Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 170

From Handbook to God’s Promises

PROTECTION FROM MY ENEMIES

Our One Essential Weapon
(1 Samuel 17:47)

When Peter and his fellow apostles were called before Jerusalem’s Sanhedrin for preaching the gospel, the Jewish leaders were ready to kill them (Acts 5:33). With their lives hanging in the balance, what should the apostles have done?

When we are engaged by God’s enemies, physical or spiritual, the questions of when to fight, how hard, and with what means are not easy ones. But there is a key principle that will give guidance to anyone in that situation: If the enemy is to be truly defeated, only a victory gained the Lord’s way will last.

In the case of the apostles’ arrest before the Sanhedrin, they were outnumbered, lacking in resources and in violation of cultural ordinances—which is exactly the spot God designs for His children at times. When we are helpless, the help He sends becomes that much more obvious as to its source. Just when the Sanhedrin was about to kill the apostles, God moved one of the Sanhedrin’s own members to rise and address the council. Gamaliel’s words persuaded them and “they took his advice” (Acts 5:40). The apostles were beaten, but not killed.

That day the apostles experienced what thousands of scared-stiff Israelites had learned from a shepherd boy named David many years before: “The Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear.” The most surprising victory in Israel’s history came when a five-foot-tall shepherd boy used a small rock to kill a nine-foot-tall Philistine warrior. But in David’s case, he wanted King Saul and all of Israel to see the error of their ways: They had been trusting in the sword, not in the Lord. The Israelites thought they had to fight the Philistines on their own, using armor, swords, and strength. But in reality, God wanted Israel to see something deeper: God would give to them exactly what they needed on any given day. And that day He gave them a shepherd boy with a sling.

If an enemy besets you, make sure the weapons of your warfare are from the Lord. They are the only weapons that will serve you well and bring the victory you desire.

God’s Promise:
If the sword you have is not from Him, you are better off without it.