There's a man mentioned in 2 Samuel chapter 20 by the name of Sheba. His reputation was that of a rebel. He encouraged Israel to desert King David after the death of Absalom. David was in the process of being brought back as king after his son, Absalom, executed a Coo against his kingdom; now here comes this rebellious person, Sheba, who tries to keep people from following David.
This world is full of 'Trouble Makers'. They come in all shapes, sizes, and cultural backgrounds. Their main objective is to cause division wherever they go. They have a negative influence on all who listen to them. They are not for peace. They come to disturb. We see in this chapter how God deals with trouble makers. The interesting thing about them is that they run when the heat is under them. They don't have much by way of courage. They do their dirt and run and hide, but usually not for long. Sheba ended up getting his head cut off!
Have you encountered a trouble maker? Tell God about them and leave Him to handle them. God has a way of quieting them and giving them what they deserve. He knows how to get rid of trouble makers.
In 2 Samuel 19:24-28, is the story about Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the last surviving heir of Saul. Long story short, Ziba lied (16:3) as to the reason Mephibosheth wasn't with him when he (Ziba) went to meet King David. He said in essence that Mephibosheth abandoned David. Later we read in chapter 19 that it wasn't true. Ziba's intent was to gain something for himself from David's situation in relation to the now absence of Absalom. Instead of him serving Mephibosheth, he goes behind his back, bad mouths him, and concocts a lie.
Experiencing a 'Betrayal' is never easy. It makes it difficult to trust again. In this case, when the truth is disclosed, David continues his kindness to Mephibosheth. In the end, lies are short lived and God always exposes them and the persons who spout them. "A lie is but for a moment", the Bible says. "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment" (Proverbs 12:19).
The Apostle Paul was being attacked by Alexander, the coppersmith. He caused a lot of harm for him. These were serious attacks. In 2 Timothy 4:14 it says, "Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his work." The bible tells us that whatever we plant (sow) we will surely reap. So, we know Alexander got what was coming to him. God's word won't return void, meaning, what God says always comes to pass!
Do you remember the story of Hannah and Peninnah? This account describes what an adversary does. Due to Peninnah's jealousy of Hannah (the wife who was loved more, though she was barren), she sets a plan in motion to make Hannah's life miserable every chance she gets. Misery will always want company and that is it in a nutshell. Peninnah was having all the children, at the time, yet she couldn't get the love and affection from Elkanah. Look at how that story ends; Hannah cries out to God to intervene and He does, big time! She gets pregnant and has a total of seven children, and we read no more about her adversary. God knows how to shut the mouth of those who rise up against us to cause us pain and suffering. He silences them! Trust God and he will do the same for you!
In Matthew chapter 14, there's an account involving John the Baptist and the spiteful, vengeful, Herod the tetrarch. John told him that it was not right for him to mess with his brother, Philip's wife, Herodias, so he put John in prison. Herod, at that time, really wanted to kill John, but because of John's reputation, likened to a prophet, he feared the multitude. Herod had a big birthday party and his niece, Herodias's daughter, danced before him. He made a promise that she could ask what she wanted from him and he would give it. Her mother, wicked Herodias, tells her daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. So John was beheaded as a result of this revenge. Yet, God allowed it. But don't think for one moment that the judgement for Herod and Herodias has been overlooked. It hasn't because they are accountable to God for the murder of an innocent servant of the Lord God!
We can also add Jezebel to this portion on 'Vengeful Spirits'! We read about her in 1 Kings chapter 21. Her husband, King Ahab, wanted his neighbor's vineyard and asked him for it. Naboth told Ahab that he couldn't sell his inheritance and Ahab got upset, went home sulking and when Jezebel his wife, asked him what was wrong, he told her and she schemed and plotted the death of Naboth. Again, God allowed and innocent man to lose his life to wicked vengeful spirits. However, the death of Ahab and Jezebel, Israel's king and queen, was one of shame and infamy. There was no male ever to take the throne from Ahab's line and Jezebel was thrown from a window and the dogs ate her and there was nothing left of her but her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands (2 Kings 9:35-37).
Jealous and Envious Spirits:
The experience that David had with King Saul shows us how dangerous jealousy and envy can be. Saul let things get way out of hand, within his own heart. Jealousy says, "I wish I had what you have", while envy says, "I want what you have and I will do anything to keep you from having it." The account is in 1 Samuel 18:8. Saul became jealous over the fact that the women sang a song of victory naming David, when Saul was use to it being about him. He resented David for the attention and accolades he received that day when he killed Goliath. Saul made many attempts on David's life but to no avail. Saul's reign did not end well and David became Israel's next king. Jealousy and envy accomplishes nothing! Does this type of behavior cause a lot of problems? Yes, it does, but to the one who hides under the shadow of the Lord's wings, he or she will be protected and helped to navigate around such individuals. Satan is behind such behavior and uses it to hinder believers from accomplishing what God has for them to do. Do not submit to such spirits! Cry out to God, and then stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!
"Is any among you suffering? Let him pray" (James 5:13). "God will repay each person according to what they have done" (Romans 2:6 NIV).
Once again, we can add David to this one too, for he suffered being persecuted by Saul
(1 Samuel 19). Hannah suffered being persecuted by her adversary, Peninnah. The Bible says, "All who live godly will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). When we are living in a way that pleases God, we will attract persecution. All sorts of attacks will come, even our own family members will hate us and strike out against us in all sorts of ways. People on our jobs, schools, and even people who once liked you will turn on you because God's 'Light' that shines through you will reveal their darkness. They will be repelled by you and lie on you and scheme against you too. The scripture says, in essence, to expect persecution when it comes. It's not for you and me to fight against those who persecute us. Commit your soul to the righteous judge and He will give the grace (divine ability) to endure your circumstances. Just take it the the Lord God. Our persecutors won't go free! Who knows, they might even come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by your testimony and repent of such behavior.
The all time, familiar story of Joseph and his 10 wicked brothers take the cake (Genesis 37, 39,40, through chapter 47)! What a story! I love this story because it shows us God's providential care of Joseph. It shows us how when we live out God's purpose for our life, the result is grand, to say the least. God is always preparing us for that ultimate ministry work we were born to fulfill. Joseph's brothers could not, and did not enter into spiritual things like he did. They were fleshly, disobedient, and dysfunctional family members. They were jealous and envious of Joseph. As an aside, some of them had different mothers. That also adds problems to their family dynamic. They hate Joseph to the point of wanting to kill him! They sell him for money and lie to their father concerning his disappearance, and finally thought they got rid of the brother whom their father loved so dearly. Well, 17 years go by and boy do they get the surprise of their lives! Joseph, the one they despised has now become Governor of all Egypt, and in charge of the food! So, now they need him, the very one they hated, they need in order to survive. What a flip in this script!
Don't fret because people hate you and plot evil against you. Tell it to Jesus! He has a plan for them! They have to answer to God for their actions. They will not go free! God says, "For we know the one who said, "I will take revenge. I will pay them back" (Hebrews 10:30).
In Numbers chapter 12 we read about Miriam and Aaron, her brother. These were Moses's two siblings. We remember Miriam as the young girl who watched her baby brother, Moses, as he floated down the Nile river in a basket, in order that he might be preserved. As an adult she leads Israel in praise and worship! She is now engaging in racism. She started the negative remarks about her sister-in-law who happened to be of another race. Aaron followed her lead and they both sinned. However, Miriam is the one who is afflicted with leprosy. She initiated the racist behavior. God judged her immediately, it seems. James 2:9 says, "But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors." Racism, and prejudice is a sin. "My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality" (vs 1).
Our society has been reeling from this malady and it won't ever end because the issue is the heart of man. Until man's heart is regenerated, born anew, by the word of God, it will remain dark, and ugly and full of sin. Many are the targets of such racism, but in James, God speaks to His own people, Christians, and tells us that we can't say we hold the faith of the Lord Jesus with racism in our hearts. Yes, Christians can be prejudice!
God judges Miriam and rebukes Aaron! Don't ever forget this! Trust God in these last days, tuck yourself under His wings and let Him quiet your heart and navigate you through this dark scene.
There was a married couple who was prosperous in real estate. Acts chapter 5 sets the scene with Ananias and his wife, Sapphira. Long story short, they lied to the Apostle Peter concerning what they sold their land for. Now, this was voluntary. No one dictated what they should give. They said they would give such and such, and then gave less, keeping back some of the proceeds for themselves. Perhaps the larger amount they agreed to was to impress others. Maybe they wanted it to look like they gave more than everyone else. Pride will do that. Yet, in their hearts, they wanted the money for themselves. Well, Ananias took a while to return and so his wife went looking for him. She knew where he had gone. When she arrives, Peter asks her what they sold the land for and she lied just like her hubby and they both died instantly, right on the spot for it. You see, what they didn't understand was this, when you lie, you are not merely lying to the person you see, you are lying to the Holy Spirit of God. Why did God fall on them immediately? Was it that serious? God wanted everyone who heard about what they did to understand how He feels about 'Lying' period! God hates a lying tongue. "These six things doth the LORD hate; yea seven are an abomination unto him. A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:16-19).
It's interesting to note that the liar hates the person they are lying to. "A lying tongue hates its victims" (Proverbs 26:28a).
Have you ever been lied on, or lied to? How did it make you feel? Well, none to worry, God knows the truth and so do you. Take comfort in the fact that God can shut the mouth of the liar! Remember earlier in this blog I said a lie is but for a moment. The truth always surfaces. If it doesn't come out in the wash, it most certainly will come out in the rinse! God has your back, He will do something about it because lying is a real big deal to God, and He hates it!
In some of these cases there was judgment from God upon the individual (or people).