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Evangel Tabernacle | July 16, 2019

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The Humiliating ‘Nahash’ Spirit

The Humiliating ‘Nahash’ Spirit

| On 05, Jun 2019

KEY TEXT

1 Samuel 11:1-15 (NKJV)
V1- Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.”
V2- And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel.”
V3- Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.
V4- So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept.
V5- Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep?” And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh.
V6- Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.
V7- So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.” And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
V8- When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
V9- And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: “Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.’” Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.
V10- Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you.”
V11- So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

It is the glory of God to save, heal and deliver mankind but it is the glory of Satan to humiliate the creation of God, especially the people of God. The greater the humiliation of God’s people, the greater the glee and glory of Satan.

The tribe of Gad made their home in Gilead, which was east of Jordan, between the Dead Sea on the South and the Sea of Galilee on the north.

Jabesh was a city of Gilead and its people were in great trouble, for the Ammonites (the descendants of Lot), a people living to the east of Gilead, came against them and were too strong for them. They were going to put out the right eyes of the people of Jabesh and make them their servants. The people of Jabesh asked for seven days in which to look for help and sent messengers throughout the land to see if the people of Israel would help them. The people felt very sorry for the people of Jabesh. The messengers came to Saul’s town, Gibeah. Saul heard their message as he came from plowing in the field. The Spirit of God came upon him, and he sent through all the country to gather soldiers. They came to Saul at Bezek a large army and Saul hurried with them to the help of Jabesh-Gilead. He divided his men into three companies and from three sides at once they attacked the Ammonites while it was still dark, in the early morning. Many of the Ammonites were killed, and the rest were scattered, and Jabesh was saved.

My stress this morning is on the humiliating demand of Nahash, the King of the Ammonites, to gorge out the right eyes of Jabesh Gilead.

This morning, I would like to share a message on THE HUMILIATING ‘NAHASH’ SPIRIT.

In line with this sermon, I would like to touch on 4 things:
• The Demand of Humiliation by Nahash
• The Desperation of the Elders of Jabesh Gilead
• The Defeat of Nahash
• The Deep Humiliation of Christ at the Cross

(I) THE DEMAND OF HUMILIATION BY NAHASH

V1- Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.” V2- And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel.”

Nahash the Ammonite, has surrounded this Israelite City and simply by doing so, he has made his demands clear. They must either surrender or be conquered.

Why did Nahash attack Jabesh?
Probably to revenge and to recover their former great loss by Jephthah (Judges 11:33).

The feeble Jabesh Gilead pleaded with Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.” These men of Jabesh Gilead feel this is their only hope of survival. Either they surrender to Nahash (“we will serve you”) under agreed-upon terms (“make a covenant with us”), or they will simply be killed and looted.

It might seem to us that the men of Jabesh Gilead are COWARDS and unwilling to fight against the enemy. But the odds were against them and they expected to simply be taxed by Nahash.

At the same time, where was their trust in God? Yes, they were in what seemed to be in an impossible place, but that is where the power of God can shine the brightest. Instead of humbling themselves before God and confessing the sins that had brought them into trouble, they put God altogether aside and basely offered to become the SERVANTS OF THE AMMONITES.

We see here the sad effect of sin and careless living in lowering men’s spirits, sapping courage and discouraging noble effort. It is pitiable to see men tamely submitting to a vile master! Yet how often is this sight repeated! How often do men virtually say to the devil, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee!”

Why did Jabesh Gilead agree to surrender to Nahash? What made them to be a such a coward?
By the study of their name, you will see that “Jabesh Gilead” refers to “an extremely dry, barren phase of THOUGHT in man’s higher consciousness where it is so permeated with NEGATIVE IDEAS, so filled with a sense of SHAME, and so lacking in any element of TRUE, POSTITIVE UNDERSTANDING”.

In short, Jabesh Gilead means “dry, parched and shame”.

Moreover, Jabesh Gilead is actually the tribe of Gad and Gad is located in the country beyond Jordan. Gad is part of the two and the half tribes who chose not to live in the land of Canaan. They chose to give up the land of Canaan which represents a HEAVENLY SPIRITUAL LIFE and chose the country beyond Jordan which represents a MORE NATURAL, EXTERNAL STATES LIKE STATES OF PHYSICAL ENJOYMENT AND RECREATION, which are blessed by the Lord IF they are made helpful to spiritual life, not otherwise. Hence the requirement that the two and the half tribes which settled there must first help their fellow Israelites to gain possession of their inheritance; then they might return and enjoy this country. The tribe of Gad, occupying the district of Gilead, represents especially AN EXTERNAL GOODNESS IN WHICH IS MUCH SELF-CONFIDENCE.

Therefore, the spiritual reason for this attack by Nahash is because Jabesh Gilead is dry, parched and in shame. Their dryness is a result of them living a life of self-sufficiency, thus cutting off the life of faith. When there is no faith, doubt comes in the form of defeating and negative thought life with no understanding of anything positive in God.

Peter portrays the trait of Jabesh Gilead. He was a self-confident and self-sufficient man to the point he thought he would never deny Jesus. In the end, his self-sufficiency let him down, and he was engulfed with a dry, parched and shameful spirit that he backslided from the Lord for a short while.

Are you like Jabesh Gilead today where you are in an extremely dry, barren phase of THOUGHT? Your mind is permeated with NEGATIVE IDEAS about God, life, church and even yourself. You are so filled with a sense of SHAME, guilt, condemnation that you lack positive and true understanding of God and the Word of God in your life. At every threat by the devil or with every crisis that hit your life, you easily give up and surrender. You agree with what Satan says about you.

When the men of Jabesh goes to Nahash for a covenant, he agrees to settle peacefully with them – if all the men of the city will have their right eyes gouged out.

Why did Nahash make this unreasonable and humiliating demand?
V2 – And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel.”

Of all the things he could have demanded, why did he want to “put out your right eye?”

• It was to glorify himself by humiliating the men of this city and all of Israel.
Half-blinding the men of this city would “bring reproach on all Israel” by making Israel look weak and unable to prevent such an atrocity.

• It was to make the men of Jabesh Gilead unable to fight effectively in battle
In hand-to-hand combat, a man with one eye has less depth perception, and is at a disadvantage to a man with two eyes. “He who opposes his shield to the enemy with his left hand, thereby hides his left eye, and looks at his enemy with his right eye; he therefore who plucks out that right eye makes men useless in war (Clarke)”.

We can see in this account similarities between Satan and Nahash.

What are the similarities between Satan and Nahash?

The name of Nahash means “serpent or snake.”

• Satan attacks us, but cannot do anything against us without our agreement. He asks for, and requires our SURRENDER.

E.g. Peter surrendered by his pride, denying Jesus 3 times.

How about you? Are you agreeing with Satan’s words or with God’s? Are you giving in to the demands of Satan?

• Satan wants us to serve him, and will attempt to intimidate us into giving in to him.
The modus operandi of Satan is “to frighten us thinking”. He sows many negative and fearful thoughts into our thinking processes. Just as he creeps up to Eve in the form of a serpent to lie to her about the character of God, so will he do the same to you – crawling like a serpent into your thought process to sow doubts against the character and the promises of God to you. He wants to dominate your thought life so that you will serve him than serve God.

• Satan wants to take away our ability to effectively fight against him.
The demand of Nahash to gorge out the right eyes of the Jabesh Gilead was the same demand the Philistines did to Samson. Like the right hand, the right eye was considered a crucial part of the body. The gorging out of the right eye accordingly means “never-ending subservience, for it made most men unfit for military service.

• Satan wants to HUMILIATE us and exalt himself over us. Through humiliating one saint, Satan wants to BRING REPROACH on all God’s people.
Nahash wasn’t primarily interested in producing disabled veterans. His delight was in heaping disgrace upon Israel. This gouging out the right eyes was a “visible token of shame and humiliation.” “It was such a thrill for him to slowly turn the screws of humiliation on Israel. He was so sure of himself and so enjoyed watching Jabesh Gilead sweat that he consented to their frantic request to allow them to send for help – if they could get it. Nahash was having such fun with his game.”

Application: This sadistic desire is seen in the world’s desire to subjugate and humiliate the people of God. Nahash was very arrogant and laughed and mocked God’s people in Jabesh Gilead. Satan and this evil fallen world do the same to the people of God. The world loves it when a Christian leader falls into sin. When Jim Bakker sinned, the media was all over it. It was the same a couple of years ago when Ted Haggard, leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, was caught in great sexual sin. The media had a field day.

We know that the calling of God upon the nation of Israel was to be a light and a witness to the nations (Deuteronomy 4:5-6). People of the nations were to respect Israel. But Nahash and others like him totally rejected that and hated Israel. “This arrogance, this hatred, never ceases. Nahash may become historical furniture but the “Ammonite mind,” that is, to maim, destroy and strangle God’s people is always with us.” This hostility came about because Nahash and those who hate God reject God’s rule. Israel and the Christians are a threat to their way of life. The world has the Nahash spirit [Satanic serpentine spirit] in them. They love their sin and they want to hold on to that lifestyle and so they hate the Christians and the Jews.

Today, Satan incites the fallen world to humiliate and ridicule Christians. Satan incites them to hurt us and render us ineffective in serving God.

Application: As believers, we must understand the Nahash spirit around – the Serpentine spirit with chief agenda to humiliate the people of God. People, demons and spiritual authorities are arrayed against Christ and against us. Remember Herod’s methods of trying to kill baby Jesus. We must open our eyes to see that there is a great evil “Nahash-satanic-serpentine spirit” arrayed against us. This Nahash spirit wants to defeat and humiliate us.

• Satan wants to BLIND US and if he cannot blind us completely, he will blind us PARTIALLY
There is this curse of “halves” in the Bible. Satan told Eve half truth about God and Eve fell, plunging mankind into the curse of sin. Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she turned back halfway to look at Sodom and Gomorrah. Ephraim was called to be a “cake not turned”- “half- baked cake” in Hosea 7:8 because his loyalty was not total to God- half to Yahweh and half he mixed with other nations. Why did the Jews despise the Samaritan? Because they were half Jews and half Assyrian. Jesus spewed out the Laodicean Christians because they were half hot and half cold. The Galatian church fell into the curse of preaching another gospel – half Jesus and half law. Satan partially blinds us so that we can only see half of God’s truth and not the whole truth. The half-truth is the most dangerous form of life because it can be defended in part by incontestable logic. Satan’s most effective weapon is the half-truth. We see it used all the time to deceive people. Half-truth is the most effective lie used by the devil.

Application: Can you see the whole picture of God or just half? Can you see the whole purpose and counsel of God for your life or just half? Can you see the FULL gospel or partial gospel? Do you see grace and truth in Christ or only grace?

Satan blinds us partially so that we can’t see Jesus in his fullness.

Application: Christians, the world is watching you. I ask you, what kind of warrior are you for Christ? How do the people around you see you? Are you a warrior with your right eye gouged out – looking ugly and disgraceful? If you have sin in your life – that’s what you look like to the world. To them you’re someone who is pitiful and to be made fun of.

(II) THE DESPERATION OF THE ELDERS OF JABESH GILEAD

V3- Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.

The men of Jabesh are in a difficult spot. They are horrified at the humiliating demand of Nahash but they also know they have no other choice. “If there is no one to save” them, Nahash can do to them as he pleases and losing an eye seems better to them than losing their lives.

Was there really “no one to save” them? The men of Jabesh didn’t know for certain. But they did know there was no hope in and of themselves, that they had to have a Savior.

One thing good about the men of Jabesh was they knew their need to be saved and they knew they could not save themselves.

Application- Many today- even in the church, don’t know what the men of Jabesh knew. Many today don’t really know their need to be saved, rescued from the righteous judgment of God against them and their sin and many today don’t really know they cannot save themselves. In their hearts they still think they can do it by their own effort.

One thing bad about the men of Jabesh was they knew their need of a savior and they knew they could not save themselves, yet they DID NOT KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYONE TO SAVE. Thankfully, today WE CAN KNOW. We can know what John said in 1 John 4:14- And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

(III) THE DEFEAT OF NAHASH

V4- So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept.

V5- Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep?” And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh.

V6- Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.

V7- So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.” And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

V8- When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

V9- And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: “Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.’” Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.

V10- Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you.”

V11- So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

The men of Jabesh sent messengers to Saul, whose Spirit was immediately stirred up to help them and prepared for it, and came up soon enough for their relief and slew their enemies, which gained him much honor and reputation among the people and occasioned the renewal of the kingdom to him.

(IV) THE DEEP HUMILIATION OF CHRIST AT THE CROSS

Crucifixion on the cross is one of the most painful capital punishments in Jesus’ time.

Worse than the pain of the cross was the SHAME OF THE CROSS. The cross was itself the embodiment and emblem of the most hideous of human obscenities. The cross was a symbol of reproach, degradation, humiliation and disgust. It was aesthetically repugnant. In a word, the cross was obscene.

The cross was far more than an instrument of capital punishment. It was a public symbol of indecency and social indignity. Crucifixion was designed to do more than merely kill a man. Its purpose was to humiliate him as well. The cross was intended not only to break a man’s body, but also to crush and defame his spirit. There was certainly more efficient means of execution: stoning, decapitation but the “Nahash” spirit was at work to humiliate Jesus publicly. Crucifixion was used to humiliate as well as to harm our Lord Jesus.

Jesus went through the deepest humiliation and reproach at the cross for you and me. But He did not die in humiliation and reproach but He rose as King of Kings to defeat this Nahash spirit.

Saul had been raised to kingship as a NEW ADAM. His first test was to be confronted by a serpent. Would he crush the head of the serpent? Yes he would.

Jesus has been raised as King – our New Adam and by His death on the cross – symbolized by the two bullocks as the sin offering and burnt offering – Christ has the authority to summon 12 legions to aid him in His attack against the Nahash or the serpentine spirit. The angel armies with Christ as the King will meet at “Bezek” [meaning – ‘Lord of the Lightning] and they will strike like the Lord of the Lightning against Nahash “till no two of the Ammonites were left together”. This means MISERY AND SEPARATION to the army of Satan.

Just as the Spirit of God came upon Saul to fill him with a holy anger against the Nahash spirit, Jesus has declared, “The Spirit of Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed him …….to give his redeemed a double portion instead of shame; a rejoicing over the lot of your life instead of dishonor.” (Isaiah 61:1;7)

But like the men of Jabesh, you must know you cannot save yourself from this Nahash spirit and you must know that only Christ who has already gone through on your behalf the humiliation, is the ONLY ONE who has the authority and power to defeat the Nahash spirit and to crown you with honor.

The Nahash spirit is the spirit of the serpent (the spirit of Satan) to humiliate the people of God.

Has the Nahash spirit humiliated you today? Is your body broken today through sicknesses and diseases? Is your spirit crushed by shame and humiliation? Have you been publicly disgraced today by Satan and his evil people? Is there a reproach in your life? Is there sin in your life? Has someone marred you to the point you can’t see Jesus clearly and fully? Are you partially blind today spiritually? Are you living in a dry, parched land filled with shame? What is your lot in life now? Is it reproach, degradation, humiliation and disgust? Are you happy with the lot in your life? Have you been living in indecency and obscenity? Socially, has the Nahash spirit branded you with indignity – like the barren one, the single mother, the unmarried one, the poor one, the illegitimate one, the illiterate one?

These are what the Nahash spirit give you and it causes you to be like the Jabesh Gilead – living in a lot of life that is dry, parched and in shame. Have you been living in indecency and obscenity?

The Spirit of God is upon Jesus now and He wants to strike back at the Nahash spirit like the Lord of Lightning with His host of angel armies so that the Nahash spirit is vanquished. Then, instead of shame, you will have honor; instead of complaining about the dishonorable lot of life, you will be rejoicing now because Jesus has restored the honor back to the lot of your life.

MY TESTIMONY: Reproach, degradation, humiliation and disgust was the modus operandi of the Nahash spirit that arrayed itself against Etab in 2012. It was the serpentine spirit at its peak against us. I knew at that time, I couldn’t withstand the intimidation and the humiliation by this Nahash spirit. All the good name that I have built up for the last 26 years was gone in that year. Socially and spiritually I was branded as the evil wife, a cult, a fraud, a thief. I was hated by many without cause. In my desperation I sought Christ. I pleaded for His rescue and vindication. I came to him at the feet of His cross and there I saw all my reproach, degradation, humiliation and disgust being absorbed by Christ. In exchange, Christ did not allow the Nahash spirit to kill me. Instead He fought the battle for me and He caused confusion and disunity (“no two Ammonite are left”) to the enemy camp. Today, I see God restoring honor to my life and ministry. Instead of loathing my calling and ministry in Iloilo, I am now rejoicing in my lot in life because I saw the goodness and faithfulness of God in it. Glory be to God!
end

PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENG SV ON 2 JUNE 2019

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