The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels:
the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the Holy Place (Psalms 68:17). God Almighty is attended by a glorious entourage of ministering spirits
who go forth to serve Him. Angels also look after the well-being of His children,
who are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and
(Psalms 34:7). The Hebrew word for “encampeth” is chaneh, which means to “pitch a tent”, or dwelling place. Ask
God to set up a celestial army bivouacs around you. How wonderful, to have heavenly
hosts camping out in your own home and workplace, or wherever you go! Consecrate
your own home to the Lord, that unseen angels will always feel welcome there. I have to chuckle about this, since my present
home is so small that if you get more than three people in the place you feel crowded!
Hebrews 1:14: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to
minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
When Jesus was being arrested by His enemies, Peter tried to defend Him by using a sword. Jesus responded by telling Peter His Father was perfectly able to send more than twelve legions of to His
defense (Matt. 26:53). In the time of Caesar Augustus, one legion of men equaled 6826.
Jesus could have been rescued by roughly 82,000 angels! But it wasn’t in the purpose of the Father to save His
own beloved Son from the death of the Cross, because His divinely preordained plain was to die to save US!
Ask the Father to dispatch a contingent of mighty angels to fight against your foes in such a way that
they are weakened and hindered from harming you, but are still spared to give them opportunity to be converted to Christ.
In the Old Testament, the enemies of the righteous would often have been killed by any angels sent by God to defend His own. Jesus teaches His people to love their enemies.
But those who threaten your peace or safety must be warred against in the realm of the Spirit, and restrained through
the power of God.
In 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19 the nation of Judah is repeatedly oppressed by foreign invaders who demand
tribute (just like a school bully who takes your lunch money). The situation begins with Shalmanezer king of Assyria invading
the northern Kingdom of Israel, which was comprised of ten of the Twelve tribes of Israel (Judah consisted of the remaining
two). Israel had earlier seceded from Judah, the dominant tribe from which David
and his dynasty of kings sprung. Some of Judah’s kings were godly, but ALL of Israel’s kings were rotten eggs.
Israel had stopped going to Jerusalem, capital of Judah, to worship at the Temple according to God’s commandment. Instead,
the northern Ten Tribes fell into idolatry, and God had to judge this kingdom. In the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah, the
rival nation Israel was carried away captive by Shalmanezer, who took them to Assyria.
The nation of Judah had some bad kings, but Hezekiah was one of their best.
Hezekiah was a God-fearing man. He didn’t deserve the troubles that
came his way. Once idolatrous Israel was taken captive, Assyria set its sights on Judah, its smaller neighbor. Just like a bully to feel all pumped up with power after beating up the biggest kid on the block. Now it should be a piece of cake to beat up his smaller brother. Judah’s cities
were conquered and placed under tribute. Then Hezekiah worried that he might
have done something to upset Sennacherib, the then king of Assyria. Hezekiah pleaded for mercy and promised to pay any tribute
laid upon his nation. Many of God’s people are so weary of taking a stand against the devil that they find it easier
to just let him rob them.
The king of Assyria is a fitting picture of satan, oppressor of men’s souls. Sennacherib demanded thirty talents of gold and three hundred talents of silver. I checked my Strong’s Concordance for the value of gold and silver talents, then multiplied by the
number of each type of talent demanded by Sennacherib. The combined value of
the tribute was around $43,680,000 per year! Just for the privilege of being
allowed to live in your own territory and go about your business unmolested!
Hezekiah was so desperate he gave the king of Assyria all the silver in his house. When that wasn’t
enough, Hezekiah even stripped all of the gold and silver out of the Temple to pay his oppressor’s tribute. In the Old Testament, gold symbolizes the Glory of God (2 Kings 18:14-16).
Silver represents God’s wisdom and the precious riches of His Word. The devil isn’t content to steal your
earthly happiness. He wants to ransack your spirit and soul as well. Satan wants to destroy the very Glory of God within you. He
wants to rob you of the wisdom and strength you gain from the Word of God. Satan Satan rules over this evil world system,
but God Himself owns the title deed to the earth (Psalms 50:12). God’s children are His heirs, and joint-heirs with
Christ their Lord (Rom.8:17). But satan wants you to be his serf, laboring under a burden of fear so you can pay him rent
wrenched out of your innermost being. The devil wants Christian believers to
stop seeing themselves as heirs of God and to feel like helpless worms to be stepped on. In this present evil age, continual
prayer must be offered up to God for His help to overcome the adversary of our souls.
Sennacherib wasn’t content with extorting protection money from Hezekiah. He wanted to steal the population of Judah, just like he’d carried Israel away as slaves. Rabshakeh,
Sennacherib’s ambassador, pleads with the people of Judah to give up and
submit to being taken captive. He says it won’t be so bad, they’ll enjoy a land full of good things to eat and
drink (verse 32). In verses 33-35 Rabshakeh argues that other kings and nations
appealed to their gods for help but it didn’t do any good. In essence, Rabshakeh is inviting the Judahites to emigrate
to his own nation and be assimilated into it. Join our gang and we’ll stop beating you up!
Like Rabshakeh, Satan will lie to you to wear down your resistance.
He will cause you to think of others who sought supernatural help and it didn’t come. The devil promises to stop
hassling you if only you’ll pledge allegiance to him and “follow the crowd” to hell. Reminds me of that epic battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Star Wars. If only Luke would turn to the dark side of the Force, Darth Vader will stop blasting him with his
light saber and Luke will have a bright future to look forward to. Those who
buy satan’s lie have sold their souls for a bag of peanuts. When all is
said and done, the only thing you can take with you when you go is the treasure inside your heart. Where will the bully’s
buddies be when the stern Judge of all the Universe weighs his deeds and finds him wanting? Those who fail to make Christ
their only Righteousness will be judged on the basis of their own works and be
condemned for them. The devil knows this.
He hates his own children enough to want them to burn with him in hell.
King Hezekiah gave the people some very wise advice: Don’t say a word back to the enemy (verse 36). The danger was that in so doing, their defenses would be lowered and they would end
up negotiating with the enemy and end up giving in to Rabshakeh’s demands.
In 2 Kings Chapter 19 Hezekiah goes to the Temple to seek God’s help. Hezekiah mourns over the blasphemy
uttered by the enemy against the Living God. It isn’t long before the prophet Isaiah comes on the scene to deliver God’s
reply: Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of
the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return
to his own land: and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land (verses 6-7).
In verses 8-13 Hezekiah is once again tested. Will he believe
God’s promise of deliverance or be intimidated by further threats from the enemy?
Like all bullies, the devil doesn’t give up easily. Once again Rahshakeh returns and taunts the King of Judah
and his men about past victories won by the king of Assyria over various nations. The devil uses the same old tired tactics
to wear out the saints of the Most High (Dan.7:25).
Instead of panicking, Hezekiah returned to the Temple to consult with God over the enemy’s renewed
threats. Hezekiah took the intimidating letter and “spread it out before the Lord” (verse 14). In verses 15-19
Hezekiah appealed to the God Who was powerful enough to create the heavens and the earth, that One Who dwelled between the
cherubims (an exalted order of angels). Hezekiah appeals to Almighty God to hear what this idolatrous king is saying against
Once again the prophet Isaiah came by with an encouraging word from God. God’s nation was destined
for victory and an overcoming remnant would be saved to return and take root again .
But as for now, God’s promise was that no military tactic taken by the king of Assyria against Judah would be
permitted to succeed. God would defend the City of Jerusalem for His own sake
and for the sake of His servant David (verses 32-34). This promise brings to mind God’s promise: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou
shalt condemn (see Isaiah 54:17).
Just ONE angel went out from the Lord and smote 185,000 Assyrians single-handedly! Once Sennacherib returned
to his own land, he went to worship his heathen gods, but got struck down by the real God as punishment for his blasphemous
sins (verses 35-37). If you are in danger ask God to send a powerful warrior angel to fight on your behalf.
God loves people, but when necessary He is a Man of War (Ex.15:3).
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6; Heb.13:8).
If You’ re STILL Unsure About God
Perhaps you still aren’t totally sure about Christ. You
just want to be sure that His love is for real, that He’s true to His Word and won’t let you down when push comes
to shove. I’ve received countless answers to prayer, some of them miraculous. My husband, daughter, and I have seen God’s power in action.
The God I love and serve is very merciful. If you feel the
need for Him to prove His love to you, why not “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:7-8). If satan
is bullying you, pray this prayer out loud, speaking to Him from the depths of
a sincere, seeking heart. Don’t hurry through it, but meditate deeply upon it until the Peace of God fills your being,
and calm returns to your troubled soul. God’s peace is a sure sign that
your prayer has been answered.
Dear God in heaven, I’ve been burnt by so many people
and have often felt that life itself is one bad trip going to nowhere. Perhaps
I’ve even gone so far as to question Your fairness in putting me on this earth in the first place. A world where I’ve often felt unwanted and unneeded, and been betrayed even by people I thought were
I still have my doubts. I can’t pretend otherwise. But still, I’m open to any proofs You could give me that You do care, and are
both willing and able to deliver me from trouble.
I feel insecure and threatened, Lord. I hate being taunted
and stared at. At times, I feel that others intend very real harm against me. Please befriend me, even though I’m still unsure about You.
I do desperately want and need the intervention and protection of Your guardian angels. Please dispatch
powerful warring angels to do battle against unseen entities of darkness which motivate others to want to hurt me. Not everyone
will respond to words of kindness, for some are so hardened in heart that they are determined to have their perverse fun.
Jesus prayed: “Father, forgive them (His enemies), for they know not what
they do. But hardened bullies know full well what they are doing! They commit crimes because they think they can get away
with it, not because they have no inkling that their cruelty is wrong. I realize that Your very nature is love, but sometimes
love has to be tough. So if it is necessary for my protection from physical harm,
I ask You to take strong disciplinary action against my human foes. It is written in Your Word that You have authority to chastise the heathen.
I do not want You to inflict permanent injury upon these dangerous enemies, but to punish them enough to strike the
fear of God into their hearts, and to prevent them from posing any further threat to my safety.
As for emotional attacks, I ask that You would remind me that the insults of others are built on the lies
of the devil, because nothing satan says about me is ever Your truth, just destructive garbage. Satan is a liar, and no truth abides in him. I ask that You
would be a Mighty Shield round about My soul, and to so undergird me with an
awareness of my value to You, that nothing bullies say would have the power to faze me. If the bully gets so frustrated by
my composure that he resorts to physical threats, I pray that You would arise to my defense and fight for me, even as you
fought for Your Chosen People in the Bible. I ask that you would even render all enemies, human and demonic, powerless, Lord, and cause them to fall into any traps they set for me.
I know the bully in my life could not even draw his next breath to threaten me with unless You permitted it, so I ask
that you would take away his strength and influence over others. I ask You to
break any power he has over me, and to render powerless all his evil alliesc. The bully acts like a kingpin immune to punishment,
O Lord, but in Jesus’ Name I ask that You would hit him with Isaiah 14:5, which promises You will break the sceptre
of the enemy’s power. And once they have fallen from power, please help
me to leave them in Your hands, rather than fantasizing about revenge.
It is written in Psalms that even if an whole army pits itself against me, I can trust in Your protection. Please, Lord. Every time I leave my house,
let a contingent of angels go with me to act as my bodyguard. And set a cordon
of guardian angels round about my dwelling place so I’ll feel secure in my own home, safe from intruders who mean to
rob or harm me. You are well able to do this.
In the Old Testament, You defeated entire armies with just one warring angel.
You protected Lot
from a big gang of perverts who tried to break down his door so they could attack him. You will give me the confidence that
You are able to handle even a gang of bullies. But at the same time, I will never
deliberately seek a confrontation to put You to the test. Prudence is a virtue
you impart to the wise. I pray that Your angels would contrive to keep those
wicked ones out of my way, and hinder them from getting at me in the first place. Please put obstacles in their pathway to
keep them from meeting up with me.
Please, Lord, touch me with the power of Your Holy Spirit to heal any injuries I’ve received, either
physical or emotional. I even ask that anything stolen from me or destroyed by
the bully would be fully restored. For it is written: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy
the works of the devil. I ask You to prove Yourself to me as the Almighty,
Ever Living God of the Universe Who restores the broken in heart, to be to me the Lord Who heals, and the Mighty Warrior God Who fights in defense of His people.
Lord, You promised in I Corinthians 10:13 that You would make a way of escape from unbearable troubles. Lord, the bully gloats about my predicament.
He brags that he/she/they’re invincible, and the boss/teacher/parent doesn’t give a hoot what happens to
me. He says there’s nowhere I can run to get away. That he’ll hurt me worse tomorrow than he did today. Lord,
I feel trapped. If there is no way out of this mess, please CREATE A WAY OF ESCAPE
that wasn’t there before. Please fight for me, even physically punishing
my enemies Yourself if that would end the problem and keep me and others safe.
If only You would do these things for me, Lord, I will be so grateful to You. I just need for You to make the first move, to prove that You really are my dearest Friend and will
defend me. In Jesus’ Holy Name, amen.
God: Avenger of All Unrighteousness
We are to desire for justice done be done on unrepentant bullies. Not to
satisfy some ungodly lust for revenge, but that God might be glorified in His role as the Supreme Judge of all the Earth.
While it’s only human to feel furious with evil people, much of my discontent springs from this: Bad bullies do bad
things in a world God created for good, and they laugh all the way to the Bank of Hell with precious things they’ve
stolen from their victims: basic human dignity, being able to reach out and love others, personal confidence, peace, emotional
and physical health.
The bully, who has not partaken of the nature of Christ, is
already condemned to hell (John 3:18). Hell is the bully’s home town, for he is from beneath (John 8:23), and will spend
eternity there with satan, who is his father and instructor in wickedness. The bully in hell will not be pitied by God when
the awful waves of His fearsome wrath relentlessly sweep over his damned soul.
That is only fitting, for the bully had no pity on his victims while he lived on earth.
The fact that the day to day crushing of the victim’s helpless soul was beyond endurance did not cause the bully
to lighten his oppression in the least. God declares His enmity toward those
who fill the land with violence (Ezekiel 8:17-18). God pronounces doom upon them: Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
Again in Ezekiel 9:9: Then
said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the
city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and
the Lord seeth not.***** The sinners
depicted here fully expected to get away with it, because God was up in heaven minding His own business and they were down
on the earth doing their dirty business unhindered.
At least that’s what they thought. God says they’re
only fooling themselves. And as for me
also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their own head. (verse
10). *****That’s the perfect justice of God. What you sow, you reap.
Psalms Chapter 7 is the prayer of a desperate man who prays for God to save him from his enemies. His enemies are rending (tearing) his soul into pieces (verse 2). The Psalmist goes
on to plead with God that he is unjustly being persecuted and has done nothing to provoke the attack. The persecuted man pleads with God to judge rightly and bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end. These verses, followed by my commentary, warn
of the terrible judgment in store for violent evil men:
Psalms 7: 11 God judgeth
the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.***** God is no overindulgent
grandpa sitting in the sky who turns a blind eye to sin. God can get boiling
mad! God is angry with the wicked every single day.
Psalms 7: 12 If he
(the sinner) turn not, he (God) will
whet his sword: he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. Jesus, Who many
say would never allow any unrepentant sinner to go to hell says in Luke 13:3: Repent,
or ye shall all likewise perish.”Repent” is derived from the Latin re+pentare,
which means to turn again. Unless a sinner returns from his wicked way
(Isaiah 55:7) God will whet (sharpen) His sword of judgment. Already He has bent
his bow to shoot at the sinner hardened in impenitence and unbelief.
Psalms 7: 13 He (God)
hath prepared for him (the enemy) the instruments
of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.**** God has already
prepared weapons of war to use against the persecutor. He has ordained (chosen)
which arrows to draw from His quiver to fire from His bow of judgment. This concept of God preparing things for a purpose
is Scriptural. God prepared something good, a shady shrub, to shield Jonah from
the hot sun. But Jonah had a bad attitude in his life which needed to be corrected,
so God also prepared a worm to eat that shrub (verse 7). But punishment is infinitely
more painful than correction, because there is no hope for sinners who are sitting on God’s death row. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, but wicked men also shall go there (Matt.25:41). In that sad scene, sinners are sentenced to eternal hellfire for passive sins of refusing to give food
to Christ’s hungry brethren, or to help them in other ways. How much angrier
must God be with a gang of bullies who brutalize a defenseless child or old person!
Other Details of the Fate of the Wicked:
Psalms 7: 14 He (the
persecutor) made a pit and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
VERSE 15 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate (crown
of his head).
VERSE 16 closes Psalms Chapter 7 with praise toward God for
the righteousness of these judgments.
Wait a minute. Didn’t Jesus instruct His disciples to bless them that persecute you in Matthew 5:44? Yes, He did,
because lost sinners are possible candidates for salvation. But all sinners ultimately must be judged by God if they will
not repent of their sins and by faith accept that Christ received God’s judgment of sin upon Himself.
So much for today’s politically correct concept of a benign grandfather in the sky who never gets
mad at anybody, regardless of what they say or do. Some think that Christians are called to be good doormats for Jesus, and
have no right to ask God for justice. Jesus Himself refutes that notion in Luke 18:1-8. A poor widow repeatedly appears before
an unjust judge, pleading for him to defend her rights and take action against
her adversary. The unjust judge would not bother to help her for a while, but
she kept on coming. Finally, the judge got tired of listening to her pleas for
justice and ruled in her favor.
Notice, gentle Jesus calls this man an unjust judge. Why?
Because of his refusal to avenge the widow. Does Jesus commend the unjust judge
for withholding a judgment which might have caused discomfort or inconvenience to the woman’s enemy? No, Jesus never did call the judge a just man who was exercising godly love by withholding righteous judgment.
Jesus called him an unjust judge. In the last two verses of that passage
Jesus says this: And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto
Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless
when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?
Even the martyred saints in heaven long to see justice done. In
Revelation 6:9-10 a company of departed souls has gathered under the Throne of
God in heaven. They are martyrs, who were killed for their faithfulness to the Word of God and for their testimony of faith
in Christ. They ask the Lord of Heaven, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on
them that dwell on the earth?”
Their words shock not because there is something unjust about them, but because they are recorded in the
New Testament, an era during which millions have obeyed Christ’s commandment to be patient, love enemies and pray for
them. The Church Age has been a period of long patience and forbearance on God’s
part as He has given mankind ample opportunity to repent and receive Christ as Savior.
Perhaps even the martyr Stephen will be present in that company.
If he is, it will most likely be because Stephen wants to see the honor of God vindicated in God’s righteous
judgments against blasphemous sinners who have trampled the Name of Christ underfoot in this earth for such a long time. In
Acts 7:60 Stephen prayed for God not to hold his murder against his enemies. What marvelous mercy manifested in Stephen’s
life! But Stephen was no softie. Surrounded
by a crowd of angry religious scholars, Stephen stood up to them with God’s truth.
Before the mighty Sanhedrin he presented a historical dissertation on the giving of the Mosaic Law and the Israelites’
inability to be faithful to God under it. Stephen concludes with verse
51-53: Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming
of the Just One; of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the Law by the disposition of angels,
and have not kept it.
Stephen actually calls these eminent religious leaders murderers and betrayers of the only righteous Man
Who ever walked this planet! Talk about chutzpah!
Just think! These mean old persecutors in their long flowing robes and
skull caps reading the prophets hour after hour, conveniently forgetting that some long-ago ancestor of theirs drove those
same prophets out of town under a hail of flying stones!
Well, poor Stephen got his share of stones that day. But he received a wonderful hero’s welcome in heaven. So wonderful was his joy
he forgave his persecutors. And this begs a question: Time after time the Bible
teaches that repentance and faith toward Christ are necessary to receive salvation.
If Stephen’s persecutors died in unbelief, they surely are in hell today.
At least one we know of, Saul of Tarsus, DID repent later and became Paul the Apostle.
If Stephen’s persecutors were going to hell anyway because of refusal to accept Christ’s atonement,
why did Stephen ask forgiveness for them? Because Christ forgave His own enemies from the cross, who “knew not what
they did”, or were not aware of the horrible sinfulness of their actions. That was God’s grace in action. Also,
Stephen might have had familial love for his own ”kinsmen according to the flesh”, as Paul did (Rom.9:1-3). The Jewish nation has a sense of family connectedness largely lacking in the Gentile
world. Besides that, Stephen manifested concern for his unconverted persecutors,
hoping some of them would be saved. The best I can understand it is this way: Say there is a prisoner in jail who owes a million-dollar
fine for releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, chemicals so horrible a few people have died. Unless the fine is paid the prisoner will never be let out. A very rich man takes pity on the prisoner
and offers to pay it in his place, but the judge says the rich man cannot do this without the permission of the prisoner. If the prisoner says “yes”, then the fine can be paid and the prisoner
set free. But for some reason the prisoner hates the rich man’s guts and
refuses to give this man the satisfaction of doing something nice for him. Meanwhile, the prisoner also racks up a smaller fine for pushing dope in the jail. The prisoner has a brother who is able to pay the smaller fine but not the bigger fine. The prisoner hates
his brother, but not as much as he hates the rich man who offered to get him out of jail.
So the prisoner allows his brother to pay the fine for dope pushing.
Why does the prisoner’s brother pay this fine, knowing it won’t reduce the sentence the guilty
man will ultimately serve? Because it is an act of love, and perhaps, the brother
hopes, it may soften his brother’s heart to repentance. Even if Stephen forgave his murderers for killing him, other
unrepented-of sins could have doomed his persecutors to hell. Those of them who
refused to repent went there because they committed the much more fatal sin of rejecting Jesus, God’s only Way of Salvation.
Many hardened sinners absolutely will not allow Jesus to save them, because they hate Him so much!
During the Great Tribulation, persecutors of believers will be branded with the Mark of the Beast (Rev.13:16-18).
Whoever receives this mark will forever forfeit any hope of repentance (Rev.14:9-12). Then the battle lines will be clearly
drawn and there will be no more fence-sitters vacillating between the kingdoms of God and satan. At that time the saints in heaven and on earth will KNOW there is no further possibility for persecutors
to receive salvation, so they will have no qualms whatsoever about calling upon
God for judgment to fall upon the wicked.
Jesus’ gentle nature, the supreme delight of saints who have been transformed by His merciful grace,
will no longer be available to people who finally choose to side with satan and go to hell.
Those damned souls, who despised meekness as weakness, will be forever
sealed in their sin. They will be so hardened they would crucify Him a second
time if only they could.