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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"O God ... Thine Enemies ..."

[very enlightening article toward the middle and end. A must read!]

"O God ... Thine Enemies make a tumult; - They are Confederate Against Thee"

In Psalm 83, we again find these two numbers, 10 and 7, and they are referring to an evil 'confederation" of God's enemies. Psalm 83 tells us that  10 nations and cities have formed a confederation against God and His people; and it also informs us of 7 nations, and leaders, that God has triumphed over. Ten different enemies have formed a "confederation" against God. In the Word of God, there are places where some of these nations and cities have united against God and His people; but there is never a place or a time recorded when all TEN of these enemies have literally united together against God's people. Therefore, we need to find what is the underlying factor, and what is the spiritual significance, behind this evil confederation.

When the number ten is used in connection with satanic activity,, it is usually referring to the intensity, to the exceeding fierceness, of the spiritual warfare that is taking place either at the close of an age or in the transitional period that takes place at the close of one age and at the beginning of the next. For example: in the Book of Daniel, and in Revelation chapters 12-17, the numbers 10 and 7 are used of the enemy forces to emphasize the exceeding fierceness of the spiritual warfare that takes place at the end of each age and of the spiritual  warfare that takes place as the final age is drawing to a close.

So, Psalm 83:1-8 warns that these 10 nations have taken crafty counsel against God's people. These 10 enemies, which represent the principalities and powers and dominions of satan, these 10 enemies are not "flesh and blood," but they are "the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world". They are "spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us (God and His people) in the heavenly warfare" (Ephesians 6:12). Thus, the Holy Spirit warns that these 10 nations, which are representative of satan and his evil forces, have made a confederation against God - they have "cut" and have solemnized an evil covenant against God (Hebrew Interlinear). These enemies of God are out to erase God's people from the face of the earth: "that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance." The enemies of God are out to stop all that God would bring forth in and through His people, all that which has eternal results in God's purpose in Christ.

The names of these 10 enemies, and the significance of their place in the Scripture, will describe the nature of this satanic warfare against God and His people. A warfare that will continue until the final second of the final battle of the ages.

(1) Edom: The Edomites are the descendants of Esau, and Esau and his descendants speak of the loss of birthright, blessing, and inheritance. Esau represents those who give up their inheritance in order to satisfy the flesh; the Holy Spirit solemnly states that "Esau despised his birthright" (Genesis 25:34). Furthermore, the nation of Edom would not let Israel pass through their land while Israel  was on the way to the promised land, their inheritance (Numbers 20). Therefore, Edom represents the fleshly, carnal nature of man which stands in the way of the people of God attaining unto their inheritance.

In Hebrews twelve we find the final mention of Esau and of that which sprang forth, germinated and descended, from out of him. In this chapter the Holy Spirit reveals what is the underlying evil behind Edom, the enemy of God. Hebrews twelve is one f the pivotal chapters in the plan of God, for it deals with the preparation of the sons of God. It deals with the chastening, the schooling, of the sons of God. In Hebrews 13:22, we are told to "suffer the word of exhortation"; and Hebrews 12:5-7 gives us this word: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord ... if ye endure chastening (the discipline of the Cross-life), God dealeth with you as with sons ..." The word "endure", used here, is explained in Hebrews 12:2, where it says that Christ "endured the Cross." Christ patiently endured the Cross, and He told us to deny ourselves and take up our cross. This is the fullest meaning of the word "chastening," to endure patiently the Cross, to deny ourselves and endure the discipline of the Cross-life.

Now Hebrews twelve also tells us that "all discipline (of the Cross) for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11). And, beloved, this is where Esau got into trouble, he did not "patiently endure," he did not receive the discipline of the Cross. When Esau sold his birthright, "there was a famine in the land"  which accounts for Esau despairing of life and, thereby, selling his birthright. Esau had not learned to "endure patiently" the discipline of the Lord, he had not submitted to the discipline of the Cross, he had not learned that nothing - not even famine - could separate him from the love of God: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" NO! Esau did not become a more than conqueror in all these things; thus, he despised his birthright.

Because Esau was in distressful, tribulating circumstances, he despaired of life; he did not yield to the chastening, to the discipline, of the Lord through the Cross. Therefore, Esau did not yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness; he allowed the "root of bitterness" to germinate (spring up) in him (Hebrews 12:14-16). And this bitterness defiled many, for it defiled his descendants. And Esau's descendants, the Edomites, are found in "confederation" against God and God's people. The "root of bitterness" finds its origin in the depths of satan himself, for satan is the personification of malignant bitterness; with his whole evil being, he bitterly hates God and His Christ. That old serpent, called the devil and satan, bitterly hates God because God has purposed that everything in His Eternal Plan be of Christ, in Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ. And so, brothers and sisters, let us be always "looking diligently," lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble us (cause a tumult within us).

Bitterness usually begins to germinate when we despair of our lot in life; if we yield to this despair, then bitterness will spring up when times are hard and nothing seems to be working out. Edom, with all its malignant force of bitterness, will hit us hard in times of tribulation,distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword. And, beloved, only the discipline of the Cross is strong enough to defeat bitterness.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2)

*also posted in: theshepherdscorner.wordpress.com - another of my blog pages.

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