Sunday, April 14, 2013

resist the devil

Read I Samuel 11 and James 4

But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out your right eyes and thus bring disgrace to all of Israel.” The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there be no one to save us, we will give ourselves us to you."  I Samuel 11:2&3

As the name Nahash is the Hebrew word for serpent, I believe we can infer that this story teaches us about Satan. It seems odd that Nahash would agree to the request of the besieged citizens of the city of Jabesh-Gilead that he give them seven days to see if they could get any help from their countrymen. Apparently he was so confident in the strength of his army and so convinced of the non-concern of the Israelites that he thought no harm would come from it. For who could care about a town with a hyphenated name that means dry (Jabesh), and exposed (Gilead)?

But the Israelites did care. First they wept when they heard their sad story. And then Saul got mad and took charge, mustering an overwhelming force of 1/3 of a million men against Nahash. Their victory was so complete that of those surviving from Nahash’s army, “no two of them were left together.” I Sam 3:11

Scripture teaches us to how to approach our various enemies. Against our youthful lusts, we are told to flee. II Tim 2:22 Against our discouragement, we are told to buck up. Hebrews 12:12 Against the world, we are told to shine. Philippians 2:15. But against the Devil we are told to resist. That means we are told to stand up and fight Him! James 4:7.

It seems to me the Devil and his minions are a powerful force. Paul writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12. That sounds terrifying.  

One of the primary names of God is Yahweh Sebaot, the LORD of hosts. This name speaks of the power of God who has all the heavenly hosts under His command.We need not fear Satan, for when we are with the Lord, there is no contest. Our Lord is the all Powerful One, our great Champion. We can win against Satan when we take a stand against him in the strength of our God.


The Lord has set up certain barriers between our realm and the realm of the supernatural. It seems Satan cannot typically enter our realm unless we make a breach for him. If we seek to amuse ourselves by using tools of the occult, or by using any type of hallucinatory drugs (however innocuous we may believe them to be), Satan and his minions will accept the invitation. But there are still times when Satan finds a way to terrorize through dreams, or through people under his control, or circumstances. At those times we have been given the authority through the Name of the Lord Jesus, to demand that he be gone. Mark 16:17

Like Nahash, Satan is a terrorist. To cause us the greatest amount of fear seems to be his modus operandi. We do not have to succumb to his terrors. John writes, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4

When, like the citizens of Jabesh-Gilead, I feel dry and exposed, and Satan harasses me with his terrors, I remember like David. “The Lord is my refuge and strength. An ever present help in time of need.” Psalm 46:1

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