A thief in the night

A thief in the night

But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. – Matthew 24:43

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

In the spring of 2017, administrators at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh initiated an audit and were shocked to find out that many of the room’s holdings were missing. Almost every item of value in the library’s Oliver Room, home of its rare-books collection, was pillaged. The value of the stolen objects was estimated to be $8 million. It was the most extensive theft from an American library in at least a century.

Like nuclear power plants and sensitive computer networks, the Oliver Room was protected by what is known as “defense in depth.” Such a technique utilizes a series of small, overlapping measures designed to thwart a thief who might be able to overcome a single deterrent. Greg Priore, manager of the room starting in 1992, designed it that way.

Activity in the room was under constant camera surveillance. The room has a single point of entry, and only a few people had keys to it. The room had limited daytime hours, and all guests were required to sign in and leave personal items, such as jackets and bags, in a locker outside. Priore’s desk sat at a spot that commanded the room and the table where patrons worked. When a patron returned a book, he checked that it was still intact. When anyone, employee or patron, entered the collection, Priore knew.

How could such a thing take place? Almost every threat to the rare-books collection was considered. There was only one weak point. It had to be an inside job. It turns out, the fox was responsible for guarding the chickens. Greg Priore himself was the thief. He took nearly everything he could get his hands on with impunity for close to 25 years. The only thing that keeps an insider from stealing is conscience (Smithsonian Magazine, Sept. 2020).

Satan was the ultimate insider. He had total and complete access to the holiest part of heaven itself in the Father’s presence He was the greatest and most excellent of all the Father’s created beings. He went from being perfect to imperfect, from good and righteous to evil and abominable. He became thoroughly heinous, and reprobate.

Lucifer, the bearer of light, became the prince of darkness, the slanderer, the accuser.

Why, oh why?

REFLECT & PRAY

Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor. – Proverbs 18:12

Father I am reminded of the night of the Last Supper.  The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” (Matthew 26:21-22). Father, I pray that it will not be I.

INSIGHT

The Scriptures are quite explicit as to what happened and why. There came a point in the evil one’s life when being who and what he was just not enough. He wanted it all! He just snapped! He wanted to become like the Father Himself. He became filled with pride because of his great beauty, magnificence, power, and position.

Ezekiel 28:12-17

 12 You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.

 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone – red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald – all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created.

 14 I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.

 15 You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you.

 17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor.

Isaiah 14:12-14

 12 How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.

 13 For you said to yourself, “I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.”

 14 “I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.”

The enemy of our souls does not deserve our pity, but rather our disdain.

The proverbial saying, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is attributed to the 19th century British politician Lord Acton. The idea was nothing new and had been expressed previously by others in different words.

What exactly does this mean? As a person’s power increases, their moral sense diminishes. The more power a person has, the more corrupted they will become. “It morally destroys their nature and fills them with destructive pride. However, if the person saves himself from this abuse of power, he or she is a humble person” (https://literarydevices.net).

Remember, that when we point our index finger at others, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves. Satan’s temptations and fall are similar to to the temptations we face.

1 John 2:15-17

 15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.

 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

What is the Father’s answer?

James 4:6-8

 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”

 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.

¯\_()_/¯

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