Have you ever been at a complete loss for words?
Like if your little boy comes in the house, covered in purple paint, and proudly announces, “Guess what, Dad! I’ve painted your car!”
Or when your daughter announces that she’s dropping out of med school to become an itinerant street juggler?
Maybe you’ve been left speechless after you’ve searched the house for the vintage fishing tackle box in which you hid thousands of dollars, and your spouse says, “That old thing? I donated it to the thrift shop months ago.”
How would you like to leave Satan speechless?
Jesus showed us that it’s possible, as long as you have the key.
And what’s the key to robbing Satan of his power to outsmart you?
I’d like you to look closely at how Satan responded when he was tempting Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.
When Jesus was hungry after having fasted for 40 days, the devil said to Him:
“ ‘If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ (v. 3)
“But Jesus answered, ‘It is written:
“Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’ (v. 4)
“Then the devil took Him to the holy city…” (v. 5)
Look carefully between the end of verse 4 and the start of verse 5. How did Satan respond when Jesus quoted Scripture? What do you see?
Probably what I see: blank space, utter silence.
Satan was at a loss for words. He couldn’t muster any rejoinder to the truth of Scripture. Rather, we see a shifting of strategy in the face of his defeat.
Next, the devil tempted Jesus by setting Him on the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem.
“ ‘If You are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw Yourself down. For it is written:
“He will command His angels concerning You,
and they will lift You up in their hands,
so that You will not strike Your foot
against a stone.” ’ (v. 6)
“Jesus replied, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ (v. 7)
“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain…” (v. 8)
This time, Satan tried quoting Scripture back at Jesus. He used a promise from Psalm 91, but he misapplied it. Satan tried to get Jesus to act rashly and recklessly, and in disobedience to God’s will.
Jesus trumped Satan with another quotation from Deuteronomy.
What happened after this renewed attempt to sway Jesus from God’s path? What was the devil’s response? It should be recorded immediately after verse 7. But what do we find?
Zilch. Nothing. Nada. All we hear is the chirping of crickets and the whistling of the wind.
Satan was left speechless once again.
But he tries one last time. The devil offered Jesus authority over all the kingdoms of the world, if only He would do it Satan’s way.
“ ‘All this I will give You,’ he said, ‘if You will fall down and worship me.’ (v. 9)
“ ‘Away from Me, Satan!’ Jesus declared. ‘For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” ’ (v. 10)
“Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.” (v. 11)
Where was Satan’s eloquent rejoinder to the Scripture that Jesus quoted? Funny, I can’t find one.
That’s because there wasn’t one.
There was simply nothing he could say. Satan is incapable of rebutting the power of truth from Scripture. It stops him dead in his tracks.
Each time Satan tried a different tack, he was left speechless by the word of God. Finally, he had to leave Jesus alone.
What’s our takeaway from this?
Get to know the Bible intimately. Read Scripture daily to you can recall verses from memory, and use them to fend off Satan’s attempts to manipulate you.
Have Scripture verses at your fingertips, so you can leave Satan speechless!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.