“But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”
– Exodus 23:22 [ESV]
Again, I’m reading through the Bible for the entire year, and I suppose I’m going to take you along for the ride! The Word of Almighty God is filled with so many truth gems that it requires constant digging to unearth it and appreciate it. I’m grateful for this journey so far, and hopefully, you will enjoy this nugget from my recent excavation.
The children of Israel escaped Egypt and their attempt to bring them back into bondage. They’ve crossed over the Red Sea and celebrated the victory over their recent enemies, but their journey was just beginning. The Lord is now leading them through the wilderness as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. Though the defeat of Egyptian captors was in their distant past, the land they were about to inhabit would be fraught with new enemies and conflict. One takeaway here is we mustn’t celebrate too long. We can not afford to become distracted by a victory because the eternal enemy of our soul will not rest until his ultimate defeat at the end of the age. Therefore we give God praise for our wins, but we must remain “vigilant, for our adversary, the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom to devour.” So even as God is leading and guiding you into new territories of blessedness, be sure you, too, like the Israelites, will have to fight to maintain what’s yours.
Unbeknownst to this developing nation, wars were in their future, but God assured them. He ensures them that if they obey His voice, He will place Himself as an enemy to their enemies and their adversaries. What a promise! Because of followed instructions, God positions Himself against any enemy that comes into your life. This promise has to be reassuring to us as believers today because God’s position has not changed. The New Testament writer Paul put it like this in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” In response to our obedience to God, He marshalls His forces against every foe, every opposing party, and every antagonist.
The “minister” in me begs to ask, “What oppositions are standing in your way? What circumstance has arisen in your life that has become a villain to your wellbeing?” Whatever they are, child of God, we should respond to this promise of God’s presence with confidence and boldness, knowing that the Lord, the God of the universe, is on our side. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” are words ascribed to the war general Sun Tzu. He was partially correct; for the believer, the enemy of my enemy is my God, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.