Just A Thought To Think About – ADVERSARIAL THREATS and IMPERSONATIONS.
First Peter 5:8-9 (ESV) gives a cautionary word for the people who were experiencing and enduring persecution. His word to them was: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.” The MSG states this word of caution: “Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.”
Paul’s words of insight and cautionary warning about your adversary are given in Second Corinthians 11:13-14 (ESV), “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” In the MSG, the paraphrase expands what one should be careful about the disguises the devil may use: “They’re a sorry bunch—pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God.”
One example of many is shared in II Kings 18-19 and Isaiah 36. The setting is the King of Assyria – Sennacherib – is out to conquer his known world = and – he has been successful in defeating the smaller tribes and nations – UNTIL – he addresses Hezekiah, King of Judah. Sennacherib sends a message that mocks God; berates Hezekiah; represents that Hezekiah has lied to the people; and will soon lead them into extinction. Nearby, to bolster his message, is his massive army. What can – what will Hezekiah do? He consults with Isaiah, the prophet. He then goes into the place of solitude where he will pray. Second Kings 19:14-16 (NKJV), “Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God."
Will Hezekiah’s prayer and plea for help be heard and acted upon? Isaiah comes to him with The Lord’s response, Second Kings 19:32-34, “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city, Says the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”
What does this mean for Hezekiah and the people? How will God intervene in behalf of this heard prayer and his commitment to safeguard His people? Second Kings 19:35-36, “And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.” Will Sennacherib live to bully another day? NO! His two sons kill him with their swords. The one who mocked God and threatened God’s people came to a tragic end.
How is your faith and confidence in God? Do you really believe He is able and will "do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask, think or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20)? If so, prove it by the way you believe and live.
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.