DOUBLE FOR TROUBLE

God turns all the plans of the enemy into foolishness.  He turns every attack against us to our advantage. 

Samson says: “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.” (Judges 14:14).  This is a kingdom dynamic whose implications should not be lost on any believer in Jesus.  Blessed is the man who has been held captive.  When the Lord delivers him, he shall become a terror to his terrorist.  He shall be given the authority to trouble his trouble.

The Lord promises not only to redeem our losses, but also to give us back double for our trouble: “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.” (Zechariah 9:11-12).

Holding captivity captive

When a coalition of three kings attacked and sacked Sodom and Gomorrah, taking Lot captive; his uncle Abraham raised a household army of 318 cooks, drivers and gardeners and rescued him.  Abraham led captivity captive, retrieved all the stolen goods and came back with spoils, which he gave as gifts to the king of Sodom.

The Egyptians oppressed the children of Israel for over 400 years.  But when their time of deliverance came, God held their captivity captive.  The Egyptian army not only ended up at the bottom of the Red Sea, the Lord ensured that the Israelites did not leave empty-handed.  Solomon says: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1).  God told the Israelites to ask the Egyptians for any of their property they desired, and he made the Egyptians give them whatever they asked for. (Exodus 12:35-36).

Imagine this.  There was this Jewish slave whose master often made him polish all the silverware in the house.  There was no job he hated as much as that one.  But one day, on the day of the Passover, the Lord told him to ask for the silverware that he had been polishing.  The owner did not know why but he gave them to him.

Another Israelite used to wash and iron her mistress’ clothes.  The madam had a large collection of lace, guinea brocade and other exclusive clothing.  On that fateful day, the maid asked for the best of the clothes she had been washing and ironing, and she took them all away.

David’s spoils

David returned home to Ziklag only to discover that the Amalekites had attacked it, burnt it down and taken all the women and children captive.  He pursued the enemy on the Lord’s say-so with a ragtag army of only 400 men; overtook them and recovered all that had been stolen. (1 Samuel 30:18-20).  David came back with so much spoils of war that he was able to give gifts to even those who did not follow him to battle, including distant friends in Israel.

In effect, children of God end up better off when we are robbed than when we are not.  Our God is plenteous in redemption.  Moreover, thanks to God, believers are the general assembly and church of the firstborn. (Hebrews 12:23).  Therefore, we are entitled to a double portion.  Thus says the Lord, our redeemer: “Instead of your shame you shall have double honour, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.” (Isaiah 61:7).

50:20 principle

Beloved: understand this; internalise it.  Everybody and everything is working for you.  God is working for you: the devil is also working for you.  “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

God turns all the plans of the enemy against us into foolishness.  He turns every attack against us to our advantage.  Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him as a slave to Egypt: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20).

If Joseph’s devious brothers had not sold him into slavery, he would not have ended up in Egypt.  If he had not been thrown in jail in Egypt as a result of false accusation, he would not have met the butler.  If he had not met the butler, he would not have been introduced to Pharaoh.  If he had not been introduced to Pharaoh, he would not have become Prime Minister.  If he had not become Prime Minister of Egypt, he would not have become the instrument of God for salvation from famine of the same brothers who sold him into slavery.

In short, the road to God’s blessing is paved with adversity.  When God is determined to bless a Daniel, he might end up initially in the lion’s den.  Nevertheless, every misfortune will simply take him one step closer to the blessing.  Every attack of the enemy is a signal that promotion is on the way.

The counsel of God is immutable.  Nothing can hinder the purpose of God in the life of his children.  In the end you will discover that, unknown to them, your adversaries were all working for God and for you.  Thus, the psalmist says to God: “Man’s futile wrath will bring you glory. You will use it as an ornament!” (Psalm 76:10).

Devil’s futility

Where is God when captivity is holding us captive?  He is right there, watching.  Where is God when the enemy is planning and scheming against us?  God is right there laughing: “God in heaven merely laughs! He is amused by all their puny plans.” (Psalm 2:4).

The devil was determined to kill Moses off as a child.  He instructed his servant Pharaoh to have all male Jewish children killed at birth.  But he who sits in the heavens laughed.  God decided to provide a hiding place for Moses.  But then he hid Moses in, of all places, the court of Pharaoh himself.

Moreover, he caused Pharaoh’s daughter to employ Moses’ mother as his nanny.  Thereby, she received wages for taking care of her own son; turning Pharaoh into a big laughing stock: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14). 

The devil caused Job to lose his business, his children and his health.  But because he lost, he gained twice of everything he lost.  In effect, Satan blundered by afflicting Job.  So doing, he laid the foundation for him to receive a double portion from God: “The LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10).

The same redemptive principle is applicable to believers who have received forgiveness according to the riches of the grace of Christ: “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:2).

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