animal instinct seems sometimes as if it did outride human reason; but Satan has more of cunning within him than any other creature that the Lord God has made, man included.
Satan has abundant craft and is able to overcome us for several reasons. I think it would be a sufficient reason that Satan should be cunning because he is malicious, for malice is of all things the most productive of cunning. When a man is determined on revenge, it is strange how cunning he is to find out opportunities to vent his spite. Let a man have enmity against another and let that enmity thoroughly possess his soul and pour venom, as it were, into his very blood, and he will become exceedingly crafty in the means he uses to annoy and injure his adversary. Now, nobody can be more full of malice against man than Sa ...
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