“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
(Ephesians 6:16)
                Last week, we talked about how the Home has come under attack from the fiery darts of the wicked, i.e., the devil.  We are living in a time when the term “Home Sweet Home” has lost much of its appeal.  The atmosphere of the home has been invaded by outside sources.  The devil has entered into the family structure convincing the minds of the leaders (husbands and wives) that the most important thing in life is what you can do, personally, to have a more comfortable lifestyle and to be accepted within society.  It is obvious that the home, the first human institution ordained and blessed by God, has taken some serious hits from the fiery darts of the wicked.  God help us to protect our homes (i.e., our families) by being faithful to God’s plan and purpose for them.  We must be faithful to God’s Word in order to quench the fiery darts of the wicked that are hurled at our homes.
              The second target (of the three primary targets) that the devil is seeking to destroy or render useless is God’s Word, the Bible.  Looking back in Genesis 3:1-7, we see that Satan established a pattern of attack upon the Word of God when he said in Genesis 3:1, “...Yea, hath God said….”  The very first thing that the devil did was to question the authority of God’s Word.  If we had been listening to the conversation between the serpent (Satan) and the woman (Eve), we would have heard something like this paraphrase, “Did God tell you that you couldn’t eat the fruit of every tree He planted in the garden?”  How Satan knew what God had said to Adam (Genesis 2:16-17), we have no idea of knowing.  The fact is the devil was setting a trap for the woman, but he first had to cause her to consider that God’s Word was conditional, not absolute.  He baited the trap a little bit more by denying God’s Word when he said in Genesis 3:4, “...Ye shall not surely die.”   Satan’s trap has been set for the woman:  1) Question the authority of God’s Word and 2) Deny the authenticity of God’s Word.  Remember folks, this fiery dart being hurled by Satan will affect your faith, according to Romans 10:17, “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  People today, as did Eve, want to walk by sight.  If we walk by sight, then we can go the way we choose.  We do not need anyone to tell us the way and we do not feel the need to answer to anyone for what we do.  To question God’s Word, the Bible, and to deny its authenticity will always lead to extremely serious consequences. 
            Once the trap is set, the devil is ready to spring it and catch his prey.  This happens when we abandon God’s Word and act completely contrary to what He says we should do.  God has a plan and purpose for every human being and it is revealed in His Word.  The sad fact is, the Bible has been abandoned by the great majority of people today.  Groups and societies have been formed with the sole objection of destroying the claims of God’s Word.  Unfortunately, many good moral people have bought into this concept.  So many organizations have arrived (they have been around since Genesis 3) to cause people to think that they are gods within themselves (secular humanism, Mormonism, etc.)  God’s Word is not only the authentic, authoritative Book we should follow, It is eternal.  “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).              To abandon the Word of God will bring forth eternal damnation, i.e., judgment.
Christian, as God’s child, you should always rely upon God’s Word for every meaningful decision in life.  Remember, the fiery darts of the wicked have targeted God’s Word that he may be able to hurt you and hinder your spiritual growth.  It takes faith to quench (smother) the fiery darts of the wicked.  Next week:  Part III.                                                     
                                                                                                                                                          Pastor H. Preston Parker