When The Enemy Comes In Like A Flood
Pastor Richard Shelton
Jan 18, 2004

When The Enemy Comes In Like A Flood

Key Verse: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Isaiah 59:19

It is interesting that this portion of scripture begins with the word, “when” and not with the word, "if.” Anytime there is a great move of God the devil will be there to try to hinder it. The greater the move of God – the greater the force of hindrance. Examples of this are seen throughout the Bible.

One such hindrance is seen at the time of the birth of Moses when Pharaoh ordered the death of all the male newborn children:

And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. Exodus 1:15, 16.

And again:

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. Exodus 1:22.

Looking back on these events we can see clearly that the devil’s objective was to kill the infant Moses and ultimately stop or significantly altar the great move of God that we now know as “The Exodus.” It is also important that we notice that he was unable to do so.

How shall the LORD raise up this standard?

There are many instances in the Scriptures where it is written that the LORD stood in defense of His people. Here are a few examples of how He raises that standard.

God will cause your enemies to fear you. Shortly after I received the LORD as my personal savior I had a vision of the power of God being on His people in such a mighty way that when they entered a store of shop the non-Christian people would be so overwhelmed with fear of them that they would not even go near them and that they would extend them favor because of this power.

I later learned that there is a Biblical example of this very thing. During the time after the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan, but before they took Jericho, Joshua sent two spies into the city to gather information. The Bible states, “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.” (Joshua 2:1).

The Scripture does not say whether or not the two men sought out the harlot’s house or how they ended up in such a place so one can only speculate. My personal belief is that their footsteps were ordered of the LORD. They were seeking information and the LORD led them to one who had the information and was willing to share it with them. Here is what Rahab said to them:

“And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9-11).

On behalf of the Children of Israel, God had filled the hearts of their enemies with fear.

Rahab entered into an agreement with the two men from Israel’s camp that when the Lord had brought about a victory and given Jericho into the hands of the Israelites she and her family would not be harmed but would be saved alive. She then let the two men down from a window by a rope that was red in color and left the scarlet rope hanging from the window as a sign that during the battle whoever was in that house would not be killed and that everything in the house would not be taken as spoils.

Remember…. the Lord had said, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee,” (Genesis 12:3).

God will invoke the supernatural powers of Heaven to bring victory. On the day that David went to meet his three older brothers who were fighting in the army of Saul against the Philistines he was astonished to find the army of Israel overtaken with fear because of Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior. David knew that Goliath had no covenant protection from God so, filled with a holy indignation, he decided to face the giant his self. He refused the king’s armor for it did not fit him and he met Goliath on the field of battle. What follows is that which David said to Goliath as he spoke by unction of the Holy Ghost:

“This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands,” (1 Samuel 17:47).

So that “all this assembly” (I am sure he was referring to the army of Israel who was quivering in the trenches) “shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear.”

In another place the Prophet Zechariah delivered a similar message: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).

It was not the strength of the Israelite army. It was not even David’s skill with a sling, although the LORD did use that. The battle was the Lord’s and He wrought the victory, and he did so on behalf of His people.

Another example of God’s supernatural power being released on behalf of His people is seen in the Exodus. Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and had come to the Red Sea. Pharaoh and his army had pursued them and trapped them against the sea. Here is what the LORD did on their behalf:

“And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night,” (Exodus 14:19, 20).

Again, it was the Lord’s battle and again, it was His victory and the Lord did what He did on behalf of His people.

3. He will cause your enemies to become your friends.

In the days of the early church there was a disciple of the Lord named Ananias who lived in Damascus. One day the Lord spoke to him in a vision: “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight,” (Acts 9:11, 12).

If you are a student of the Bible you will, no doubt recognize this as the story of Paul’s conversion. We all love and respect Paul for his contribution to our faith and for his faithfulness to the Lord but He was not always the “Paul” whose writing we read in the New Testament. At one time he hated Christians and the church. He was a major player in the persecution of the early church. During that period of his life he was known as Saul of Tarsus. Ananias knew of him too. He knew that Saul of Tarsus had reached a high level in his political ambitions and that he was a man of great authority. He knew that when Saul of Tarsus came to town Christians died, or at the very least, went to prison and their prisons were not as nice as ours are today. Ananias knew that Saul had come to town with papers giving him authority to arrest Christians and now the Lord was asking him to go see this man. Ananias answered the Lord:

“Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem 14and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.”

Ananias was reluctant to go see a man of this character who had the authority to arrest him:

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. 16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake,” (Acts 9:15, 16).

Ananias went his way and completed the conversion of Paul. He saw him healed of blindness, filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized. This once dreaded persecutor of the church became the Apostle Paul, the most noted contributor to the New Testament we read today. God has turned an enemy of the church into a trusted friend and mentor.

Throughout history God has always taken care of His people. Just as David knew, it is part of His covenant with us. We can trust His word when He says:

“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”

So, what does this “standard” look like?

It looks like a scarlet rope hanging from a window in the heat of battle. It looks like a small, smooth stone plucked from the bed of a brook by a shepherd boy who is facing the greatest challenge of his young life. It looks like the pillar of cloud that withstood the army of Pharaoh for more than a day while almost 3 million people walked to safety. It looks like a bright light that can knock a man from his horse and not only change his life but change his heart as well and thus change the course of Biblical history.

For us today it means that God has ways of protecting us that we cannot even imagine. There is nothing He will not do to fulfill His covenant with us, His people. All he asks of us is that we trust him, obey His commandments and follow His lead.

If you are facing a personal crisis right now here is His word for you:

Go forward!

Keep going forward.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward,” (Exodus 14:15).