Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dealing With The Enemy

"So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.  And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day."  (Deuteronomy 34:5,6)

"But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' "  (Jude 9)

Because, at one point, Moses struck the rock (from which water gushed forth), rather than speaking to it as God had instructed, he was not allowed to enter the promised land.  Instead, the LORD allowed Moses to view the land He had promised to Israel from the top of Mt. Nebo.  Shortly thereafter, Moses died, and God tended to the arrangements Himself.  Through Jude's account, we learn that God apparently sent the archangel Michael to procure Moses' body for burial.  However, Satan had other plans.  It seems that he had undisclosed purposes for the body.  Perhaps he intended to produce Moses's body to become an object of idolatrous worship, and thereby cause Israel to stumble.

Whatever his motive, there ensued a dispute between these two powerful angels over the body of Moses.  And, rather than deal with the devil directly, Michael called upon the Creator to rebuke him.  It was a moment when even the highest of unfallen angels circumspectly recognized the fury and power of God's most potent enemy.  

How much more, then, should we take into account the strength of the forces opposing us in the spiritual world... as John MacArthur aptly observes, "This is the supreme illustration of how Christians are to deal with Satan and demons.  Believers are not to address them, but rather to seek the Lord's intervening power against them," (The MacArthur Study Bible, p. 1956).  Our greatest position of strength is in submitting to God (James 4:7), while clothed in the provided armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).  

May our faithful Father grant discernment, our senses trained in godliness, as well as our sword of the Spirit honed for quoting Scripture in the face of temptation.


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