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September 5, 2013

Text:  “In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain…?” Psalms 11:1

King David must have been under great distress as he penned this Psalm. We do not know who his enemy was at this time. It could have been the Philistines . Or maybe King Saul. Or even his rebellious son Absalom. Nevertheless, one of these enemies had given David some advice: “Flee!” “Scram.” “Go to one of your hideouts and don’t ever come home again!” Plus,  that enemy emphasized that there were those who were plotting to kill him. If taken, this advice would have saved David, but destroyed his effectiveness.

David, however, looked toward heaven for his advice and relief. From God he could get a sketch of what his place would be in God’s plan.  The very first words of this Psalm tell where David’s faith is: “In the Lord I take refuge.”

Other occurrences like this are given a place in scripture. In Luke 13:31 some Pharisees come  with guile and advise Jesus to leave. “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you,” they slyly forewarned. They wanted Jesus to vanish and stop exposing their hypocrisy. However, Jesus digs in his heels and refuses to comply. He puts forth the reason he’s staying. His father’s work must be accomplished; he will not desert. Even though his death is the outcome of his mission he will not fail.

Just after Peter had uttered the Great Confession, as Jesus leads his apostles to Jerusalem for Passover, he reveals to them that there he will have to suffer many things at the hands of the leaders of Israel and be killed, then rise from the dead. Subsequently, Peter speaks privately with Jesus, upbraiding him and saying, “This shall never happen to you.” (Mathew 16:22) Ever the well meaning person, Peter has spoken in error. Jesus rebukes him because Peter, unknowingly, was Satan’s instrument to dissuade Jesus from dying on the cross. Jesus stays on course!

In the life of every Christian he is opposed by someone or something that warns him to abandon some point of doctrine or to cease his efforts for the kingdom.  Sometimes these menaces are blatant and sometimes they are subtle.  The logic in these attempts sometimes seems reasonable. If force and threats are employed they can be very menacing. Satan has been most successful in such campaigns.

Our Lord warned disciples would face opposition from the ranks of people we know.  Jesus and the apostles indicated who these might be.  There would be controversy in the family. (Luke 12:53)  Jesus warned about the teaching of the Pharisees. (Matthew 16:6)  Paul warned about disguises of the Devil. (II Corinthians 11:14) Peter describes Satan as a ferocious lion seeking as prey  the souls of men. (II Peter 5:8)

We must be ready when these invitations to desert our faith, sound doctrine, and pure behaviors assail us. We must develop solid defenses against assaults. (I Peter 3:15)  There must be a time to draw a line in the sand and tell Satan, “Beyond this you cannot come!” If you allow yourself to be overwhelmed, you will become the Devil’s dinner.

But here is Paul’s encouragement for us to act like hardened veterans.  “Stand therefore,  having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness…” Ephesians 6:14

Remember this: “Never, never, never, never give up.” Winston Churchill

  1. We must never give up, as long as there is breath in our bodies!!!

  2. Larry permalink

    Yes! I like and identify with this one. I like the way you compare David and Jesus. And then the same resolution must be in us. And you and I know how vicious the attacks of Satan can be.

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