This week we again go back to the outline Prayer which Jesus gave as an example to teach His disciples how to pray.
Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Last week we studied about the different types of temptation and learned that verse 4 [and lead us not into temptation] is not implying that God the Father deliberately tempts us; He does not entice us to sin. The apostle James tells us that God does not tempt anyone.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
The Father allows His children to go through times of testing and He does allow Satan to test us just as Satan was allowed to test Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). It is Satan that tempts people to sin and Jesus Himself was tempted by Satan as a means to qualify Him to be our sinless Savior and in gaining total victory over evil and Satan. Thus Jesus qualified to replace Satan when He returns to this earth as Lord of lords and King of kings. The Father permitted the encounter with Satan in the wilderness where Satan tried to get Jesus to sin, but God Himself was not the agent of the temptation.
By reciting His outline prayer as an example of what we should pray for, and by saying “lead us not into temptation”, Jesus indicated to His disciples that we should ask the Father to help us whenever we encounter temptation and trials, no matter what kind. In 1st Corinthians 10, God says through the apostle Paul. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Right after His petition in regard to temptation, Jesus then adds “but deliver us from evil“. This week we want to concentrate on this part of the Lord’s prayer. To ask God to deliver us from evil and for help to overcome Satan is one of the most important things that we could ever pray for; to have success in overcoming evil is at the heart and core of what it means to be a true follower of Christ. Success or failure will determine whether or not we will even be allowed to be a part of God’s Kingdom, therefore it is a matter of life and death [our spiritual life, or our spiritual death] that we pray this to our Father and for the Father to grant this request, for we could never overcome Satan on our own. Is it any wonder that this petition would be included in Jesus’ teaching on how to pray?
As far as temptation, even though the Lord does not tempt people, the Bible is clear that He does allow His children to be tested by various temptations and trials, but as Jesus shows, we are to pray to our Father and trust Him to keep us safe and guarded from being harmed or destroyed from the trials that we go through in this life. In fact, Jesus is implying that we are to seek God first to deliver us whenever we find ourselves in trouble, just as David and all of God’s other servants turned to the Lord for deliverance from their enemies.
“Enemies” can include wicked spirits [the spiritual agents of evil] as well as the human kind. When we read through the Psalms, it is helpful to keep in mind that the psalmists can be referring to spiritual enemies as well as evil men when they talk about “enemies” or “evil”.
Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee… 5:8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 121:2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 121:5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 121:6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 121:7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 121:8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Jesus was subjected to temptation in the wilderness, but with great power He withstood everything that Satan threw at Him, and then Satan was compelled to leave His presence.
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Jesus was victorious over Satan and fulfilled the prophecy that a Messiah would be born into the world, live a sinless life, and then die on the stake as a perfect atoning sacrifice so that men could be forgiven of their repented of sins and be saved. In this way Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, rather than let the devil destroy Him through getting Him to sin, not just in the wilderness, but throughout His whole life here on earth as a man. Even though no other man has ever lived a sinless life, Christ serves as our example of what we should strive for in overcoming all sin and all temptation in our Christian lives, and live as Christ lives.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested [phaneroó Strong’s #5319 – to make visible, make clear], that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared [phaneroó Strong’s #5319 – to make visible, make clear] to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
The Definition of “Evil”
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Verse 13 shows that we are to pray to our heavenly Father to help us when we are tempted and when we are going through various trials; and then we are to pray that the Lord would keep [deliver] us from evil and/or the evil one.
What exactly does “evil” encompass in this verse and what is this pertaining to?
The Greek word for “evil” is ponērós (Strong’s # 4190) and means: From a derivative of ponos; hurtful, i.e. Evil (properly, in effect or influence, and thus differing from kakos, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from sapros, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. Diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. Derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners — bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked(-ness). See also poneroteros. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
“Evil” includes all these negative things, but as we see from the Strong’s Concordance it can also mean “the devil” and in many Bible versions “one” is added to “evil” at the end of this verse, i.e.”but deliver us from the evil one.”
From HELPS Word-studies: 4190 ponērós (an adjective which is also used substantively, derived from 4192 /pónos, “pain, laborious trouble”) – properly, pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies (misery) that always go with evil. (HELPS Word-studies)
So poneros is the Greek term used for “evil” in this passage, but this word can also be translated “evil one.” Jesus therefore shows us in His prayer that we should always pray that we be delivered from all that is evil (according to all these things contained in the definition above).
But we are also to pray for protection against Satan and all that he embodies; from all of His schemes and all the things that he has purposed for us, and especially that we do not succumb to his bidding. We may thus pray: “Lord, please deliver me from Satan when I am being tested and tempted by him and from all his devises. Protect me from the enemy; keep a hedge of protection around me and deliver me from being effected and defeated by him.”
The Bible is full of accounts of divine protection and there are numerous promises that talk about the fact that God protects His people when we are faithfully following Him; and that He will COMPLETELY deliver us from ALL evil some day.
Satan will ultimately be restrained along with all his minions and followers at the return of Christ and then destroyed in the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium. Christ wants us to have faith and pray, not just for ourselves, but that all humanity will ultimately be delivered from evil and Satan in our daily prayers.
All of Humanity is At War
Satan has been at war with his Creator ever since he became filled with pride and rebelled. His hatred toward God is not just limited to God, but Satan hates mankind, as well, for he knows that they have the potential to become the sons of God, and those who qualify, are going to replace him as rulers with Christ on earth.
Armed with his lies about God and by using his cunning he enticed Eve to rebel against God as well, then Eve was used to entice Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Because they disobeyed God’s commandment to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they forfeited their purpose for which God had created them for and incurred the death sentence upon themselves. Thus Satan began the war against humanity way back in the Garden of Eden in an attempt to destroy the first humans, and that war with mankind has been on-going for almost six thousand years.
The first mention of a coming Savior and Deliverer is in Genesis 3 where the Creator (who would become the very Messiah that was promised) said to Satan:
Genesis 3:14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
In this passage the writer of Genesis recorded the judgment that God pronounced on the serpent after he had beguiled the first man and woman to disobey their Creator.
The judgment was also a prophecy of God’s Plan of Salvation which God began to reveal from the very beginning. God pronounced that the serpent (who is Satan – Revelation 12:9) would be an enemy to the woman’s Seed, [the Seed being Jesus Christ] and that Satan would wound Jesus’ heal [a reference to the crucifixion] but that Jesus would bruise his [Satan’s] head, which means that Jesus would ultimately destroy Satan and all his evil diabolical works at the appointed time.
This prophecy is a reference to the fact that Jesus would come to earth as a Savior, die on a stake so that mankind could be forgiven and redeemed, thereby destroying the works of the devil.
Eventually, through the work of Jesus Christ and His written Word, men would come to a proper understanding of God and His truth, and the deception that Satan has cast over the minds of all humanity ever since deceiving Eve and tempting her to take of the forbidden fruit, (which Adam took as well), will be no more.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
God’s promise involved making a way, by means of Jesus’ sacrificial death, for humanity to be forgiven and to overcome sin and therefore countering Satan’s plan and intentions to destroy mankind. Satan’s main method of accomplishing this is by enticing men to sin which brings about the decay and death that results from it. Satan, too, will be ultimately destroyed when God’s plan for mankind has been accomplished.
This is not only a prophecy, but this is an IMMUTABLE PROMISE that God made to mankind from the very beginning of Genesis, just after our first parents sinned in the Garden and invoked the death sentence upon themselves.
This first Promise that God made and had recorded in His Word is of utmost importance because the fulfillment of it paves the way for mankind to find mercy and salvation through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, whom the Father would send to die for the sins of mankind.
Those who are called, who repent and turn from their wicked ways; can then be forgiven and will have the opportunity to become members of God’s own family. Mankind (instead of being dominated by Satan and his followers) will come under the rule of their Savior who will be King over the earth. Renewal and restoration of the planet can begin, and the earth will be a place of righteousness, holiness, peace, and true love between the Creator and His sons and daughters once again. The whole earth and all of its inhabitants will be delivered from evil and the Evil One. (See Romans 8:19-23)
Genesis 3:15 is a prophecy from God, Himself, that Satan is going to come to his end someday and that humanity will be delivered from the death sentence that they incurred when they sinned, IF they repent and turn back to their Creator.
Revelation 21:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
21:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
21:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
21:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
To be delivered from evil goes right back to Jesus’ first petition in His prayer that God’s Kingdom should come and that God’s will be done on earth just as it is in His heavenly home. As a part of God’s great plan for mankind, at a certain point in the future evil is going to be completely eradicated, it will be no more, and righteousness and holiness will be our reality.
The damage that was done in the Garden of Eden will be reversed by means of Christ’s atoning death on the cross providing forgiveness of sins, being fed the Bread of Life, and being delivered from temptation and evil; all of these things are components of what makes up the promise that God gave to Adam and Eve after they sinned by telling the serpent in their hearing that “… I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). It is so significant that these are the petitions that Jesus included in His outline prayer when He taught the disciples how to pray that day (Luke 11:2-4, Matthew 6:5-13).
Called to Be Warriors
Beginning with Adam and Eve Satan has taken the whole world captive, and we see the devastating effects of a world that is in rebellion to God. It is because of mankind’s sin that there is so much havoc, devastation, pain, suffering, and early death throughout the whole planet Earth.
From the time humans are born we have been subjected to Satan’s spirit, and in varying degrees all men and women have become slaves under the influence of him; and all have chosen for themselves their own ideas (apart from God) of how they and others should live their lives. Satan is the god of this world and he rules as a tyrant through those who unwittingly have become his puppets.
But God has called a people to Himself to become His instruments and to give them His Holy Spirit that equips them to understand what is really happening and to have the opportunity to come to know His Plan and Purpose that He is doing here on earth. After sincere repentance and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, they are empowered to overcome evil and the evil one if they are zealously staying close to God and living according to His Word.
There is no other God except the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who are the source of all things, and those whom the Father has called are to give up their own lives and then live for Him as His servants and no longer as Satan’s servants.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Out of the billions of people who have lived, the Father has only called a small number at this time to become His children who are being taught to hate evil as God hates evil, and are being trained to war against the works of Satan.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
As God’s called out children we have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, and it is mighty in bringing our every thought and action into subjection to His ways if we are walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Just after the Israelites passed through the parted Red Sea, Moses in celebration composed a victory song about how the Mighty God fought for His people with a Strong Hand and delivered them from the wrath of Pharaoh.
The Song of Moses After the Exodus
Exodus 15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
15:2 The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
15:3 The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.
15:4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
15:5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
15:6 Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
15:7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
15:9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
15:10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
15:11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
The story in this song is about how God delivered the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt and how He overthrew Pharaoh and his army into the sea; but it is also the story of the spiritual war that is going on here on earth between God and Satan and Satan’s host of evil demonic spirits.
The song of Moses is actually a prophecy of the ongoing war between God and Satan during this present evil world and how God has delivered His spiritual children from the god of this world; this war will culminate at the end of the age, but God will have final victory over Satan at Christ’s return and when His chosen are raised up to life again; and then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of Christ our Lord.
In Revelation, the saints that were victorious over the evil that they were subjected to during their lives will celebrate and sing about the faithfulness of their Great and All Mighty God to all of His promises, for they acknowledge that it was He who made it possible, through His great power, for them to gain the victory over sin and death. “For he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea“.
Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
There is no one greater than our All Powerful God and He is going to triumph gloriously over our arch enemy, the Pharaoh-god of this present evil world and all his wicked host!
Deuteronomy 3:24 O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?
Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Isaiah 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
Habakkuk 3:3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
3:4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
3:5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.
3:7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
3:8 Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation?
3:9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
3:10 The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.
3:11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
3:12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
3:13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
True Christians know that there is really no contest between God and Satan for God is infinitely more powerful than all the powers in the universe, and mightier than all the nuclear bombs in the world all going off at the same time.
God is not in competition with the ruler of this world; Satan and all of his hordes are not a threat to God! The question of who will rule the earth has already been decided. Jesus Christ has already overcome Satan and qualified to replace him and we can be thankful for that fact.
God could squash Satan and all his demonic host in a nano-second but He is allowing this drama to unfold before all [in heaven and on earth] so that all can learn the lessons of what evil does and what its effects are; and of course to bring about His purpose of molding and fashioning the sons of God to be made in His spiritual image and to be made fit to be His priests and kings forever.
The history of man and the future prophecies that are going to take place are the story of a great battle that has been on-going ever since Satan and his angels rebelled, between the forces of evil and the forces of God; and every individual that has ever lived has experienced, to one degree or another, the effects of that battle and all mankind is learning lessons in the process. Satan’s influence has had a significant impact in causing misery, hate, suffering, and stirring up constant wars among the nations. He has plagued mankind ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment and then chose to follow the serpent rather than God.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, [So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Paul, in this verse, seems to imply that even the angels are learning from what is taking place here on earth.
And in the following verse, the apostle Peter, in His discourse on how the prophets diligently wanted to understand the prophesies of the Plan of Salvation, also mentions that the angels, too, have a desire to know more about these things.
Peter seems to be implying that they are watching all the things that God is doing here on earth, and even though they are God’s ministering spirits, they are curious as to how God’s plan and purpose is going to be played out.
Perhaps they, too, are in the process of learning even more lessons about the goodness of God by watching how He is handling the affairs of men during this six thousand year period of Satan’s rule on earth.
We can imagine that they, too, are also curious as to how evil is going to be finally eradicated from off the earth, anticipating the time when the world will once again be filed with total righteousness and perhaps looking forward to it as much as God and His people do.
1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, [their prophecies regarding grace] that not unto themselves, [not meant for themselves] but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with [power of the] the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Most of the people of the world have no clue about what is happening here on earth now. They cannot relate the current events and the evil that is happening with the events of the past starting with Adam and Eve, and then down through the ages up until now.
But we can go back even further in history to the time when Lucifer rebelled against God and brought evil into existence, thus his name became Satan which means the adversary of God (Satan – Strong’s # 7854) and he has been at war with God ever since.
For almost six thousand years Satan has invisibly ruled the nations; he has influenced man’s governments, he influences humanity, and influences industry, education, the medical field; and he sets up his kind of leaders that rule in ways that enrich themselves but bring about abysmal misery and poverty to the masses that are under their control.
In our modern times he uses the media and the entertainment world to model immodesty and immoral lifestyles in all forms to convince the gullible that his ungodly ways should be the standard in achieving happiness and fulfillment.
The unconverted cannot see that it is because of their own choices (and all those throughout history) that it is THEY who have brought on the horrendous wars, famines, tyranny, break down of families, diseases, insanity and the curses that plague our world.
Humans have been involved in a war that has been taking place here on this earth during the almost six thousand years of Satan’s rule; and yet God tells us that He is going to have the final victory.
God is a Mighty Warrior and He has called certain ones (only a few at this time) to know His whole Plan of Salvation, to come to hate evil and sin as He hates evil and sin; and then to join Him in His fight against Satan and evil. Satan, our accuser and our adversary, is the major hindrance to all who are striving to follow God and being one with Him and His Son and they must learn to resist Satan and all of his ways.
The called out are to become warriors against the forces of evil just as our Lord models for us; and for those who have God on their side, God promises that they too will be victorious.
Psalm 18:39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
When God’s plan has been fulfilled, then DEATH [Satan’s ultimate goal for mankind] will be no more and God will be the VICTOR, along with all those who have repented and embraced God’s ways through the deliverance and help given by the Father through His Holy and Righteous Son.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan is a very powerful and cunning spirit entity, plus he is invisible to humans and we cannot resist him nor the other evil spirits on our own, but God is infinitely more powerful than anything including Satan and all of the demonic host. And God is able to keep those who are faithful from being snatched from His hand, this is assuming, of course, that His children are walking close to Him and walking as Christ walks.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man [no one, none, not even Satan] is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
1st John 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
As the children of God we are totally dependent on God to fight against the forces of evil and we need to pray daily to be delivered from Satan’s temptations and his attacks against us. The Father may allow testing to come our way, but He promises to sustain us and help us to be faithful to Him. (See again 1 Corinthians 10:13)
The Lord Fights Our Battles
When we are faced with trials, persecution, and hardship; we, as humans, tend to get anxious, or we may get very discouraged. And yet throughout the whole Bible, God tells us not to be afraid, not to be anxious but to have faith in His ability, to either guide us as to what we need to do, or to just stay still and let Him handle everything.
Sometimes we are tempted to take things into our own hands and to try to fight our own battles by our own strength and by our own devises. Many of us have had to learn hard lessons in this area for humanly it just comes natural to want to fight against those who are fighting against us; to retaliate, and to revile back at those who are reviling us.
Or when we encounter a trial or have a problem, we tend to want to fix things right away and if God does not seem to be in a hurry to help us (in our minds), we try to do whatever it takes to help ourselves sometimes, in ways that only exasperate the problem.
But God wants to fight our battles for us, which means we do not have to fear, be anxious, or be discouraged when bad things happen in our lives. I know this is easier said than done; but we do need to keep striving to have patience and wait on God and let Him fight our battles in His way and not our own.
In Exodus 14:14 Moses told the children of Israel, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
After departing from Egypt the children of Israel had come to the banks of the Red Sea where they were hemmed in by the sea before them, and the Egyptian army was fast encroaching upon them from behind. The Israelites were in a seemingly impossible situation, but it was a situation brought on by the Lord Himself and for His own purposes.
It was God who continually hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh who had agreed to let the children of Israel go, later changed his mind and gathered his army to pursue after his fleeing bond servants (Exodus 14:4,8).
What was the purpose for God allowing this to happen? Exodus 14:4 answers this question: God wanted to make it very clear to Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s army, and all the people of Egypt that the God of Israel was LORD the Mighty God, the only true God and that Pharaoh was no match for the Almighty God of creation.
God also wanted to make it crystal clear that the pagan Egyptian gods were no gods; none of the gods of Egypt could deliver Pharaoh and the Egyptians out of the God of Israel’s hand.
Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
The lesson for the Israelites was that the Lord was their mighty Deliverer and Protector and that only He could save them.
Exodus 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The children of Israel were incapable of delivering themselves; they found themselves in an impossible situation in which it appeared that they were going to either die at the hands of Pharaoh’s army or drown in the Red Sea.
Moses told them that all they needed to do was to wait for God to move on their behalf. Sometimes we, too, get into a situation in which there is nothing we can do to help ourselves but God tells us to just wait and let Him be God and let Him save us.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
46:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
These kinds of trials are meant to build our faith like no other and show us that God does care about us; and that He is willing and quite ABLE to deliver us from evil and from being destroyed.
The battle that appeared to be between the Egyptians and the Israelites, was in reality between Pharaoh, the people of Egypt and the Lord.
And in our lives, most of the time the people who attack those who are righteous before God, are those who have a controversy with God and not really with the ones they are attacking; its that the ones they persecute represent the ways of God that they hate.
God allows the persecution and trials to show ultimately to them that He is God and that His ways are true….”and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.” (Exodus 14:4).
This account is recorded in Scripture so that all those who read can learn certain lessons; the things that happened in those days are for our learning and what God did for the people of Israel He will do for us in the end times.
When we understand these attributes of God it helps us to increase our faith; to BELIEVE and KNOW that God is our Deliverer and Protector is very powerful and life-changing.
God does not change ( Malachi 3:6) and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Hebrews 13:8). What God did in ancient times, He will do in our time and in the perilous times ahead.
When God’s people trust and truly have faith that God will fight their battles, it enables them to circumvent what often accompanies the trial, i.e., panic, fear, and hopelessness. At first the Israelites lacked faith, but they were about to witness the most earth shattering deliverance via God’s parting of the Red Sea that anyone had ever experienced.
Exodus 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
There are times when we as believers can see absolutely no way around a problem; it looks impossible and we begin to feel like we are doomed just like Israel felt when they were cornered.
The children of Israel could not have even imagined that God was going to split the massive Red Sea all the way to the opposite banks with walls of roaring waters on either sides, and then sending a wind that could dry up the sea bed providing for them a way of escape from the fury of Pharaoh and his huge army.
“We Were in Our Own Sight as Grasshoppers, and So We Were in Their Sight”
The children of Israel in the days of the Exodus witnessed the greatest miracles ever seen by any nation in the history of mankind up to that point; and yet when it came time to enter the Promised Land they lacked faith that God could give them victory over the people of the land and bring them into a country flowing with milk and honey just as He had promised them.
When Moses sent out the twelve scouts to spy out the land and to bring back word of what they had seen, ten of them brought back a report that it was indeed a good and bountiful land; but they then described the Canaanites as being tall and mighty with cities that had massive walls. The report that they brought back was negative expressing the fear they felt in their hearts because of what they had seen in the new land, and they then spread that fear to the other Israelites.
Numbers 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Even though the people had seen how God had poured out the plagues on the Egyptians; had delivered their own firstborn from the death angel; had brought them through the Red Sea parting the waters so that they could cross dry shod and escape from Pharaoh and his advancing army; had seen the very presence (or evidence) of God in way of the pillar of fire at night and the pillar of cloud by day; had been provided for time after time with manna rained down from the sky and water from a rock; they quickly forgot about the power of God to miraculously protect and provide for them.
Their forgetfulness about what God had done for them in the past caused them to lack the faith they needed to go forward into the land and possess it. Their fear made them totally forget the purpose of why God had brought them out of Egypt; which was to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham and to make them God’s own nation that would serve Him and be a light to the surrounding nations.
The overall picture of God’s great plan and purpose for them was completely overlooked as they zeroed in on how strong and fearsome the Canaanites appeared. They lost sight of what their God was like as Moses described Him in Deuteronomy: “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward” (Deuteronomy 10:7).
Only Caleb and Joshua, who were committed to following God fully, believed that God was well able and willing to safely bring the whole nation of Israel into the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his descendants.
David Defeats Goliath With a Sling and a Stone; With God’s Help
Fast forward to another time in history when another man (David) had the same kind of faith and courage as Joshua and Caleb and who took on the tallest giant of all time and defeated him. How did a young man such as David, who was only about 17 at the time, defeat this giant called Goliath? It was because David had faith in an All-Powerful God and knew that the battle really belonged to the Lord and not to mere men.
In Samuel 17:5-10, the writer describes the kind of man that Goliath was. He was huge, arrogant, mean looking, with a loud booming voice full of threats and cursing and he wanted to squash the men of Saul’s army and take control of their country. Because of his huge stature, his physical strength, and his protective armor, Goliath thought that no one could possibly defeat him.
1 Samuel 17:5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
17:6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
17:7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
Goliath defied the army of Israel, and taunted the soldiers with cursing and threats which drove even more fear into their hearts. He challenged them to send him a man brave enough to enter a duel with him, but all the men were afraid and no one wanted to volunteer to go down and challenge this mighty giant.
1 Samuel 17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
17:10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
Then along came David to the scene, and instantly David saw the big picture of what was really going on; that this giant was not only defying the men of Israel, but he was defying the people of God and therefore was defying Almighty God Himself. He could see right away that no matter how powerful this great man was, God was vastly more powerful. (See 1st Samuel 17:12-30)
Even though all the other men’s hearts were afraid to go down and face Goliath, David was not afraid of him and offered to be the one to meet the giant’s challenge to fight to the death. David showed by his words and by his actions that he believed that the battle belonged to the Lord and that God would give him and Israel the victory.
1 Samuel 17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
Saul tried to discourage David for he only saw him as a young and untested person with no fighting experience whatsoever; but David talked him into letting him at least try to fight Goliath by telling him that he had defeated ferocious beasts in the past and that this giant was no different.
1 Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
From his past experiences with two powerful predators, David had confidence (faith) that God would give him the victory over this giant just as He had given him victory over the lion and the bear.
1 Samuel 17:37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
Saul tried to equip him with the standard weapons and armor of war but David refused them and instead picked out five smooth stones. Imagine Saul shaking his head as he watched David taking off the armor he had given him and then as David picked up some small stones and put them into his shepherd’s bag.
1 Samuel 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David was not in the least daunted by Goliath’s threats, but answered him back with conviction and courage; full of faith in what God would do that day.
1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
17:46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
We all know what happened that day and how David was able to bring down this great giant and kill him, but the point is, that David had faith in the power of God and His promises to keep His Word; that God would deliver David and the people of Israel if they only trusted.
David’s faith enabled him to do great feats in his life, not just with Goliath, but throughout his lifetime as he gave himself in service to God fighting God’s battles, but all the while knowing that it was really the Lord that gave him all of his victories.
The challenging trials that David experienced in his life help to forge even more of God’s faith into his character. And it is the same with us who have been called and have become followers of Jesus Christ. And like David, we can have faith that God fights for us when we go to Him and rely on Him to be our Defender and Protector from evil and from Satan.
Later David could write many psalms attesting to God’s faithfulness to keep his promises and His Word and that we must trust Him to deliver us when we are faced with the Goliath’s in our lives. Here are just a couple:
Psalm 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon prayed a prayer to God before the people of Israel and this prayer is applicable for the spiritual people of Israel even in our times, as well, for all those who are walking in all of God’s ways. This is what Solomon said in regard to God maintaining the cause of his servants and that He would keep them from evil when they were being faithful to Him (See whole chapter as well).
1 Kings 8:57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:
8:58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.
8:59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:
When it seems that a situation that we are facing is hopeless, or the matter at hand is too overwhelming, we may be tempted to doubt God and His deliverance; but as believers we must always remember that no problem is beyond the scope of God’s sovereignty over His children. He has promised to take care of us and there is nothing too difficult for Him.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Another very good example of God delivering His people in the times of the kings. is the story of King Jehoshaphat. When we, too, face trials of any kind, this story is an illustration of how God is able to fight for His people in incredible ways if we are trusting in and are being faithful to Him.
When Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, he feared God and set himself to walk in all of God’s commandments and all of His ways. He brought many reforms and building projects to Judah and destroyed many of the idolatrous groves and idols that the people had previously set up. When the Ammonites and Moabites came up against Jehoshaphat and his people, the king feared; but he sought the Lord for His help with fasting and prayer, and even praising God in song.
2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
20:2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
20:4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 20:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court,
The king proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah and then gathered the people together to the Temple to beseech the Lord’s divine intervention. Jehoshaphat stood in the midst of the congregation and prayed the following prayer:
2 Chronicles 20:6 O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
20:8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
20:9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
20:10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;
20:11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.
20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”
20:13 And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
Jahaziel (a prophet) stood up from the midst of the congregation and told Jehoshaphat not to worry for God had shown him that He (the Lord) would fight for the nation of Judah and that they would see a great miracle occur the following day.
2 Chronicles 20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lordin the midst of the congregation;
20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
20:16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
Jehoshaphat believed the words of the prophet, and even though this was the day before they were to go to battle, he and his people bowed before God and worshiped their Mighty Deliverer. They then began to sing and praise the Lord God of Israel for the victory that was promised by Him and for the fact that He was going to fight this battle for them and save them. They had faith that the Lord would do just as the prophet said He would do, even before the battle began.
2 Chronicles 20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.
20:19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
The next day instead of cowering in fear, Jehoshaphat encouraged his people by telling them “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2nd Chronicles 20:20)
Then Jehoshaphat appointed the singers to go before the front of his army to sing praises to God. He, in effect, set the choir to run in front of the soldiers going forward to meet the enemy’s army, while singing their praises to God.
Could you imagine if this was being done by our country today in our modern day battles with enemies? No general (nor Commander-in-Chief) would even think of such a thing, and I’m sure they would laugh to scorn if anyone were to tell them to do as Jehoshaphat did when he was threatened by a huge, formidable army.
And yet God honored this king’s faith and the faith of his people and their exaltation of God, for He caused the advancing armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to suddenly begin to destroy each other, rather than come after Judah. All the enemies of Judah fought each other until every last one of them was destroyed. The people of Judah watched this from a distance, witnessing with their own eyes the awesome power of God to fight off their enemies and destroy them just as He had promised through His prophet.
2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
20:24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
Just as Moses had said to the children of Israel, so King Jehoshaphat and his people heard similar words from the mouth of God’s prophet: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” (2nd Chronicles 20:17)
Believers must learn this lesson when faced with small challenges, and when the larger challenges come they will be able to face them with conviction and courage.
1 Samuel 17:37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.
When God’s people truly believe God’s Word, they come to learn that no battle is too formidable or monumental for God to handle just as Joshua, too, was told by God. We can take comfort in all of God’s promises.
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
At a later time in history, another king of Judah had a similar experience. Hezekiah, even though he acquiesced at first and gave the king of Assyria (Sennacherib) the tribute he demanded, finally went to Isaiah to hear God’s word and was encouraged with Isaiah’s prediction of victory over the Assyrian army.
Hezekiah took courage and God granted an astounding miracle for him and his people as well. The Israelites, again, did not even have to fight against Sennacherib’s army for the Lord sent His angel and killed all 445,000 of his soldiers. Sennacherib, who had bragged about how great and mighty he was and how none of any of the other nations’ gods had been able to deliver their people from his hand, was killed latter by his own sons. (See 2nd Kings 19)
Besides Joshua, Caleb, David, and the two righteous kings mentioned earlier, there were many others who displayed this kind of faith and courage in the power of God to keep His promise to deliver them from evil and to provide a way of escape. We think of Deborah and Barak who defeated the armies of Jabin and his captain, Sisera, with God’s help. (Judges 4 and 5) We read of Gideon and his small army of 300 men and how through the power of God they were able defeat the Midianites that were oppressing God’s people. (Judges 6 and 7)
When the twelve scouts were sent into the land to spy out the conditions of the Promised Land and to bring back a report; but when they returned they told the people that the Canaanites were too big and too strong for them, and concluded that the children of Israel were unable to go up against such huge giants. (Numbers 13:31-33). And because that generation lacked faith to enter the land, they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 1 Moses tells the new generation to avoid their fathers’ lack of trust:
Deuteronomy 1:29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
The generation that came out of Egypt, like many people in our generation, had forgotten the previous battles God had fought for them all along the way. Can we as God’s end-time generation say this of God?
In Deuteronomy 2:7 we read “For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.“
The Israelite spies saw the “giants” in the land (Numbers 13:33), and just like physical Israel, the modern day spiritual Israel sometimes see their trials as “giant” obstacles, challenges, trials and problems that seem too large to conquer. To let the “sight of giants” fill us with fear and anxiety in lieu or having faith and courage, only leaves us feeling defeated which in turn causes us to lose our faith that God, who is in control of every challenge, is well able to defeat and deliver us from every giant in spite of its size.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
From these examples we can know and have faith that God can and is willing to fight the battles and do MIGHTY DEEDS for His people who are faithful to Him and who look to Him to defeat their enemies.
Like King Jehoshaphat we can say: “And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?” (2nd Chronicles 20:6)
By The Fear of the Lord, Men Depart From Evil
Yes, God as our Mighty Warrior and Defender will intervene on our behalf to deliver us from evil but we still have our part to play, for we, too, are called to be warriors, but warriors for God and warriors that fight according to God’s ways and not according to the ways of carnal men.
God is in control and intervenes on our behalf put we still must face battles in this life. Perhaps our battles are not dramatic as fighting a Goliath or having huge armies threatening to take us out, but the things that believers face can be just as scary. God expects us to fight with the armor and weapons that He provides for us. His weapons are more powerful than all the weapons in the world, and He provides His people with mighty weaponry in their fight against the wicked principalities of this world.
The weapons of our warfare that equip us to fight against Satan and evil BEGINS with the Fear of the Lord. When we fear God, we will desire to know Him better and will want to study and apply the things that He requires and this takes wisdom. God gives wisdom to His children through His whole Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to understand and to apply God’s truth when we are seeking it with our whole heart.
In our war against sin, temptation, and wickedness, we can be armed with the Word of God and with the wisdom of how to apply it just as Jesus did when He was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.
God, through Solomon, tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; “fear” meaning to be in awe and to reverence God, the kind of fear that leads a man or woman to desire God’s wisdom, to desire to know Him more, and a desire to heed all that He says and do all that He requires.
When we listen to and incorporate God’s wisdom into the very fabric of our being, it then plays a big part in delivering us from evil because wisdom shows us the way of God which is the opposite of evil. God’s way of living opposes evil and when we live to obey God we can avoid the curses that come to those who do not obey God. In essence, we drive evil away when we are walking in the light of God’s truth.
Proverbs 8:36 says: “all they that hate me love death“. In his hatred for humanity; death is Satan’s goal for all mankind and it is the greatest curse [evil] of all; to cease to exist forevermore by dying the spiritual death and to never have a chance to live life again.
In Proverbs 1:7 Solomon says that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Wisdom leads to life if we seek it like we would fine gold and then apply that wisdom in seeking God and striving to live by every Word of God. With the help of God’s Spirit and as we use His Wisdom that He gives, we will be fully armed and equipped when it comes to confronting and gaining the victory over the forces of evil in this world.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Wisdom Leads Us Away From Evil, and to Depart From Evil is Wisdom
In Proverbs 8 God inspired Solomon to write out a MESSAGE for mankind. This message is for all men but is especially directed to those whom God is calling; but eventually He is going to call every person who has ever lived according to God’s own time table. God says:.. “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man“. (Proverbs 8:1)
Solomon pictures the Wisdom of God as a woman speaking to mankind. Wisdom is not really a personage but is portrayed here as such, somewhat like Abel’s blood crying out to God from where Cain had killed him (Genesis 4:10); and like the saints who are really asleep until the resurrection, but God portrays them as speaking what they would be saying if they could speak in a simile (Revelation 6:9).
God often uses metaphors, parables, figures of speech, and similes to express profound truths in such a way that the message powerfully hits home. [For instance see Nathan’s use of a metaphor of a pet lamb when he confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba – 2 Samuel 12:1-13]
Proverbs 8 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible for it is like God is speaking directly to me and especially when I was first being called and trying to make decisions on how I wanted to live my life. You may wonder what does “wisdom” have to do with Jesus telling us to ask the Father to “deliver us from evil”; but wisdom has every thing to do with diverting evil, for by wisdom we are led to God’s truth and God’s truth is the Way to Life [which is the opposite of evil and leads to death].
When we live by God’s truth and we keep His commandments, we can circumvent curses that come from disobeying God. Just look at our world; it is because the people have no fear of God and they refuse to listen to His message, and it is for this reason that they bring on all the problems and misery that we see everywhere. And we know from our own experience that when we sin and turn away from God’s laws we bring a whole host of problems that plague us and bring pain and misery into our lives [evil] and we open the door to evil things happening.
Proverbs 8 has a stern message that God wants mankind to hear in regard to heeding the Wisdom that He sends out (through His Son and by His Word, and by the mouth of His prophets) and to turn away from the wisdom of the world. If men and women could only come to see: That God’s Wisdom is the most valuable thing we could ever hope to obtain in this life, and that it is vastly more valuable than all the gold, precious gems, and all the money in the world. If they could see this, then they would be eagerly filling themselves with as much of God’s truth as they could instead of wasting their entire lives going after the riches of this world.
Reading this chapter will fill you with awe of what God wants for His children and that He desires with all His heart that we passionately seek after Him rather than the knowledge that Satan has to offer. Going after God’s Wisdom will deliver us from all evil ultimately, for He shows us the path to life everlasting if we take the path which leads to the Promised Land and if we use His wisdom to stay faithful until death.
Please read through the following chapter and meditate on what God is saying in this passage. It is a profound message and it is so very vital that we think about these things and the importance of seeking after God, hearing His Words and incorporating His truth into our hearts; and then obeying all His laws. This is the most valuable and important thing that we could ever do in life, to seek out His wisdom rather than gold, riches, or any other thing.
Proverbs 8:18 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
8:2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
8:3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
8:4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
8:5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
8:6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
8:7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
8:15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
8:16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
8:21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
8:22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Of course, living according to God’s wisdom and being righteous does not eliminate all trials and all problems (and sometimes living for God brings on a whole new set of trials) but when we are using God’s wisdom to show us how to live we will not reap the curses of disobedience; and this in turn makes for the kind of peace of God that transcends all understanding even as we go through the trials of life.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Also read the sermon on the mount- Matthew 5-7)
When the apostle James addressed the subject of trials and what our approach should be concerning them, he too, tells us that when we do fall into trials, including when we are being tempted, we are to ask God to give us wisdom.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Living by God’s wisdom makes us wise stewards, good managers and when we manage our lives according to all God’s way, we can avoid many evils and problems.
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. 22:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.
This is saying that a prudent [wise] person who is discerning and far-sighted can see the evil of sin and therefore hides himself from it; but the naive [simple] continue on and are punished by suffering the consequences of sin which brings evil into their lives.
And the reward of humility [of humbly and sincerely wanting to please God in all His ways] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord will bring spiritual riches and honor in this life and for all eternity.
The Power of Influence
There is a saying: “It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” (Author unknown). Of course, we are never really alone if we are walking with our Lord, but we know that most of humanity is going in the wrong direction because they refuse to listen to God. Most of the world is on the super highway that leads to death and destruction; and as God’s called out we must avoid that highway and stay on His path at all costs.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
God repeatably tells us to not walk in the path of those who would mislead us. We may think that we can influence for good by staying in a group that is going in the wrong direction, but that is not how holiness works. If we are praying for God to deliver us from evil, sometimes we must use the feet He gave us to just walk away from evil companions or deceitful religious leaders, for this is one very effective way He can deliver us from temptation and evil.
1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
10:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
10:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
10:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
10:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
10:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Haggai 2:11 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
2:14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
This means that if we are in a group of people that is going in the wrong direction (not following God’s clear commands to put Him first in all things and to seek to understand more fully the whole Word of God), we need to protect ourselves and our families. We need to come out from that crowd including any COG group that refuses to listen to God’s Word and that teaches their members that they need not study and prove the things that are being taught.
If we truly want to turn from error (and the evil consequences of that error) when we see that we have been taught false traditions of men, we will want to come out from those who are going to bring correction on themselves and anyone who embraces them and supports them (See again Proverbs 22:3-4).
If the crowd (or a group) hears and heeds warnings to turn from their false leaders or their traditions of men, they may change, but most likely those in the crowd will tell the ones that are warning that they must shut up, quit warning, that they must not disturb [or cause division] the others who are walking towards the direction chosen by the majority of the crowd [group]; or by those who have the most power in the crowd [group]. Does this sound familiar? Scripture has a lot to say about how easy it is to give in to peer pressure when we hang out with those who try to mislead us from our devotion to God’s commandments and His doctrines and from zealous faithfulness to Him.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Following is a very good lesson for the Ekklesia. Earlier we used King Jehoshaphat as an example of having courage and faith in God to protect the whole nation from being annihilated by the heathen armies. But this same king also serves as an example of what it means to succumb to peer pressure as found in the story of Jehoshaphat and King Ahab in 2nd Chronicles 18.
Toward the end of his life King Jehoshaphat did repent and lead his people toward the true worship of God, but in this chapter the events of his life are recorded as a clear lesson to all who would read and discern the dynamics of peer pressure and the devastation it can wreck in the life of a believer. Most of us have come to learn that it is a common tendency of men and women, of making the opinion of others more important than the opinion of God.
2 Chronicles 18:1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began his reign by faithfully following God and he removed the Baal worshipers from his land. However, chapter 18 records that instead of continuing to trust God alone for protection, he formed an alliance with King Ahab.
The Bible does not say why King Jehoshaphat would do this as he was already blessed with much riches and honor and really had no need of Ahab’s alliance. Perhaps he thought he could reform him and then bring Israel back into the fold.
But Ahab stood for and practiced all of the evil things that Jehoshaphat had worked so diligently to remove from Judah and even taught the people throughout his land against. We read in the previous chapter of all the good works that Jehoshaphat did in his reign at the beginning and yet this account shows how we can become so blindsided at times, especially when it comes to listening to acquaintances and friends.
2 Chronicles 17:1 And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel.
17:2 And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken.
17:3 And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
17:4 But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.
17:5 Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.
17:6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.
17:7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.
17:8 And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
17:9 And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
17:10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
Some years later, Jehoshaphat went down to Samaria, the capital of Israel, to visit Ahab and there Ahab invited and persuaded him to go to war with him against Ramothgilead!
2 Chronicles 18:2 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead.
18:3 And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.
Jehoshaphat replied yes, he would, that he and his people were like-minded with Ahab and his people, and agreed to his plan. Why did he regard and listen to Ahab [who was a Baal worshiper] more than he did others in his land who were worshipers of Baal? In the beginning of his reign he had sent out trained teachers to the people that they must fear God, to obey Him and not to have respect of persons or to take bribes.
2 Chronicles 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment.
19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
But in this later time of his life, Jehoshaphat overlooked all that he had taught and all the work he had done to rid his land of the idols and groves and false religion, and became friends with the king of Israel who was one of the worse idol worshipers of all the kings. He even became an ally of him. He had respect unto Ahab even though Ahab was an evil person and perverted justice in his own nation.
To become a friend and partner in war with Ahab, was in reality, a disregard towards God and against all the things that he believed about God. God sent a prophet to let King Jehoshaphat realize just what he had done and perhaps that is when he came to his senses and repented.
2 Chronicles 19:1 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.
This kind of loyalty to men, rather than to God, clouds men’s judgment and results in flawed decision making. This is a very important lesson for us in the modern day Ekklesia for we, too, tend to do the same thing. The past history of the Ekklesia shows how we have looked to corrupt leaders and have become blind to their pridefulness and their misleading of the people, and this is still happening today. Most of those in the Ekklesia today would rather take a stand for their leaders who are not teaching according to sound doctrine, than to stick up for God and what He plainly says in His Word.
The rest of chapter 18 tells the account of the dialogue that took place, the consulting of false prophets, and bringing in one prophet who really was of God. King Jehoshaphat apparently does nothing to protect the true prophet from being sent to prison.
Read and study the whole chapter to get an idea of the insanity that took place, even Jehoshaphat agreeing to go into battle in his full kingly apparel, while Ahab disguised himself in order to be protected. See the evilness of this man, King Ahab, who would even suggest such a thing and King Jehoshaphat listened to him.
2 Chronicles 18:29 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and I will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.
The things that happened in this chapter show how Jehoshaphat’s divided loyalty to an evil “friend” distorted his thinking and how he threw common sense out the window.
This whole scenario shows us how quickly and easily loyalty to those who do not love God can corrupt our thinking and lead us to evil of all kinds. This is a lesson for us. Let us pray that God will deliver us from evil men and let us only follow those who follow after Christ and His righteousness.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Peer pressure is a powerful tool that Satan uses to get God’s people to sin and to compromise with His laws and His Word, but we can avoid many evils by staying away from those whom we know would be a strong influence on us for evil.
It is in this way that we do show love, first that we love God more than our friends, family and leaders; and second it gives those that err a witness that they are not living in accordance to God’s Word, and not being willing to fellowship with them, could very well make them stop and think that perhaps they should examine what they believe and who they are following.
Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
The wisdom of God contained in the whole Word of God is what we should be seeking more than any other treasures that can be obtained from this world. We must always be alert to the truth that God sends out from His Word and follow only Him and not go after the false wisdom that false religions and false minsters propagate. It will only lead to our destruction and lead to evil.
Paul teaches that it is through the Word of God [and incorporating His wisdom] that we are able to discern between deception and the truth of God which is the sword of the Spirit, and it is by God’s Word that we overcome Satan’s lies and his fiery attacks.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Psalm 71:1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
7:2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
7:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
7:4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
Does God do all the fighting for us all the time? or does He expect us to fight also with the weapons and the armor that He supplies to those He is training to be warriors for Him?
Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
How do believers wage war against evil and exactly how are we to fight? In our next article we will continue our study into the Lord’s prayer and what it means to be delivered from evil and about how we are to “Be Strong In The Lord And In The Power of His Might” using the weapons and armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
To be continued.
Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone,
Constance Belanger and James Malm