Confronting the Darkness in a World of Adversity!

The prophets of Baal cried louder than ever, leaping around in a wild frenzy begging their god to answer. They even cut themselves with knives that Baal might take pity on them.

Commentary By:  Gordon King

What is it that makes some people in the world hate?  Why is it that some people wish to annihilate another race of people in the name of their god?  Why do some people seek to do what is dark and evil in the pursuit of their own selfish desires and lusts?

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ then you should know the answers to these questions, it is a direct result of the fall of man, however it is much more than that, it is also the influence of demonic spirits!

We live in a physical world, composed of things which are material in nature, things which can be seen and felt.  However there is much more to it than that, in fact I would argue that what cannot be seen is much more real than what can!

There is another dimension, a spiritual dimension, one in which cannot be seen with the naked eye, one which cannot be touched with the human hand.  It is this dimension which alters the course of the world, which determines our eternal destiny by who we side with.

Spiritual darkness, demonic spirits, they corrupt what God has ordained as righteous and holy.  They seek to destroy what is good, they seek to kill us all, both the saved and the unsaved.  These spirits are moving across the landscape seeking to devour whomever and whatever they can.  We can see it manifested in the physical, with the evil, hatred, and violence spreading like a wild-fire.  However, there are two sides to each coin, while there is spiritual darkness there is also spiritual light, the light of God!  When the children of God are in obedience to Him then it is well pleasing to God, they shall be blessed!

It isn’t enough to just be saved, no, we are here on this earth for a reason and a purpose, if not then God would have just taken us all out of here once we were born-again!  We are here my friends to confront the darkness, to lead the lost to salvation, and to perform God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, sometimes it may be only in prayer, while at other times it may also involve taking action.

Let us take a look back into history for a moment just to get an idea of what I am talking about.

The old testament prophets did not merely preach God’s word, they also confronted the darkness around them!

The prophet Elijah confronted and opposed King Ahab for sinning against God and for the worship of false gods and idols, particularly Baal.  He stood alone (with God) among the false prophets of Baal in a confrontation in direct opposition to King Ahab and his false gods! 

1 Kings 18:17-40

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”

18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Elijah’s Mount Carmel Victory

20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”

So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”

25 Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”

26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.

27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.

Elijah was seen by the King as a trouble maker, one to stir up hardship, division, and strife in the land of Israel.  However, he was not a trouble maker at all but a prophet of God!  His was to confront the evil and the darkness, to bring revival to the land.  Elijah was neither timid nor shy, he boldly confronted them, even to the point of mocking them, all 850 prophets of these false gods!  Elijah was later taken up to heaven in a whirlwind!

Another old testament prophet who stood his ground and opposed what was unrighteous and unholy was the prophet Daniel.  Against all odds and adversity Daniel stood by God and for God, and through it all was protected by God!

Daniel 6:1-23

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”

The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”

13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” 17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.

Daniel Saved from the Lions

18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”

23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.

Daniel was a loyal subject to the Lord, he stood convicted by his faith, he never wavered in the face of adversity even though he knew what the consequences would be.  And because of his faith and conviction, the good Lord protected Daniel from certain death!  Not only that but King Darius wrote a decree for the world to tremble and fear before Daniel’s God, in essence to worship God, and Daniel prospered!

Daniel 6:25-27

Then King Darius wrote:

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Another man of God in the old testament who obeyed God was Noah, whether or not he was a prophet I am not so certain, but nonetheless a very faithful and convicted man of God!  I believe that he preached to the world of their sin and the coming of a great flood, 2 Peter 2:5 speaks of Noah being a preacher of righteousness.

2 Peter 2:5

and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

And even if he didn’t preach about the great coming flood, they most certainly saw him building the Ark for approximately 100 years, and I would think that they would have been asking Noah what in the world he was doing!  I believe that Noah did preach about the coming flood, he stood firm in his beliefs and God rescued Noah and his family from destruction!

One of the most well-known old testament prophets was Moses.  Moses did as God commanded and confronted the Pharaoh of Egypt, telling him that it was wrong to keep his people captive and that he must release them from captivity.  This must have been a very bold thing to do, as the Pharaoh had mighty power upon the earth, he even believed himself to be god!  Not only did Moses remain faithful to God, he fought many battles along the way with God at his side, bringing the Jews to their promised land!  And even though Moses was never able to set foot in the promised land he was able to see it, he was protected by God.

So how does any of this relate to us in modern days?  Most of us are not prophets of God, yet if we are born-again then we are His children, we belong to Him, we are His prized possessions.  We are to stand boldly in the face of darkness, in the face of adversity, to put on the whole armor of God and do the right thing!  It takes faith to do these things, it takes conviction!  If Noah and his family lacked faith then they wouldn’t have built the Ark, would they have still been saved from destruction?  If Moses lacked faith and did not confront the Pharaoh would the Jews have ultimately been released from Egypt?  I believe that if they didn’t follow through then God would have found someone else to do the job for them, that He would have made a way, however they did follow through, that’s the point!

We don’t always see what is right in front of us, we don’t always see what cannot be seen with the naked eye.  It takes faith to see the things of the spirit, it takes faith to discern the spirits, and it takes faith to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!  When we do the right thing, when we perform God’s will, then God will see us through, not only will He see us through but He will also bless us!

These are treacherous times, and the spirits of darkness are seeking to destroy, to divide, and to steal.  This is true in the world but also in the church.  These evil spirits have infiltrated the church of God, and theirs is to steal, kill, and destroy! 

We cannot cower down to the evil in the world, we cannot allow ourselves to be influenced by this darkness, to make our decisions based upon what this evil is doing or threatening to do.  We must stand firm in our faith, we must follow the light.  Doing the right thing in the face of adversity takes courage and strength, which is only derived from God!  And if we do cower down and do not do what is right, then we are not following the light but the darkness, we are following demonic spirits.

Jesus Christ came into this world as an example for us, as a testimony of doing the right thing even in the face of adversity!

There will be opposition to us in this world, there will be adversity facing us as we perform God’s will.  However, this does not mean that we back down, that we run when the going gets tough, but that we do what is right in the eyes of the Lord!  When we do what is right in God’s eyes then we will undergo spiritual attack from the enemy, this is certain, however we must always remember that God is with us, it is He who is on our side!

If we follow the spirit of God then we will make the right decisions in life.  When we do the right thing then God will see us through and bless us!  When we are obedient to the Lord then we have faith, and when we have faith God is well pleased!

Let us all pray that the good Lord opens our eyes and our hearts to the truth.  That He gives us godly wisdom and guidance, vision and clarity.  Let us pray that He gives us the strength and courage that we need to perform His will.  In Jesus name, Amen!

God bless my friends!  Maranatha!

5 thoughts on “Confronting the Darkness in a World of Adversity!

  1. It is better to be right before the Lord, and wrong before the world, than the other way around. That’s all there is to it.

    For those who care more for the world, consider the following. Julius Caesar once paid a slave to ride in his chariot with him as he entered Rome after a particularly successful campaign.

    What was the slave’s job? While Caesar was faced with the praise and adulation of the Roman crowds rushing out to meet him, the slave was ordered to whisper “Fame is fleeting” every few minutes into Caesar’s ear, as a reminder that those who adored him in that moment may well be jeering him later.

    Never forget that the crowd of people who stabbed Caesar to death included people he considered his friends. “Et tu Brutus?”

Comments are closed.