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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 15, 2019

Satan is allowed to sift

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Jesus' words in Luke 22, verse 31 are sobering: "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat." Although the words in verse 31 were addressed to Peter, they were also addressed to the other disciples. Jesus spoke in the plural, and He could just as well have said "you all". Satan already had Judas, and he also wanted Peter and the others. He wanted to test and sift them all.

God allowed Satan to test Peter. Notice Jesus' words in verse 32: "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." Jesus prayed that Peter would abide in faith, knowing that Satan had been given permission to sift Peter. Jesus prayed to His father for Peter and asked that God give him the one weapon Peter would need to overcome Satan's attack — faith.

Jesus compared the test that the disciples were about to encounter with the sifting of wheat. Sifting is a harvesting process in which the chaff is separated from the wheat. Satan wanted to show Peter and the others to be chaff. His overriding purpose was to show that nothing in Jesus' teaching, way of life, example, and promise could transform this chaff into wheat.

If Satan had been successful, God's plan would have suffered a great setback. This was an attack against the church in its earliest development — an attack against its leadership. Consider that Satan asked permission to sift Peter and the other disciples like wheat, and God "gave" him permission to do so. Can we afford to think today that Satan would no longer ask permission to do similar things to us and that God would allow him to do so? After all, God wants to know exactly where we stand!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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