Monday, March 14, 2011

Spiritual Warfare

Psalm 35:1-3, 22-25

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
"I am your salvation!"

You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me!
Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!

Spiritual warfare rests on the covenantal faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who promises to keep us in his strong right hand (Jn 10:28-29), and intercedes before the Father for our deliverance from evil (Jn 17:15). These covenant obligations are not merely for our spiritual benefit but that God would be glorified above all principalities and powers. That he alone would be acknowledged and praised as the only living God; and that all gods and idols who challenge his authority would be humbled and unmasked as false.

Isaiah 2:17-18

And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
And the idols shall utterly pass away.

Calling on God for vindication embraces him as the only source of salvation. He alone has the strength to eternally defeat the demonic forces, that fight against us and rejoice when we lie defeated in our sins (Ps 35:15-16), above all the earthly claims of exorcists, witch doctors and mystics who claim to have power in the "heavenlies". In him eternal justicewill be exacted on our "pursuers" who in turn will be pursued when Christ returns to defeat them with the sword of his mouth (Rev 19:15). In that day our vindication will be complete and final as all of God's enemies will be trampled by the winepress of his judgments. Thereby fulfilling the prayers of the Psalmist to contend with those "malicious witnesses" that rise up against God's people in the earth (Ps 35:11).

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