What the demons get right that we sometimes don’t

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What do demons get right that we sometime don’t? When we think about devils (or demons), we generally don’t associate the word “right” with them at all. We know their ways are wicked, and they constantly oppose the Lord. But this is a very reasonable question for one to ask: What do the devils do right that mankind often fails to do?

In fact, there are two things they get right, and surprisingly enough, we may be able to learn from them both. In James 2:19, the two things that the devils get right are revealed in this single verse:

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:191

Believing in God and His divine nature is clearly something mankind doesn’t always get right. And beyond that, did you see what else the devils do? They tremble. They are fearful of the Lord. The word tremble means to shudder with fear. Far too many times is it the case that man believes but does not fear the Lord. 

Sometimes we think of God as a soft grandfather figure who doesn’t have a wrathful bone in his body, so to speak. He loves us constantly, and He’s just too soft—or perhaps too old—to do anything against our sin and rebellion. We may picture God winking at our mischievousness. Of course, God truly shows us the best definition of love, mercy, and grace there can be. Additionally, Jesus says:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:28

Paul in Acts 24:25 “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”

Even the demons in were fearful of the Lord. So much that they begged for mercy.

And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

Matthew 8:28–31

The devils believe and tremble. Man sometimes believes but doesn’t tremble, even when we know that the Lord is coming back one day to take vengeance on those who do not obey his gospel (see 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10).

Truly, there are different ways to fear the Lord. In the case of the demons, they know they will be condemned by the Lord. Living in the spiritual realm, knowing who Jesus truly is, they live in dread. For us, it’s not too late. 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14

We may believe in the one God. But are we outdone by the devils? Does that belief compel us to love, respect, and revere God and keep His commandments? To see what else the demons can teach us, check out this lesson.

  1. Scriptures in this lesson are from the King James Version. ↩︎
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