Don’t Turn Back In The Day Of Battle
According to Psalm 78:9, “The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle.” Why did they turn back in the day of battle? Verse 10 says it best, “they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law.”
What a sad story. We know so much about the children of Israel and their walk with God. We have the Torah or first five books, the histories, the Wisdom Literature and the Prophets to tell the stories of the Children of Israel. So much information is given about God’s dealings with Israel. His promises, covenants, and how He took care of, rescued, and delivered them time and time again. There so many stories and so many analogies we use to compare our lives as believers in Jesus.
We find a sad indictment of the half-tribe of Ephraim in the middle of the Psalms. What’s even sadder is that later the Northern Kingdom of Israel is synonymous with Ephraim and thus all of the idolatry associated with the Northern Kingdom is associated with Ephraim. Right here in this song of Asaph, Ephraim is mentioned in a negative light. What is the day of battle Asaph is speaking of ?
It could very well be any day of battle. There were so many battles in the wilderness and many after they crossed over into the promised land. There was also a battle where the Children of Israel all rose up against the tribe of Benjamin. In that battle all of Israel, including Ephraim, turned and went back and so Benjamin won. (see Judges 20:39)
The focus is not so much on which “day of battle”, but that they turned back. The Hebrew word is haphak- to turn back, change, return, to turn aside, overthrown, to be turned against. Why would they be turned against? They were archers who were equipped with bows.
There is so much teaching and material written and available on the subject of Spiritual Warfare now. In the past 20 or so years the material about this subject as escalated. It has become one of the most highly sought after and purchased categories in Christian publishing. Many more believers are involved in deliverance and warfare as their main role in ministry. Many of theses are also equippers, training the body in these area. I know that there is among all the material some not so good, but my point is that the body is more equipped than ever in Spiritual Warfare.
When I was growing up the term ‘spiritual warfare’ was never mentioned. I am all for it as the Bible mentions much about it. We are told our enemy, Satan, seeks to devour us. Paul talks about our weapons and our battles being spiritual, and wrestling with spiritual powers. Jesus act of death on the cross and resurrection was an act of warfare as He won the victory over Satan. We have to fight because we are left to carry out His kingdom, and also be faithful stewards until He returns.
With the written Word, and all that Jesus accomplished for us and the victory we have in Him why are we not seeing more believers walking in this authority and winning the battle(s)? We have the word of God as an offensive weapon so why are we not on the offensive? There are many reasons but sticking to the text we see in the world today so may are better equipped than ever before but, as the enemy attacks they turn back.
By turn back I mean that they give up or just quit. Don’t say it never happens to you for at some point we are all guilty of just wanting to quit or give up. It gets really hard and that’s what the enemy wants. But most of get back in the war and fight. We go to conferences or seminars to get better equipped and get more tools in our belt, or add to our arsenal of weapons. The enemy rears his ugly head and instead of pulling out of our arsenal we turn back, sit and moan and cry where is God?
God is beside us, in us, all around us, and He is saying “get up child and fight.” We really don’t need all of those books, CD’s, etc, if we would just get in the word, believe it and obey it. Realize we have the victory in Christ. God told the Children of Israel he would send an angel to drive out the enemy before them. He told them He would never leave them. So what was the issue? The same issue we face. Again looking at verse 10 in Psalm 78 we read, “ they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law. Verse 11 – They forgot, they forgot God and all that He had done in their midst.
We are too quick to forget and then doubt and the cycle begins. As soon as the enemy shows up we forget what God did for us, we forget what Jesus accomplished. We have short memories.
Let us not be like those in John 6:66 who turned back from following Jesus. They saw they signs and miracles Jesus wrought. The demand placed on them in following Jesus and being in covenant was too much as Jesus asked ‘who can eat my flesh and drink my blood.’?
Are you a follower or believer of Jesus? Have you been in the Word and are you one He has used mightily? Maybe you’ve done some awesome warfare, and fought many battles, yet now the day of battle is bigger and demands more. It’s getting too hard you say. But, you have been equipped for this. This is what it is all about.
Dear fellow believer of Jesus Christ do not I urge you be like the sons Of Ephraim who in the day of battle turned back, because their heart was not with God. Do not allow the enemy to overthrow you. You are equipped, so stand and fight as Paul urges us in Ephesians 6. Dig into your spiritual arsenal and use the Word of God. Fight back, don’t be turned. You can do it but only with the power of the Holy Spirit. Relax and let Him lead you. I pray that we all will fight and not turn back.