About time we listened to a bit of Sabbath, right? And what an epic song choice this is – yep, it’s ‘Black Sabbath’

OK so straight into the bible on this one – Matthew’s gospel and the temptation of Jesus in the dessert.

“During that time the devil came and said to him…. “I will give it all to you, if you will kneel down and worship me.”

So, why did we pick this song? A few reasons, actually, so here goes:

First up, because we want to break down the stereotype (among Christians, mainly) that heavy metal generally, or Black Sabbath specifically, are satanic or evil. The reason they called themselves Black Sabbath was to catch an anti-flower-power wave in the 1960s. They realised that people had a growing fascination for ‘scary stuff’ (hey, not in just the 60s, right?) when they saw the queues lined up to see the 1963 film ‘Black Sabbath’ starring Boris Karloff. Initially, they set out to create the ‘musical equivalent’ of horror films, starting with the song ‘Black Sabbath’, which in turn inspired them to change the name of the band as well.

Secondly, because of the meaning behind the song. Geezer Butler, inspired by all this exploration of the ‘dark side’ decided to paint his flat matte black and cover the walls with inverted crosses and pictures of Satan. One night, he went to bed after reading a book about witchcraft and woke up in the night to see a black figure “with horns and everything” standing at the foot of his bed. According to Kerrang magazine, the figure was pointing at Geezer and telling him to pledge allegiance. The figure disappeared, but when Geezer went to find the book again, it had vanished. This apparently freaked him out and he repainted his room… orange! This has been cited as an explanation for why the band wear crosses – to protect them from ‘dark energies’ and, according to Geezer, “That’s when we started warning against satanism.” 

Satan is real. He is out there and actively trying anything and everything to get us – you and me – to bow down to him. His main purpose is to ruin our souls. Going back to Matthew’s gospel, Satan even fronted up to tempt Jesus, so he would have no hesitation in trying his hand at us. We should never forget that Satan is powerful and not to be taken lightly – not to be mocked – but he is not to be feared either. Over and above anything that Satan can try to do, Jesus has power and authority – Jesus dealt with him straight up: “stay away from me; I bow to no one except God.” And we can follow that example.

Some of us on OtR have had similar experiences to Geezer – seeing a black figure that was so frightening they thought they were going to die. In coming to faith, we know we’re in the middle of a spiritual battle; Satan will try to scare or tempt us away from following Jesus in whatever way he thinks is going to work – for Jesus, after 40 days without food it was something as simple as bread, and for you or me it would be something personal to us.

But – the bible has kick ass power – every time Jesus was tempted He called out something from scripture as a counter attack. The bible is sometimes referred to as ‘the sword of the spirit’ – meaning it’s a sharp and powerful spiritual weapon against Satan and his hoards. In the letter to the Hebrews, it says:

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

If this kind of stuff gives you the heebie-jeebies, or if you’ve ever had an experience like Geezer or one of us that has freaked you out, then don’t let anyone tell you it’s just your mind playing tricks on you – this stuff is real. But there is an answer; a way out. Satan has absolutely no power over us if we put our faith in Jesus Christ. He said, “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy….Nothing will injure you.”

i'm not afraid