Slain With the Sword of Jealousy
Heart to Heart

Slain With the Sword of Jealousy
by Candy Summers

 From the beginning the crafty, evil serpent has roamed the earth to devour God’s chosen by stirring up discontentment, jealousy, and selfish ambition as he did with Eve when he said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God” (Gen. 3:4,5). From that moment on, the “father of lies” has continued to destroy God’s people by appealing to the lust of the flesh, convincing it that it deserves more than what it possesses. For jealousy is Satan’s most powerful weapon to slay the righteous.
 “Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.… And Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” (Gen. 4:5,8).
 “Then his [Joseph’s] brothers were jealous of him … ‘Come and let us kill him’” (Gen. 37:11,20).
 “Who made you [Moses] a prince or a judge over us?” (Ex. 2:14).
 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” (Num. 12:2).
 “Then Saul became very angry; for this saying displeased him; and he said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?’ … And Saul hurled the spear for he thought, ‘I will pin David to the wall’” (1 Sam. 18:8,11).
 “Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God’” (Dan. 6:3-5). And we remember well the rest of that scheme.
 “But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him [Jesus], as to how they might destroy Him” (Matt. 12:14). “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and to put Jesus to death” (Matt. 27:20).
 “But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates, and they were filled with jealousy; and they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in a public jail.… They stood them before the Council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered and said, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand, a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.’ But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and were intending to slay them” (Acts 5:17,18, 27-33).
 “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit … And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from … the Synagogue … rose up and argued with Stephen. And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.’ And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council. And they put forward false witnesses who said, ‘This man incessantly speaks against this holy place; and the Law’ … And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel” (Acts 6:5, 8-13, 15).
 Read in Acts 7:2-50 the words God spoke through Stephen followed by, “‘You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.’ Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit … he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears, and they rushed upon him with one impulse. And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him” (Acts 7:51-58).
 Throughout history, Satan has stirred up jealousy to slay God’s people and so silence the truth. All of us have witnessed the battles and deaths among nations, national leaders, Christian organizations, churches, friends, neighbors, and even brothers.
 “For the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat” (Matt. 13:24,25). “For the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil” (Matt. 13:38,39). “But when the wheat  sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ And the slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn”’” (Matt. 13:26-30).
 There are tares in our midst, gathering together, scheming, writing, calling, making false accusations to slay God’s chosen so as to silence the truth. For “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Brethren, please “beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15,16).
 “For we must be on the alert, [for our] adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8,9).
 “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel” (James 4:1,2).
 “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not become arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:13-17).
 “Let us behave properly … not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:13,14).
 And may we look to Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Stephen, the Apostles, and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our strength. For even in the midst of adversity, they stood strong for righteousness. Fixing their gaze upon God and adhering to the vision and purpose He placed upon their hearts, they continued to go forward doing God’s will.
 And even suffering unto death for Christ’s namesake, they “rejoiced that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).