Satan's Attempts to Outwit Us

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7 January, 2023




The devil is wise, and shrewdness is all that we may properly attribute to him, since sound moral judgment is an ingredient of wisdom and this the devil does not possess. Further thought might require that we modify our belief that he is shrewd in any other than the most superficial meaning of the word: for shrewdness carries with it ability to plan ahead successfully, and apparently the devil is unable to do this.

The truly shrewd man does not get caught in his own trap, but the devil has been caught in his not once but many times.

A shrewd strategist knows when to attack and when to call off the attack and withdraw. This the devil never seems to know. Bible history will show that he frequently went too far and defeated his own purposes over and over again.

One example of this was the heat he turned on the Hebrews in Egypt. Pharaoh had a pretty neat thing going (from his standpoint) when he managed to get all the able-bodied men among the Hebrews to work for him free. A great army of laborers was busy making bricks for the vast building activities of Egypt, and these bricks were costing Pharaoh not one cent. They were being made by slave labor.

Had Pharaoh been wise, or even shrewd, he would have eased the pressure on the Hebrews a little and so continued to enjoy the benefits of their free labor for years to come. Instead he imposed impossible terms, drove the afflicted Hebrews to their knees and brought God to their rescue.

Surely the devil overshot himself that time.


If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

— Second Corinthians 2:10–11


Though it appeared that Satan was immensely successful in choking the life of the struggling Hebrews, his scheme was ultimately defeated and the Hebrews freed from Egypt. As believers we must be alert to Satan's schemes but it is in Christ that we triumph, not in ourselves.


It is in You, Lord, that I am safe. Out of You I am easy prey to Satanic entrapment.