Aug
07

Hide by Randy Rowley 8/7/16 ©

By

On a bright and sunny Saturday in early March, eight hunters, including me, and four spectators converged at Mike Schumann’s ranch near Dime Box for a guided pen-raised upland bird (quail, chukar, and pheasant) hunt.  (We don’t hunt wild birds as they are 450+ miles away.)  My group, consisting of my wife, Chris, my son, Ryan, Michael Armstrong, and I, opted to go after pheasants first.  We drove to the field and waited for a few minutes while the guide positioned six pheasants.

The cover was a mixture of open country and thick mesquites, oaks, cedars, and scrub brush.  In less than five minutes, we had two birds in the bag.  The guide’s dog, a Brittany Spaniel named Buddy, ran through the scrub brush and into an open area with a few clumps of high grass the size of basketballs.  I thought to myself, “There can’t be a bird there!”  Then suddenly, he came to point.

We converged on Buddy.  After spreading out in a half-circle, we indicated that we were ready.  The guide then flushed the pheasant with his seven-foot (or so) long flushing stick.  A rooster flew straight up and to the east.  His flight came to an abrupt end when my load of 6 shot intersected with him.

Buddy retrieved the rooster, brought it to the guide, and then resumed searching for birds.  In less than a minute, he was back on point again.  Shortly after that, Ryan bagged his first rooster.

After we bagged five of the six pheasants, we hunted chukar and bagged seven out of the nine that the guide put out.  After lunch, we hunted quail and bagged nine out of the eighteen that the guide put out.

I was in the lead on the way back to the truck, followed by Ryan.  Buddy passed us on the trail and suddenly came to point just a couple of feet off the path.  Ryan and I couldn’t see anything in the thick grass and thought that Buddy had scented chukar or quail that had been there previously.  Much to our surprise, a quail flushed, and we managed to bag it, despite being unready to shoot.

What was amazing was, in both cases, the birds had hidden in the most minuscule amount of cover imaginable.

Just as that pheasant and quail recognized that they were in danger and hid from it, we must realize that we are in danger from the one who wants to destroy us – Satan.

Sometimes, perhaps because we cannot see him, we forget that Satan would rejoice in our destruction.  1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) says, “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  We know that Satan is a defeated foe, but we sometimes forget that he is the prince of this present world (see John 12:31-32, 14:30-31, and 16:7-11).  We think that because Jesus defeated sin and death that Satan has run away.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Peter wrote his warning after Jesus’s redeeming work on the cross.

Coaches and parents taught many of us when we were young to be good sports.  They taught us to win and lose gracefully and not be sore losers.  Perhaps that is why we are shocked when we learn that Satan is the epitome of a poor sport.  He’s losing the game, but he’s going to do everything in his power to make our victory a costly and sour one.

The Bible isn’t flippant when it describes Satan as the deceiver, hinderer, wicked one, father of lies, the god of this world, accuser, usurper, imposter, devourer, the old serpent, dragon, and ruler of darkness.

The scriptures tell us that Satan wields genuine power.  He ceaselessly works on the earth – in our nations, states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, homes, individual lives, and even our churches and other bodies of believers.  We dare not carelessly or brashly forget what he has done and the methods and strategies he uses against us.

We must not forget that Satan is the one who:

  • declared war against God and enlisted one-third of the angels to fight with him (see Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17);
  • repeatedly encouraged Israel to rebel against God;
  • tried to kill Jesus after his birth, using Herod to order the death of all boys two years old and younger (see Matthew 2:1-16);
  • tried to get Jesus to bow down and worship him after Jesus had fasted for 40 days in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11);
  • filled Ananias and Sapphira with greed, causing them to lie to the Holy Spirit after they sold their land and gave some of the proceeds to the church in Jerusalem, but claimed to have given all of it (see Acts 5:1-11);
  • masquerades as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14);
  • repeatedly blocked Paul’s way from returning to Thessalonica (see 1 Thessalonians 2:18);
  • has won many battles today (examples include: there is now no difference between the divorce rates of Christian couples and non-Christian couples, there have been widely published sexual abuses by protestant ministers (which reflects poorly on all Christians), and the only profession that is less trusted than the clergy is politicians (according to some surveys)); and
  • will wage war against the rest of Jesus’s offspring – those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimonies about Jesus (see Revelations 12:17).

1 Corinthians 6:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”  Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” and James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  These powerful verses have resulted in many victories; however, our toolbox has a tool that the Bible encourages us to use less often – to hide.

For men especially, hiding goes against our God-given drive to be protectors – it goes against the grain and just feels wrong.  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not my first choice when confronted by the enemy.  Most of us would rather be standing firm with the whole armor of God and resisting Satan than hiding.  But, frankly, there are times when we just can’t put on that armor or resist Satan because our relationship with the Lord has grown stale.  Sin has dominated or taken control of our lives, and we are too weak to stand firm and resist.  For those times, our best option is to hide.

As a young man, David knew a thing or two about hiding.  Samuel had anointed David to be Israel’s next king because King Saul had turned away from God.  Saul, who no longer enjoyed God’s approval, became jealous of David.  His jealousy quickly turned to paranoia.  Saul decided to kill David and hunted him for eight years (see 1 Samuel chapters 19-31 and 2 Samuel chapter 1).

Possibly, David wrote the following verse while he was hiding from Saul.  If that didn’t happen, he certainly remembered what it was like to hide whenever he wrote it.  Psalm 27:5 says, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”  David also wrote Psalm 31:20, which says, “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.”  “Them” refers to those who fear God.

So when you hear the lion roar – when you’re overwhelmed, your life is crashing down, and you cannot stand firm, fight, or resist Satan – run to the shelter of God’s presence and hide there.  Be like that pheasant and quail – don’t move a muscle or make a sound.  But, unlike them, when we hide in God’s presence, Satan can only harm us if God allows it.

Randy, Chris, and Ryan

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/