QUESTION: “What one book of the Bible does the devil absolutely not want us to read? Why?”
ANSWER: It is likely that the person asking this question already has in mind a particular book of the Bible and that they are looking to test their own answer against what I might say. Perhaps they are considering one of the Gospels, as those books chronicle Satan’s ultimate defeat at the Cross and the Resurrection. Or perhaps they are considering Jesus’ Revelation to the Apostle John, in which Jesus declares, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (1:3, ESV).
I think my answer might surprise some, but, simply put, I think the devil does not quite care what someone reads from Scripture. I say this because history and Scripture itself are filled with examples of people who know the content of God’s Word up, down, backwards, forwards, and sideways but have absolutely no faith in Christ. I distinctly remember a teacher at my Christian high school share the story of an employee of the now-defunct World Publishing Company who knew the content of the Bible like the back of his hand. He had read every verse of every book of both Testaments yet He had summarily rejected the divine truths of God as Creator and Jesus as only Savior. Likewise, the Pharisees and Sadducees were well-versed in the Old Testament, yet Jesus would time and again accuse them of not having faith in the genuine meaning of Scripture: “Have you not read…” (Matthew 12:3,5; 19:4; 21:16, etc.). Indeed, “the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2) yet flung headlong into idol worship and invited God’s judgment. And perhaps the greatest example of this sad reality is Satan himself, ostensibly relying on Scripture as his authority for tempting Jesus, revealing that he too knew the contents of God’s Word yet did not submit to them in faith and obedience.
While I do not think Satan cares much for what someone reads from Scripture, he is very much interested in why someone reads the Bible. In this regard, I daresay even the seemingly-boring genealogies, when read by a heart of someone under conviction, could lead someone to faith in Christ as they see Scripture validate Christ’s claims to the throne of David and Messianic prophecy. Satan wants to bring confusion to the meaning of the Word so that even those who know the contents will refuse to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Despite the devil’s schemes, however, the Father ensures that all of His elect have their eyes opened to the truth of the gospel: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37, cf. Matthew 16:17).
The duty of the Christian, then, is to treasure God’s Word and proclaim its message to all, most vitally its testimony that Jesus is Lord and Messiah (cf. Luke 24:27). In loving God’s Word and proclaiming it in Word and deed we wage war against Satan and his schemes of confusion and darkness: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). So, let’s confound Satan’s schemes by being people of the Word and reading it for the very best, devil-defying reasons.
-Pastor Josh Littler