Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, October 10, 2013

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There is hostility in the atmosphere and David is experiencing the effects of those whose motives are fueled by his eventual defeat. He cries out to God to hear, to save, and to hide him. David recites in detail the ways in which his enemies are working against him and against God. He then shifts his focus away from the negative and declares the ways in which God will counteract his enemies’ efforts, resulting in their defeat and a resounding praise from all of God’s people.  The narrative is familiar to us because David’s experience is our experience bringing the great controversy down to a personal level.

Like David, we cry out to God pleading for His listening ear, His protection, and His salvation from our adversaries. We know that we are living in a hostile environment, one in which the enemy walks among us like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). He has destruction on his mind--destruction of heart, mind, and soul—the very things with which we are to fully love God (Deut. 6:5; Mt. 18:37). The devil’s tactics include those David wrote of in this passage: conspiracy, verbal attacks, and scheming. Like David, we may encounter people who work against us through gossip, lying, deceit, and half-truths. It may be done openly or behind our back. And it is especially painful to be unjustly accused or blamed when we are innocent. The devil is working against us.  He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), instigating doubt, discouragement, and negative thoughts to dilute our belief and faith; tempting us with what he knows we easily succumb to. He is our accuser (Rev. 12:10) and voice of condemnation (Zech. 3:1).  He reminds us of our stumbles and falls, suggesting we’re not good enough for Jesus, for service, for witness, for heaven. We are hopeless against him, except for God’s intervention to fight for us.

As David described, God steps in and the outcome drastically changes. The weapons used by the enemy are now turned against them and they are in a position of flight instead of fight. Yet they cannot flee from God. He will shoot His arrows of truth and righteousness and everything will be revealed.  He will stand up and intervene for us once and for all. Our enemies will fear the wrath of the Lord (Rev. 6:15-17) and God will settle the “great controversy” forever. Those who will trust Him to keep His word will not be disappointed.  They will rejoice at His victory and worship Him in His glory.

Dear Lord, the battle of the great controversy continues from day to day and from generation to generation.  Thank you, Lord, that we like David, can have the assurance of the outcome of the final battle. Praise Your name forever and ever.  Amen.

Stephanie Sheehan

School of Business and Management

Southern Adventist University