HIDING IN THE HILLS OR FIGHTING THE BATTLE

May 28, 2020

“[[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1.

What do you do when you face trouble? Do you face it head on or do you hide from it? I tend to hide, but I pray for courage in battle when the battle is over matters of Biblical truth. Using Scripture, we can see that quite often the men of old would hide in the hills. That never worked out very well. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of hiding and see what God would have us learn.

When the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land, Joshua led them in battle to defeat the giants there. Those giants had put fear into the nation because they forgot to trust God, and that fear caused them to wander for 40 years. After they entered their land and battled with the tribes there, a few pockets of pagans were left instead of being defeated. When Joshua died, the Israelites began worshipping the pagan gods which lead to evil. Every time they “did evil in the sight of the LORD”, they would face oppression by the enemy. Eventually they would call out to the Lord for help and He would raise up someone to be a judge over them and conquer the enemy. They first had to trust God. One such instance is recorded in Judges chapter 6. “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.” Judges 6:1. God allowed them to receive the results of their choice to sin, and this caused the Israelites to hide in the hills. “And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.” Judges 6:2. The Midianites took their food and animals. As a last resort, Israel cried out to the Lord for help. That should have been their first action.

The Lord heard their cry and chose Gideon to rise up and fight the Midianites. One day while Gideon was threshing wheat, secretly so the Midianites wouldn’t know of it, he was greeted by the angel of the LORD. “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” Judges 6:12. Of course, Gideon had doubts and questions. If the Lord was with him, why was he being oppressed? If he was a “mighty man of valour”, why was he hiding and threshing wheat secretly? Why choose me? I’m the least of my family. Israel’s sin of doing evil against the Lord had brought the trouble upon themselves. What about America? Can we continue the pagan ways of sacrificing babies and calling it a woman’s right or accepting sexual sin as normal without reaping the consequences of such sin? “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Gideon may have been small in his own eyes, but God sees beyond what we are and sees what we can be. With God nothing is impossible. When he finally trusted God and stopped hiding, Gideon tore down the places of idol worship, led an army to fight the Midianites, and Israel was brought back to a right place with the Lord. Christians need to start fighting the powers of darkness by doing what’s right in God’s eyes.

The cycle of Israel doing evil in the sight of the Lord then crying out for Him to rescue them continued. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25. The final judges over Israel were the prophet Samuel’s sons. Samuel was a mighty man of God but his sons didn’t follow their father in his love for the Lord. A nation needs a strong leader…a man who honors God and leads with authority. Israel decided that they wanted a king rather than judges and approached Samuel. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 1 Samuel 8:4-5. Trouble always comes when we run ahead of God. They cried out to God, but they wanted their own will to be done instead of God’s will. They wanted to be like the world. God had a king for them, but the Israelites weren’t willing to wait. Samuel didn’t like their request and prayed. God told him that the people hadn’t rejected Samuel but had rejected God. God did give Israel a king, but that king would abuse his power. Sounds like many liberal politicians today. Samuel warned the people about wanting a king like the world, but they insisted. So, they got King Saul. Many Christians choose to be ruled by the world and dishonor God, but still want His blessings.

King Saul was a man filled with pride and, as you study his reign over Israel, you can see he had mental issues. Saul had an army, but when facing a battle with the Philistines he and his army hid in the hills. What were they afraid of? “And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.” 1 Samuel 17:4. Goliath was over 9 feet tall and his armor and weapons weighed between 150 and 200 pounds. He was huge. Although he was intimidating, an army could have defeated him if they would have trusted the Lord and come out of hiding. Goliath challenged Saul to send a man out to fight him one on one. The army hid but there was a young man who brought food to his brothers who were hiding in the hills with the rest of Saul’s army. David was a shepherd who loved the Lord. While he watched his flock, he sang praises to God. When not playing music and singing, David was honing his battle skills. Those skills had protected his sheep against a lion and a bear. David’s faith in the Lord grew and his experience caused him to trust God rather than giving in to the fears that could cripple him. David certainly didn’t look like a warrior but said volunteered to fight Goliath. “David said moreover, the LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.” 1 Samuel 17:37. There really wasn’t much of a battle. David faced Goliath armed only with his sling, a stone, and unwavering faith in God. David’s stone lodged in Goliath’s forehead and he fell. David took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head. David certainly didn’t look like a warrior, but he was armed with faith in God. David was the one God had chosen to be king. In spite of problems with Saul, family troubles, and personal failures, David loved God with all his heart. If Christians would have the faith that David had, maybe we would face battle with our enemy, Satan, rather than hiding in fear.

We face the same fears as the generations before us faced. There are conflicts with other people, persecution from evil governments, many times we are mocked, and if we see what’s happening and speak of prophecy, we get some snide remarks. Our battle isn’t with the people around us. The enemy has always been Satan. As his time draws to an end, he’s making an all-out effort to defeat us. Today, a virus has disrupted life. While abortion clinics are allowed to remain open, our places of worship are closed. As people are allowed to begin to move back to a slightly more normal way of life and we’re allowed to meet as a congregation, government regulations are still dictating how we will worship. Christians must follow God instead of man. Jesus said “My Sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27. Do we hear His voice and follow or are hiding in fear and following the voice of the wrong shepherd? Gideon hid until he finally trusted the Lord. Saul’s army hid in fear, but David faced Goliath because David trusted the Lord. Christians need to stop hiding and start serving Jesus Christ openly and in a way that pleases Him instead of pleasing the world.

Jesus obeyed the Law unless it was being misused. He stood against those who misused the Law to keep control and power over the people. Jesus healed people on the Sabbath and even gathered grain on the Sabbath because he and his disciples were hungry. All of that upset those in power. “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is the Lord also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28. When we have to choose between doing what is right in the eyes of the world and doing what’s right in the eyes of God, Christians need to choose God. There’s a demonic force in the world that’s growing stronger. Satan’s always worked behind the scenes but today he’s openly working evil. As liberal lunatics follow him and attempt to force people to conform to their tyranny, Christians must choose who to follow. Will we continue to hide in the hills in fear of Midianites or a giant? There’s a battle to be fought and we can’t fight unless we stop hiding. The battle isn’t against people but against the powers of darkness…Satan and his minions. We have strong weapons that have been neglected and it’s time we learn to use them. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:11-18. Jesus Christ is our Commander in Chief and we need to follow Him.

Christians are called by God Almighty to spread the Gospel. Many states in America are beginning to ease the restrictions, and Christians can once again gather together. Sadly, we’re still under government control. Preachers have long stopped preaching all of God’s truth in order to be tax exempt, and now we can only meet if we stay at a distance from each other. New Mexico has mandated that there be no choirs or singing during worship services. I’m reminded of Paul and Silas singing and praying all night in the Philippian prison. Their songs of praise and their integrity touched the heart of the jailer who gave his life to Jesus. Can you imagine if Christian soldiers went forth in battle against the powers of darkness? Maybe even the most liberal politician would surrender their life to Christ. We are in the last days and Satan will use every method he can to silence us and deceive the world. There’s a man somewhere who will soon rise to power as the Man of Sin…the Anti-Christ. He will force everybody to take his mark. Satan will possess that man and he will deceive the world. We’re very close to that day. Today we are seeing a shadow of what will take place during the Great Tribulation when God’s wrath is poured out. If you haven’t committed your life to Jesus Christ then you need to make that choice right now. “…and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10. God has promised Christians will be taken Home prior to the revealing of the Anti-Christ and the unleashing of God’s final judgments. Don’t take a chance on being left in this world to face the wrath of God.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. That means we are to be in the world spreading the Gospel. We cannot do that while hiding. Whether hiding in the hills or hiding in our homes, hiding is hiding. Brothers and sisters, the crisis we are going through today should be a wake-up call. Time is short. The Rapture will happen very soon and unless people choose to follow Christ now, tomorrow may be too late.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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