Satan and his demons love blood, pain, suffering and death.  This is the opposite of God who loves life, light, peace and joy.  Destruction and misery characterize the work of Satan and his demons.  The demonically empowered pagan religions in Israel were full of blood, suffering and death.   The priests of Baal cut themselves to call on their gods to start their altar on fire when Elijah challenged them to a power encounter to see whose god was the greatest (1 Kings 18:28).  They shed the blood of innocent victims to their gods as well.  Sacrificing children to their detestable, blood-thirsty gods was common (Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 16:3; 17:17; 21:6; Ezekiel 20:31).  Demons demand sacrifice; they thrive on pain and love to cause suffering and misery, even death.

A clear example of this is when Israel defeated the Moabites and drove them back into their own walled cities.  The Jew’s power from their God was greater than that of Satan and those who called on him.  But then their king sacrificed his own firstborn son before everyone on the city wall (2 Kings 3:25-27) and the tide of the battle turned.  They now had power to drive back the Jews and defeat them.  What made the difference?  Where did that power come from?  By appealing to demons in this way they received their help in battle.  If the Jews had understood the spiritual warfare that was behind the physical battle they could have called on their God and He would have given them the power they needed to have victory (I John 4:4).  But they fought in their own strength and lost the battle.

LESSON FOR TODAY:  We, too, need to know and practice spiritual warfare so we have victory.  Many of God’s people live in defeat because they do not understand the way the enemy works or the principles of spiritual warfare and how to have victory (2 Corinthians 2:5-11).

LESSON FOR TODAY:  Satan and his demons still love blood, darkness, misery and suffering.  They feed off of the music, movies, dress and lifestyles that focus on darkness.  They go wild for human blood and are behind the recent rise in incidents of teens cutting themselves today (Mark 5:5).  They love to cause pain of any sort, including physical pain (Matthew 17:15).  Perhaps that is one of the reasons for the rise of interest in tattoos today despite the pain of getting them.  By the way, the Bible clearly forbids tattoos (Leviticus 19:28).

While we see Satan and his forces at work throughout the pages of the Old Testament, we also see God’s greater power through those who are obedient to Him.  Elijah’s victory over the prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth in the time of Ahab and Jezebel is one example (1 Kings 18:16-46).  God takes on the gods behind the false religions, the ones empowering the pagan idols and clearly defeats each and every one of them.


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