Updated: Dec 14, 2019
The definition of appease according to Oxford Dictionaries is: “To relieve or satisfy a demand or a feeling”. From Wikipedia, appeasement in a political context is defined as: “a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to an enemy power in order to avoid conflict.” It means you try to pacify.
World History itself should tell us that appeasement doesn’t work with bullies. The popular misconception of some leaders is that if you appease your enemy enough that they will leave you alone, but this is in fact a lie! Many tried to appease Adolf Hitler. Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. He is best remembered for his appeasement in foreign policy. In 1938 he signed the Munich Agreement, giving the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. Did this appease Hitler away from the United Kingdom? Well, everyone should know that answer!
The Word of Yahweh also teaches similar lessons regarding appeasement of an enemy. Kings of Judah/Israel (Northern and Southern Kingdoms) often tried appeasing their enemies by giving gifts, paying tribute, etc. One such story is found in the book of II Chronicles Chapter 28. In this story King Ahaz sought to appease the King of Assyria by giving him gifts or bribes. King Ahaz actually took things from the temple of Yahweh and the princes of Judah and gave to the King of Assyria but the King of Assyria still did not help him.
As followers of Y'shua we have a huge enemy that lurks around each corner in life. His name is Satan, the evil one, the serpent, the dragon, the devil, the accuser of the brethren. Many believe that if they give in to him that he will leave them alone. Quite the opposite is true. The truth is that he will never leave us alone until he is finally bound and cast into the bottomless pit as recorded in Revelation 20:1-3. He is our mortal enemy and we should never pacify him.
I once heard a person testify that he had struggled with overcoming a besetting sin all of his life. Finally, he gave in and willingly committed the sin that he had been resisting for years. Upon giving in to this sin on a regular basis he commented that now he finally had peace in his life for the first time. His argument was that it must not have been a sin to begin with or God would not let him be feeling peace in his life now that he had committed the sin.
This person confessed what his besetting sin was. According to the Bible it is indeed a sin that brings death if not repented over. What happened here? This gentleman gave up the fight and “appeased” the enemy. By repeatedly committing the sin over and over he seared his conscience so that it no longer bothered him. The reason he was at peace was because he was no longer in the fight. He succumbed to the enemy. He was a poor soldier. He gave in to his fleshly appetite. Do you think that Satan will leave him alone now; simply because he appeased him in this one sin situation? No, Satan will now come at him with more sins which will “beset” him. Chances are he will appease the enemy again. In the end, who will be the victor? The person or Satan? Satan will be the victor unless the man repents and turns from the sin which so “easily beset him”. Hebrews 12:1 -”Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (ASV)
The carnal (fleshly) nature of man wants to appease Satan; which appeases our flesh. Our flesh, as tempted by Satan, wants to satisfy a feeling attached to our carnal appetite. As humans most of us hate a struggle, a fight, a pain or injury caused by a fight, or a confrontation with an enemy. We live in a society that encourages appeasement. The general belief is, “if it feels good then do it”. Appeasing the body by accepting ungodly behavior does not bring about the right to inherit eternal life or a place in Messiah's Kingdom. Appeasement is the sign of a carnal Christian. A carnal Christian is one who is weak in the fight. A carnal Christian is one who has not learned how to apply James 4:7 to his life: “Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. (ASV)
Here the word “resist” means to “stand against, to oppose, to withstand”. If we do this then we are told that Satan will “flee” or run away from us. We cannot do this unless we have help from Yahweh. This is why we need to have on the whole armour of Yahweh; otherwise, we cannot defend ourselves or fight back. How do we fight back against the enemy? With the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Yahweh. This is how Y'shua defeated the enemy when He was tempted.
We are to watch and guard ourselves against the enemy. We are to be sober and alert at all times. Interestingly, in the Garden of Eden, Adam was told to “keep” the garden. Genesis 2:15 - “And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it”. (ASV) The word “keep” in this verse means “to hedge about, to guard, to protect, to watch, to preserve”. From what or whom was Adam to “guard or protect” the Garden of Eden from? Well, perhaps it was from the same enemy that we are to “guard and protect” ourselves from today! Maybe if Adam had done a good job of guarding the Garden then Satan would never have gotten inside of the Garden; but he did and the rest is history. One well known teacher that I look up to teaches that perhaps it was Satan that planted the seed that grew the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” You see, Yahweh doesn't like “mixed seeds”. So, He would not have originally put that mixed tree there.
When we appease Satan by giving in to sin, we give Satan a foothold into our lives. When we open the door only a little, we have given him permission to enter. The struggle then will be in getting him out. Oftentimes we may be successful in getting him out by repentance, but the havoc that he may have wreaked while inside may have lasting effects. Sometimes the sin may have destroyed our families, finances, children or our health. You see, we can choose our sins but we cannot always choose the consequences of our sins. The best way to defeat Satan is to keep the door shut to him at all times and to guard and protect our lives at all cost, regardless of the battle or storm. Each time that I refuse “to appease” my flesh it will strengthen me. Each time that I “resist” Satan it will make me a better soldier for Y'shua.
In Ephesians 4:27 it states -“Neither give place to the devil.” (ASV) Don't appease him and be a lazy soldier. Yahweh's Word gives us sufficient teachings and instructions on what is expected of those who love and serve Him. Appeasement of the flesh, which appeases the enemy, is a mistake that can have eternal consequences.
Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand”. (ASV)