WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 29, 2020
TOPIC: SILENCE THE ENEMY WITH PRAISES TO GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“You have taught children and babies to sing praises to you because of your enemies. And so you silence your enemies and destroy those who try to get even” (Psalm 8:2 New Century Version).
In Matthew 21, at the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem prior to His arrest, Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple – the outer court. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
This was because those selling sacrificial animals to worshippers, especially Gentiles from far places, and those dealing in the exchange of different currencies for the temple coins were exploiting worshippers. The temple coins were the only currency accepted by the merchants so the money changers exploited them. Jesus said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (Matthew 21:13 New King James Version). He was quoting Jeremiah 7:11.
Thereafter, Jesus healed the blind and the lame that came to Him in the temple. The children responded by crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15b). In other words, they shouted, “Praise God for the Son of David” (New Living Translation). The chief priests and scribes who saw the wonderful things that Jesus did and the praises of the children became indignant, asking Jesus if He heard what the children were saying. Jesus replied, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:16 New King James Version). Jesus said this and left the city to lodge at Bethany.
Jesus’ reply to these religious leaders who were indignant at the praises by the children was from Psalm 8:2: “You have taught children and babies to sing praises to you because of your enemies. And so you silence your enemies and destroy those who try to get even” (New Century Version). The New International Reader’s Version says, “You have made sure that children and infants praise you. Their praise is a wall that stops the talk of your enemies” Indeed, the praises of these children praising Jesus silenced His enemies, particularly when He referred them to this scripture in Psalm 8:2.
These children had joined others who ushered Jesus into Jerusalem, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:10 New King James Version) This was a quotation from Psalm 118:26. Praises to Jesus, especially from the children, was a thorn in the flesh of these religious leaders! Therefore, they protested to Jesus.
Praises to God is something the enemy of God, Satan, and His human agents, don’t have an answer to. It is a weapon in the mouth of children of God to silence the enemies of God, and indeed their enemy. God ordained that through the praises to Him, His enemies shall be silenced. Align yourself with this ordination.
“God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 New Living Translation). Give praises to the LORD. This is what the LORD wants, not lamentation, grumbling or complaining, or expression of fear.
The writer of Psalm 149 talks about giving high praises to the LORD. Psalm 149:6-9 says, “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment — This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!” (New King James Version). High praises! The Revised Standard Version says, “Let the high praises of God be in their throats…” In this passage, the spiritual weapon of praises was combined with the physical weapon of a two-edged sword as it was in the time of Nehemiah when they were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. “Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built” (Nehemiah 4:18 New King James Version).
In the days of Jehoshaphat, when three nations – the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir – came against Judah, praises silenced these enemies. They were destroyed as those Jehoshaphat had appointed to sing to the LORD and praise the beauty of His holiness, went out before the army, saying, “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21b New King James Version). As they began to sing and praise the LORD, He set ambushes against their enemies. The enemies killed one another. The weapon was the high praises in the mouth of those appointed!
The book of Psalms says to sing praises to the LORD (Psalms 47:6; 68:4, 32; 105:2; 135:3; 147:7). Psalm 147:1 says, “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (New King James Version). And the psalmist says he will sing praises to the LORD (Psalms 27:6; 59:17; 75:9; 101:1; 108:3, 135:3; 138:1; 144:9; 146:2).
Silence the enemy with your sincere, child-like praises to God. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to praise the LORD in such a way that my praises shall become a wall that stops the talk of God’s enemies and my enemies. I repent of grumbling and complaining; I shall put on the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. In the name of Jesus, the high praises of God shall be in my mouth and I shall execute vengeance and written judgment on the enemy..
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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