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Sunday, October 7, 2012

O God ... Thine Enemies # 5

And so as King Jehoshaphat led his people into battle, they said, "Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth forever." What a Mighty, Triumphant Cadence this is for people of God as they take the offensive against God's enemies.

And when they begin to sing and to praise, the Lord set "ambushments" against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir (Edom and others); so they were routed, for the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, destroying them completely. And when they had finished with the inhabitants of Mount Seir, they helped to destroy one another ... and no one escaped. God's enemies destroyed themselves (2 Chron. 20:18-24)

Therefore, we see that evil destroys itself, it self-destructs. Revelation 17:8 tells us that which "ascends" out of the bottomless pit, that which "ascends" out of the depths of satan, has one destiny and that is destruction, "perdition". God has determined that everything that ascends out of the depths of satan, no matter how evil it is, is on its way to destruction. "The beast that thou sawest ... shall ascent out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition ... And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth ... goeth into  perdition" (Revelation 17:8, 11).

Beloved, in spite of all their efforts to pervert the children of God from the right way of God, the Moabites, and all they represent, will destroy themselves; for sometime during all their evil activities, they will produce a Moabitess called Ruth. And Ruth, whose redemption exemplifies the Grace of God, will prove that God's mercy endureth forever: "...and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king ... and... behold, the lion of Judah, the Root of David... and lo, in the midst of the Throne ... stood a Lamb as it had been slain ... And the Lamb shall overcome them (all the enemies of God): for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him - Abraham, Ruth, Jehoshaphat, the people of Judah, and the overcomers from all ages - are called, and chosen, and faithful."

O God ... for, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: They are Confederate Against Thee" (Psalm 83)

(4) The Hagarenes: Ishmael was Hagar and Abraham's son, and we have already seen that the Ishmaelites represent that which is "born of the flesh." But what is the significance of the Hagarenes? What is their part in the evil confederation of God's enemies? In 1 Chronicles 5:18-22, which is one of the few places where those who call themselves Hagarites are mentioned, the sons of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh are making war with the Hagarites; and with God's help, the Hagarites were overcome. However, verse 22 makes an interesting statement: "For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God." Because the war was of God! Why? The last time the Word speaks of Hagar, God is very good to her and her son; and although it was God's will that Abraham cast out Hagar and her son of the flesh, God still mercifully provided for them.

We have to go to the New Testament to find out why God made war with the Hagarites. Galatians four tells us that "...Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children" (verses 22-25).

Now we can see why God makes war with the Hagarites, for allegorically speaking the children of Hagar represent that which is in bondage to the flesh - in other words, they represent that which lives according to the dictates of the flesh. If we trace Hagar's literal descendants (the Arabians) throughout history, we find that no one or no nation, for very long, held them captive or made them slaves. As a people, they are very hard to control or to conquer.

But allegorically, the Holy Spirit is telling us that Hagar's children are children of bondage: - Hagar the Egyptian bondmaid was in bondage in Egypt; she was in bondage when she was with Abraham and Sarah. And when she was cast out, she became free to wander where she desired; but even though she was free to choose her own way, the Holy Spirit tells us that she was still in slavery to the dictates of the flesh. Thus, the Holy Spirit reveals to us through the Written Word that Hagar and her descendants are descriptive of those who seem to be free but, who in reality, live according to the flesh, according to their own affections and lusts. And in God's eyes, this is bondage! Those who live after the flesh have "the spirit of bondage"; those who are led by the Holy Spirit live in "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:12-21).

God made war with the Hagarites because they represent that which causes His people to live according to the dictates of the flesh - "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other." Therefore, "the Hagarenes" are part of the evil confederation against God and His people, and their goal is to bring God's people under the bondage and dictates of the flesh:

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" (Galatians 4:28) ... (the Promise); for, "the Power from on High" produced us and we are born from above, we are "born of the Spirit" (John 3:6). And since we began "in the Spirit," we should live in the Spirit, in the Realm of the Holy Spirit. And "if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. If by the (Holy) Spirit we have our life [in God], let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit, [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness; gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. (Galatians 5:22-25).

~T.Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 6 

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