On this sermon, we are going to look at the biblical meaning of wiles of the devil.
According to the scriptural text that forms the basis of this sermon, the scripture tells us to put on God’s full armor, so we can be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
To understand this wiles of the devil, we will seek it’s meaning, first in the dictionary before we go biblical.
We will also look at the examples of how the wiles of the devil was used in the bible against our first parents, Adam and Eve and our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is wiles of the devil?
Definition of wiles according to the dictionary.
According to the dictionary, Wiles is defined as a trick or stratagem practiced for ensnaring or deception; a sly, insidious artifice.
Or simply to entice or lure.
Biblical meaning of wiles of the devil.
When we consider how the bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil, we immediately get the understand that it is telling us to spiritually equip ouselves to escape the tricks of the devil.
Therefore, wiles of the devil can be defined as the tricks used by the devil to entice human beings to sin against God.
According to the bible, the devil is the inventor of all lies and deceits; and at such no truth can ever be found in him. John 8:44.
Examples of wiles of the devil in the bible.
1. How the devil used wiles on Adam and Eve.
The origin of wiles of the devil began in the human race with our first mother-Eve, in the Garden of Eden.
But when the devil came upon Eve, after Adam had been away; he tricked her into eating of the fruit.
Adam and Eve had already been given the command from God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden. (Genesis 2:16-17).
So let’s examine what transpired between the devil and Eve in Genesis 3
The devil tempts Eve into eating the fruit.
First of all the devil used Gods word against Eve: “has God indeed said, ‘you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And she responded: “we may eat the fruits of the trees of the garden, “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden. God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.
But after Eve told him about the punishment that followed disobeying what God said; the devil being the inventor of all lies, had to put his wiles on display; for the first time in the human race.
He told Eve: “you will not surely die”.
But quickly discovering that Eve was still conscious of the punishment of disobeying that command; and so will not be convinced enough by those words to taste of the fruit. He added immediately “for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
And immediately he finished saying that; Eve thought that God was playing tricks on them when He said that He created them in His own image and likeness.
Because if this was true, they would have known what is good and evil.
(And this discovery that stemmed from the devils lie finally blinded her to the consequence awaiting her if she dares touch, talk less of taste the fruit.)
Adam could not resist eating the fruit from Eve.
So she saw the opportunity of transforming herself into God’s image by eating of that fruit. And afterwards reserve some for the husband who could not resist it after she made the discovery above to him.
And immediately they ate the fruit, they first discovered the truth in what the devil said; for their eyes were opened indeed i.e. they were able to differentiate between good and evil.
But still they did not remember the punishment that was awaiting them; rather, they were filled with shame because of their nakedness and so went into hiding on hearing God approaching.
God punishes them.
Now when God asked the man ‘where are you’ he replied ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself’.
And when God further asked: ‘who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?
Adam pushed the blame on Eve who pushed it on the serpent; hoping that if anything went wrong it is only him that will pay the price.
And they also concluded that, now that they have become God’s image after eating the fruit; there is no way God would be so wicked as to kill them or probably, He won’t even be able to kill them.
Not until God proclaimed the punishment (for dust you are, and to dust you shall return) did they discover that, the devil had used a trick on them when he lied to them that (they shall not die).
All this while, they had forgotten the fact that, they were first formed from dust; and only has the image of God i.e. the Spirit as their second part.
And there was a way for God to destroy the other part which He never has as His image.
Beloved, ever since then; the devil has been incorporating different ways to trick the human race into going against God’s commandments.
2. How th devil tried to use wiles on our Lord Jesus Christ.
And our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was not left out in the wiles of the devil.
Because he was tempted by the devil; after He came out from His forty days and nights fasting in the wilderness. (Mathew 4:1-11).
But thank God He was able to overcome all his wiles. And afterwards used His apostle, Paul has shown us how we too will be able to overcome him, i.e. by being clothed with the whole armor of God.
(Please refer to the sermon ‘whole armor of God’ to know how you should be properly clothed with the whole armor of God.)