HISTORY REVEALS OUR ENEMY'S IDENTITY
has been said about history. The more common sayings center on the
repeating characteristic of history. One of my favorites is, "If we
have learned one thing from history, it's that we have learned nothing
from history." This seemingly contradictory statement has been credited
to former President John F. Kennedy, though I don't know if it
originated with him or if he borrowed it from another source.
Regardless, the words are true and they serve to show us again why
history has a tendency to repeat itself. We still haven't truly learned
anything from past historical events, even when those events are taken
from the annuls of inspired Scripture. Recently, a major league
baseball player was suspended because of a homophobic slur.
While I believe there are better ways to address such issues, what
really stands out is the deteriorating right of free speech.
Speak out today against Christianity or God and that's okay. Speak
out against sinful lifestyles and that's not okay, it is getting to be a
crime. But such is not new. In Acts 4:18 we read where Peter and John
were ordered not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, nor were they
to teach about Jesus to others. What was their response? Instead of
shrinking back in fear they simply said, "Whether it be right in the
sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we
cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (vs. 19,20).
Efforts continued to silence these two men as well as others who
would dare to speak in the name of Jesus. After being arrested again
(chapter 5) for preaching Jesus to the people, Peter and John were
brought before the council and again ordered to keep silent concerning
the name of Jesus. This time the rest of the apostles were also there.
When the fact they were ordered not to teach in Jesus' name to the
people was brought to their attention they responded, "We ought to obey
God rather than men" (5:29).
Throughout history those who desire to live godly lives have been
persecuted by one common enemy, Satan. It was ultimately Satan who was
behind the attacks of the Jews upon the apostles. It is Satan is at the
heart of the attacks against godliness today. The real issue is do we
as God's children believe in His power as the apostles did, or are going
to allow Satan, God's enemy as well as ours, to win battles upon this
Satan has already lost the war and he knows it. So why should we
allow him to win any battle? Remember the battle still belongs to the
Lord (! Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15). While there are many forces
seeking to do harm to our children, the ultimate enemy is Satan. It is
fallen to this generation to take the stand necessary to defeat Satan
and his evil schemes. May we learn what history keeps telling us. As
we take up the banner of our Lord may we echo the words, "We must obey
God rather than men." And to God be the glory. Rodger