April 2, 1999
As with David, so too with Jesus, and so too with us also who are called after His name. On the Road to Glory we should not be surprised to find that we have enemies who would wish to do us harm. It comes with the territory. Ephesians tells us to put on the whole armour of God. Why? Because we have an enemy in the spiritual realm. But know this also... we have enemies who are flesh because they are children of their father... the Devil. (John 8:42-44)
That is why David calls out to God in psalm 56...
1 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would
swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
2 My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
4 In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
When you stand up for Jesus and the kingdom it will be noticed by the enemy. The unsaved person, no matter how nice they are, belong to the Devil and they are his. They are not under a covenant relationship with God yet believe they have free will to do as they please not knowing that they are under the Devil's authority. If you are under his authority you are also under his control. That is... unless God intervenes... and God certainly does!
Read the verses above, a man crying out for mercy because his enemies are after him. He trusts in God and asks why should he be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? This is his answer...
5 All day they twist my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather together,
They hide, they mark my steps,
When they lie in wait for my life.
Do you know that there are people who look at what you do and hate you because you are a child of God? You have enemies and they are real. You may not know who they are as yet but follow God and do what He asks and they will show themselves when they think the time is right to strike. David's request of God in these situations is to...
7 Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
Rather strong words. Some would say that we shouldn't ask for things like this, yet, here is a man talking to God through his anger, hurt and frustration. When David prays he prays with his heart. He speaks straight out what he is feeling and what he wants done to his enemies. David certainly knows that God is watching what is going on for he says...
8 You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Remember that this series is all about "praying in the garden". Preparing yourself for the ordeals at hand and those you are about to face. Jesus Himself cried out in the garden the night He was betrayed pleading God to let this cup pass. Both Jesus and David were prayer warriors and that is why they were able to stand in the face of adversity even when the going gets hard. For they both understood that...
9 When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
The heart that can comprehend this does not keep silent but with his mouth shouts...
10 In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
This is the answer of those who persevere in prayer until they have the conviction, the sure knowledge, that they belong to God and no enemy can snatch them from His hands. The response of those that grasp this reality are...
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O
I will render praises to You,
13 For You have delivered my soul from death.
Have You not kept my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God
In the light of the living?
One moment though... didn't Jesus die within 12 hours after He prayed in the garden? Where was the rescue?
Look at the life of Jesus. Here was a man who did all that God had asked Him to do. Preached to the poor, fed the hungry, healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead. What was the general response of the governing authorities? His enemies pressed Him. They twisted His words. They plotted against Him and laid plans to trap Him in word or deed. Some tried to stone Him. Others wanted to throw Him from a cliff. During all this, He was kept safe by His Father in heaven. The Father rescued Him from their hands daily.
Then why was this night different? Remember verse twelve above...? the vows...? Here is the vow that Jesus made...
Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the
world, He said:
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, Behold, I have come
In the volume of the book it is written of Me
To do Your will, O God.
Jesus knew that He was the final sacrifice for sins. His time had come to fulfill the vow. He was arrested and found guilty by the Hebrew court and then turned over to Rome, to Herod and back to Rome again.
Luke 23:8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck Him with their hands.
He was mocked by Herod who was king over the region that Jesus was from. Arrayed Him in a purple robe and laughed Him to scorn. The Roman soldiers weaved a crown of thorns and put it upon His head and bowed and gave Him mock worship. This is all a part of the Road to Glory.
The enemy will array you in a robe of purple flattery only to mock you in his time. "You" they say, "are a son of God?" they only wait for their opportunity to strike. Those of us who are week are attacked right away. In time you may fall into the hands of todays "Romans". You will wear your crown of thorns, be beaten, and made a laughing stock. You will be paraded before the people as Jesus was, an apathetic figure, and receive no more mercy from them then Jesus received.
You may be getting a foretaste of that moment even today when people laugh behind your back. They make jokes about you. They yell, threaten, and perhaps beat you. My friend... you are walking the Road to Glory. This is why we need to pray, so that we may be strengthened as Jesus was strengthened in His hour of trial. We have much in common with David and in death we will have that in common with Jesus. Yet... you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light. That is true for us now as it was for David... and in death that will be true with us as it is true for Jesus now. We will always walk in His presence... in the life giving light... forever.
So Pray... Amen.
go to: www.christianmuse.com
Please, if you copy a page with scripture ref´, you must include the notice below, thanks.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ´Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.´
Website administrator: Joseph A Raymond
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada