Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Adversary, and Not God, Brings Adversity


The Adversary, and Not God, Brings Adversity
Troy J. Edwards

Most of my readers are aware of my habit of searching through different English translations to get a better understanding of a Bible passage’s meaning. While doing a study on Isaiah 63:9, I found several translations of it that was very interesting. The first of these that I will cite is E. W. Bullinger:
In all their adversity, He was no adversary, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9; E. W. Bullinger Companion Bible)
What does that mean? It means that since God was not Israel’s adversary, He was not the source of their adversity. On the contrary, God sent His angel to save them from their adversity. On the other hand, we are told that Satan is our adversary and the source of all of the adversity that we experience in this world:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Scripture refers to the devil as our adversary and the source of our afflictions. The Collin’s Thesaurus lists the following synonyms for afflictions: “misfortune, suffering, trouble, trial, disease, pain, distress, grief, misery, plague, curse, ordeal, sickness, torment, hardship, sorrow, woe, adversity, calamity, scourge, tribulation, wretchedness.”
No matter what we want to call them, these afflictions or adversities that we suffer in this world have Satan rather than God as their source. Another translation of Isaiah 63:9 helps to make this point:
In all their affliction, He was not a foe; and the Messenger of his Face saved them. In His love and in His pity He was their kinsman-redeemer. And He bore them up, and lifted them up all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9; Hebrew Roots Bible)
Peter tells us that our afflictions come from one who is an adversary to us. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines an adversary as “a person, group, or force that opposes or attacks; opponent; enemy; foe.” God assures us that He is not our adversary or foe. This role is fulfilled quite well by Satan. Therefore, when we are going through the storms of life, let us place the blame where it truly belongs, which is on the devil. Then let us resist Satan using God’s Word.
For more insight into this topic, we highly recommend our book, “Stop Blaming God For the Work of the Enemy.”


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