All believers have experienced the temptation of Satan and have fought against him and will until he is thrown in the Lake of Fire (in the Book of Revelation). And although we rely on God’s sovereignty and protection, it is important to know not only who the Devil is, but also be aware of his tactics so we are not surprised by him.
God promises to protect Israel and below are just four examples of how He did that in the Old Testament:
1. Exodus 14 – God Delivers Israel from Pharaoh’s army
Moses was leading Israel and was headed to the Promised Land. God was leading them by way of a pillar of cloud by day and by a pillar of fire by night to give them light and direction. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and told Moses ahead of time that Pharaoh would pursue Israel, but God would gain honor over Pharaoh (Ex. 14:4) and over all his army so that the Egyptians may know that “I am the Lord.”
Pharaoh took 600 choice chariots and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them (v. 7). God hardened Pharaoh’s heart as He said he would do and he pursued the children of Israel with boldness. When the children of Israel saw the pursuit they became very afraid and cried out to the Lord. (Moses was probably so excited and probably wanted to say—hey, no worries, just wait and watch!) Instead he said in v. 13: “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace” (v. 14). God tells Moses to lift up his rod and the sea parted and they walked on dry ground.
Now look what our God does to Pharaoh’s army: v. 24…”He (God) troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” You know the rest of the story. Tons of confusion, the army tries to retreat and the sea closes up and drowns every last one of them. Modern-day archeologists have found some of those chariots in the bottom of the Red Sea! God protected Israel!
2. 1 Samuel 7:3-10 – God delivers Israel from the Philistines
Samuel spoke to all of the house of Israel and told them in v. 3, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” So Israel obeyed and served the Lord only. Then in v. 7 the Philistines came after the children of Israel and they became afraid of the Philistines. Samuel gave the lord a lamb as an offering and cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel and the Lord answered. V. 10 “Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.” Then the Israelites pursued and subdued the Philistines. God confused them and rerouted them before Israel!
3. 1 Samuel 14:20-23 – God delivers Israel again from the Philistines
The Philistines were a constant thorn in Israel’s flesh. “Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man’s sword was against his neighbor, and there was very great confusion. (v. 21) Moreover, the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp from the surrounding country, they also joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. (v. 22) Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. (v. 23) So the Lord saved Israel that day and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.”
Here God delivers Saul and Jonathan from the Philistines by causing a terrible confusion everywhere. God turned the Philistines against each other!
4. Esther 7:7 - God Delivers The Jewish People from Haman
Here we find that Haman had cleverly created a way to kill off the Jewish people. However, his plan is about to be foiled by Esther as she has prepared a banquet for her Kingly husband.
You all know the story of Esther, so let’s pick it up in chapter 7, vs. 7, “Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king. V. 8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. (Not a good place to be found when her husband walked back into the room!) Then the king said ‘Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?’ A the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.” (Meaning, he’s a dead man).
V. 9-10 tell us that Haman was hung on the very gallows he created to kill Mordecai (Queen Esther’s uncle). What would have happened if he had not fallen on Esther? He had already upset the king, but that was the frosting on the cake! Haman’s act was stupid and it actually wasn’t what it looked like and it confused the king.
Do you see a common thread? God uses confusion to protect! These are just a few examples in Scripture…many more that are similar of God rescuing His people. Confusion is not the only way God protects His people, but it sure is one of the ways! Did God stop doing that since the Old Testament? Do you think God still uses confusion today?
Two modern-day examples of how God protected Israel:
1. The Battle of Britain 1940 – a War against the Jews
The Battle of Britain is one of the most famous battles of WWII. It took place between August and September 1940. The timing is after the success of Blitzkrieg, the evacuation of Dunkirk the surrender of France, and Britain was by herself.
In the early stages of WWII, a jet fighter program was presented to Hitler. He was not interested in it because he thought the war would be short. During the Battle of Britain in 1940 Germany attacked Britain. The Germans had more than double the military strength and had the British on their knees. The Brits were protected by something new called RADAR which gave them early warning of the approach of the German planes. By the spring of 1940, 51 radar bases had been built around the coast of southern Britain. The largest radar station was on the Isle of Wight (so. England). The leader of the German air force (Herman Goering) was confused by the results of their bombings. He though the bombings on the radar bases were not being effective. In fact, he believed that they were too unimportant to matter. So, the plan to attack the Isle of Wight was eliminated. Because of the confusing reports Hitler instantly turned away from Britain and turned to fight Russia (and that was a mistake!), and left the largest and most strategic radar station intact in Britain!
Albert Speer – a leading Nazi throughout the war – claimed in his book “Inside The Third Reich,” there were many poor decisions made, based on Goering's ignorance. As Goering did not understand the importance of something, it was dismissed as unnecessary for success. As a result of this, the radar station on the Isle of Wight functioned throughout the battle and gave Fighter Command vital information regarding German targets.
If they had bombed the Isle of Wight, it is most likely that England would have been defeated. God intervened and confused the enemy.
2. 1948 Israel’s War For Independence
On May 15, 1948, the UN announces that Israel is a state. Every nation surrounding Israel immediately goes to war against. Eight days later, May 23rd, the Arabs come after the Jews.
Remember, Israel doesn’t have much. They have been prisoners in concentration camps for years and have just returned. They don’t have a strong military…they are just reborn.
Israel assembles their vehicles and removes all the mufflers and takes them up the hills above Haifa and Tel Aviv. They filled oil drums with rocks and wait until morning. The new Israel starts up the engines and they rumble loudly from the oil drums. This confused the Arabs. They concluded that the American’s had come in with Sherman tanks. The entire army fled and left all their artillery.
God confused the Arabs! God intervened for this tiny new nation.
God is watching over Israel. It’s a promise God made and He doesn’t break His promises. Because we, as Christians, are grafted into Israel and our Jewish roots mentioned in the Book of Galatians, we can know, without a doubt, that God is also protecting us/you. When we are in a fierce battle or facing one of Satan’s tactics, we can stand firm, knowing that the battle is truly God’s and we can trust Him to handle it for us. God will protect you. God will protect me. God IS protecting me. Can you say that out loud right now: God is protecting me. Now say it again as if you really mean it! God is protecting me!
We need to know who our enemy, Satan is, know his tactics and be prepared to stand firm against him, but we do not need to fear him or his evil schemes. God reminds us that “greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).