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Back Off!

The Psalmist felt beaten up. What’s more, he felt that one of those doing the beating was God Himself. “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6:1-3). Commentators’ thoughts vary on the reason for David’s sorrow. Some say he had sinned and God was disciplining him. Others say that he was suffering an illness and was seeking relief from the Lord but not immediately finding it. In my judgment, David’s grief had to do with the persecution he was suffering at the hands of those who hated him. He needed God’s deliverance but had not yet received it. He required the mercy of God but had not yet seen it. He was hurting. He was perplexed. What had he done wrong? He did not understand.

The depth of David’s anguish is expressed in verses six and seven. “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” Perhaps sadness has never reached that far down into your soul, but the Psalmist’s inspired words serve as evidence that that level of darkness does indeed exist within. Granted, the writer is engaging in hyperbole, but his point is that his burden was so deep that it could only be spoken with an unending stream of tears. In an effort to express himself with words, he found that he could only groan. The volume of his tears clouded his vision. His grief was wearing him down.

The final three verses show a marvelous recovery from sorrow. “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” The title of this article comes from my paraphrase of the first part of these verses. “All of you who are trying to destroy me because of my faithfulness to God: Back off! God has heard me and He will deliver me. You will go down in utter defeat.”

On a daily basis, Satan employs his limited, yet powerful, works of darkness to break the spirit of devoted Christians. These works may come in the form of people or circumstances or even personal flaws or past sins. The burden becomes cumbersome, but the reason it becomes cumbersome is because a faithful Christian is soft-hearted and committed to walking hand in hand with God. There is nothing Satan hates more than a faithful Christian. All of these attacks weigh heavily upon us. They can even lead us to tears and groaning. They can cause us to feel that everyone, including God Himself, has abandoned us. They can lead us to think that we are standing on the battlefield with Satan with no one there to help us. But God hears our weeping. He is moved with mercy and compassion when He sees the sorrow of His children (cf. John 11:35). He WILL deliver. He WILL be there in the battle. He WILL guide us through the dark night. The enemy will think that he has won the battle for our souls because he has broken us down to tears, but the enemy has another think coming. He had better “BACK OFF” because the faithful child of God will come back stronger than before. The tears will only serve to water the seed of devotion that grows within his or her heart. The groaning will only serve to call out the Divine reinforcements that he or she needs to win the battle. The enemy will slink back to his pit of doom in shameful loss because God has shown His power over him through His care of His children.

Dear Christian friend, you and I MUST keep going. We must fight through the tears. God hears us and He will deliver. Satan has no place in us nor do any of his works of darkness have a long-term effect upon us. God hears and He will deliver. “Back off, Satan! My God is stronger than you and, through Him, so am I!” (I John 4:4).

Mike Gifford

2462 Oak Bluff Drive
Dacula, GA 30019

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