Satan’s swarms of temptation and sin

A beautiful heifer is Egypt, but a biting fly from the north has come upon her.  Even her hired soldiers in her midst are like fattened calves; yes, they have turned and fled together; they did not stand, for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment” (Jer. 14:20).  In these verses, the danger of the Chaldeans coming to overthrow the Egyptian nation is referred to, but the analogy applies to us today as well.  No, we are not under imminent threat by another nation, but as Christians, we need to remain vigilant because our enemy is constantly seeking to destroy us.  It is not as if Satan will rise up with one colossal army and come and destroy us because that is obvious and easier to resist.  Rather than doing that, he will deploy swarms of less obvious attacks like the biting fly to wear us down until we submit to the sin or sins.

In other words, it is the small things that come in swarms that we need to be careful of.  Like swarms of locusts that devour everything before them, it is the swarms of temptations and sin that will lead us to destruction.  “Small” but regular fits of anger, “tidbits” of gossip all the time, and “kinda” defaming of a person or group from time to time will begin to deconstruct our spiritual defenses.  The same can be said for “irregularly” giving in to the allure of pornography, allowing ourselves to be drawn into flirtatious moments with someone “from time to time,” and allowing other sins to overpower us “now and then.”  Any one of those things can be problematic for a Christian but imagine combining more than one of them at a time.  The deconstructing of our spiritual defenses by allowing ourselves to act in the ways above will lead to the enemy defeating us.  That is what the writer of Jer. 14:20 is warning us of.

Swarms of small temptations, not all the time, but enough times to have sin chip away at our resolve like biting flies attack a beautiful heifer.  When we commit obvious sins like beating someone, stealing a vehicle, or slandering someone vocally in public, it is blatant, but it is not those that are Satan’s most effective weapons.  No, it is the small ones that we are almost unaware of that will, like a virus, attack us silently with an army.  It will deploy this army to our lungs, throat, head, muscles, and other organs until we are weakened, unable to resist the onslaught.   It is then that the virus brought on by the biting of the insect will take over and destroy us, resulting in severe disease that, left untreated, could result in death.  Romans 6:23 has this to say about sin, “For the wages of sin is death…” and we would do well to remember that even as we remain vigilant of the enemies’ swarms of biting flies.  We can never let our guard down because the attack is constant and relentless.

Thankfully, for the Christian, there is a solution.  We do not have to live in fear of those attacks because we have the cure – Christ.  We have the ability not just to swat the flies, but to “Put to death therefore what is earthly in <us>” (Col. 3:5).  No spiritual disease that is passed on to us by the biting of the swarms of temptations will be able to defeat us, but even when we have been overrun, we have the medicine to cure us of our illness.  In fact, we have the armor that, like a beekeeper’s suit, will protect us from any bites in the first place – all we need to do is put it on and keep it on.  If we do that, we will overcome the swarms of sin and temptations and live lives free of shame and guilt.

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