AN ENEMY HATH DONE THIS
Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
I Thessalonians 2:18
Strange statement! We are in the habit of saying, “I was providentially hindered.” Not so Paul. He blames the devil. And remember that he called his thorn in the flesh “a messenger of Satan.” He did not make God the author of it, though God did permit it. Did not our Lord say of the woman with a spirit of infirmity, “this woman whom Satan hath bound”? He told His disciples, “And Satan shall cast some of you into prison.” We are too inclined to attribute to God the work of the devil, just as some have ascribed to the devil the work of God.
Paul gloried in tribulation, but we tend to glorify tribulation, which is something else. God does, indeed, permit Satan to afflict Job, but Job goes far afield if he thinks that sickness, pain, and death are of God. It sounds pious to look at the mischief and misery which Satan has wrought and call it providential. In the world we shall have tribulation, which we can turn to good account, but let us be intelligent and “give the devil his due.”