Direct Attack on Our Shield of Favor :: By Charles Gray Adams Jr

Job’s misfortune is a great example of what Satan is doing right now to those who put their trust in God. Job was a man whose faith in God was so complete that God Himself had this testimony about him, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). [1] The audience of God’s testimony was Satan, who replied that Job was only faithful because God had placed a hedge about him and all that pertained to him (Job 1:10). David, in the 5th Psalm, likened this hedge unto a shield of favor which encompassed the righteous (Ps 5:12). Therefore, Satan has launched a Direct Attack on Our Shield of Favor, just like he did to Job.

Today, Satan desires to sift the children of God just like he sifted Job and another believer, Peter (Luke 22:31). However, he must first overcome the shield of favor God has around the righteous, faithful ones. Thus, the current conditions of the world are indeed a Direct Attack on Our Shield of Favor.

Let’s begin by defining the righteous. Habakkuk indicates, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Another word for ‘just’ is ‘righteous,’ and these are they that, according to Habakkuk, live by faith. Paul quotes Habakkuk when describing those who live by faith are made righteous, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom 1:16-17). Elsewhere, Paul teaches that no one is justified by the law. Instead, he once again notes that the just shall live by faith (Gal 3:11). Faith is what made Job and the rest of the Hall of Faithful ones justified (righteous) before God (Heb 11). We who are alive and remain are justified by this same faith, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). Therefore, it is possible for sinful man to become the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:22).

Now let us define a faithful one. Perhaps the best place to look is in the text already presented. In Job 1:8, God said Job was: Unique on the earth; he was perfect and upright; and he feareth God and escheweth (turns away from) evil. This is exactly what the Christian becomes when Christ is accepted as Savior and Lord. Immediately after one realizes they are justified by faith in Christ, the now resident Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctification, which causes the believer to act just like Job and many other great examples in the Bible.

It should not surprise us that our mortal enemy, who walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8), desires to sift us like he did Job and Peter. Peter, when tested failed miserably; he even denied Christ three times. However, he had a special advocate in Jesus, who prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail and that he would even strengthen his brothers when he returned (Luke 22:31-32). Thankfully, Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father as an advocate who intercedes for you and me (Heb 4:15; Col 3:1; Rom 8:34).

Now we turn to the crux of this discussion. What can we discern from what happened to Job? Satan was correct about God placing a hedge around Job and all that pertained to him. Just like we are hedged about with favor because we, like Job, love good and abhor and shun evil. Therefore, he must first have the hedge removed by God as it was in the case of Job, or he must do the undoable and remove the hedge himself. This task is actually impossible since God is God. Knowing this, what is his alternative? Ah, here it is: he must attack all of the things by which God brings us favor. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. After all, if you cannot bring harm directly on the favored, just harm the shield of favor itself.

Looking back over the last several decades alone provides plenty of affirmation to this theory. First, the enemy goes after God’s Word in schools (1962). Next, he goes after prayer in schools (1963). Before long, without God as the central influence in society, he goes after the unborn, our greatest possible blessing (1973). Since then, many other events have transpired which have done harm to the shield of favor God has placed around his faithful ones. Incredibly, the last two years have been perhaps the greatest assault yet as the entire globe has come under the sway of the power elites who desire to reset all that we know to something else, which they label the “new normal.” [2]

We must not miss the great irony involved here. The scriptural term “the just shall live by faith” is more than a platitude. Indeed, this statement is the way of life for the faithful, no matter the circumstance. In fact, if we take a look at the faithful of the past, hardship only made them more faithful. Job, for instance, was told by his wife to curse God and die (Job 2:9). He then dialogued with his so-called friends at great length, while they provided worthless counsel intended to cause Job to repent (Job 2-37). Through it all, Job professed his innocence before God and maintained his faithfulness. He even said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15).

This is quite a promise made by Job. He is essentially saying he will trust God no matter what transpires in his life, even death. He also tells his counselors that he will continue living in the manner in which he has always lived. Remember, God called Job perfect and upright, which means Job was essentially attacked by Satan because he was living a righteous life, and God knew he would not falter. This leads our discussion to another promise which is crucial to understanding why our shield of favor is under attack.

God promised the believer that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). This promise was made to all who believe the Son of God died for their sins (blood atonement), was raised again (the first fruits of resurrection), and ascended to heaven where He prepares a place for us, the bride. [3] The reason this promise is crucial is this: God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, now resides in the heart of every believer (John 14:16). Therefore, Satan would have to literally overcome God in order to overcome the believer. Since Satan cannot accomplish this, he is simply attacking all of the things which God has declared as favor for the believer.

You might ask why so many believers have been persecuted and even slain since the inception of the church. After all, if God indwells men, how can anyone or anything overcome them? The simple answer is that God never promised us that we would not suffer persecution or even death. In fact, He said the opposite would be the lot of the faithful:

Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Incredibly, when God’s Word is correctly understood, persecution is actually a sign that the persecuted are the godly ones who desire God more than the things of this earth. Therefore, like Job, these believers are willing to die for their faith. This would seem to argue against the narrative of this discussion that Satan cannot destroy the shield of favor that encompasses each and every believer. On the contrary, this actually fortifies the argument. You see, Satan cannot diminish the shield of favor one iota, for he can only affect the earthly blessings associated with it, never the eternal. One need only look at how those who overcome Satan do so to see this:

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

This mindset is exactly what we see in the narrative of Job, in which a type and shadow may be discerned. God informed Satan that he could touch all that pertained to Job, but he could not kill him. Since we now live in the dispensation of grace, the only life Satan can destroy is the one we live in the flesh. He cannot harm the new creature in Christ who, at physical death, is immediately in the presence of Christ:

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

This ‘knowing’ is truly our shield of favor. For the believer is comforted by the fact that no matter what the enemy has in store, regardless of the intensity of the assault on our shield of favor, trust in Christ provides assurance of eternal favor in the presence of the Lord:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Might I suggest one additional point to consider? Perhaps, God is allowing this attack because He is about to send His Son Jesus for the bride and, in His great mercy, He is trying to prepare the bride for departure while simultaneously creating an environment that encourages the lost to accept (through faith) His free gift of grace which results in salvation. Think about this for a second; each group mentioned here is currently living on earth, and God is trying to make sure they are not looking to physical circumstances as their saving grace.

One could speculate that, because Satan rejected God after believing his own lie that he would exalt his throne above the stars of God and be like the most High (Is 14:13-14), he can no longer see that the desire for the eternal favor of God is more important than the temporal. [4] After all, when he sought to cause Job to curse God to His face, he went after the things that pertain to the flesh. However, Job, though greatly affected by the tragedy, never lost sight of the most important thing: God is God, and the faithful will serve Him through thick and thin.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that Satan is attacking the things which cause one to desire to continue to inhabit the earth without realizing he is attacking the very things God is trying to get people to let go of in the first place, for this earth is not our home. [5] The author of Hebrews made this clear in his testimony about faithful Abraham, who believed that even though we sojourn here on earth for a season, we are to be looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:8-10 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

As outlined in the previous articles, soon God will initiate the Day of the Lord, which begins with the rapture. During this time period, His great vengeance will be poured out upon the ungodly. [6] Because this will happen very soon, God is warning His children to turn from the message of the false prophets, who are calling for an uprising intended to right the wrongs of the world, and instead turn their attention toward the soon coming King, Jesus. Thus, making room for His vengeance. [7]

Conclusion

The great psalmist, David, said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” (Ps 34:19). This statement is profound in that knowing the Lord will deliver the righteous out of every affliction is the true shield of favor which encompasses those who believe and follow the Lord’s commandments.

From Job, to the patriarchs, to the early church leaders, all the way to you and me, God has made it clear that if He is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31). If this is the case, we can rest assured that He has our ‘eternal’ best interests in mind and He is working all things to our good (Rom 8:28).

With all of this in mind, let us be like the Apostle Paul, who, after receiving word that God would not remove his thorn, said this:

2 Corinthians 12:9b-10 “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Website: In His Commission

[1] “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”

[2] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Ultimate Mandate: The Mark of the Beast.”

[3] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Five W’s of the Rapture.”

[4] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: The Origin of all Lies.”

[5] For greater understanding, see the article, “Thy Will Be Done: The Epicenter of Right and Wrong.”

[6] For greater understanding, see the article, “Watch โ€“ Warn โ€“ and Win Souls.”

[7] For greater understanding, see the article, “Vengeance Cometh โ€“ Make Room.”