“Most of their lives, people are just waiting to be ambushed.” – Brandon Hull
An AMBUSH is a surprise attack by troops lying in wait in a concealed position. Soldiers are dressed in camouflage—clothing used for a disguise that blends in with their surroundings. In the Old Testament, Israel’s troops or their enemies would ‘lie in wait’ in ambushes during battles. In the New Testament, Acts Chapters 21-25 describes a plot by devout Jewish leaders to ambush the Apostle Paul. They condemned his work of spreading the Gospel and falsely accused him of bringing a Gentile into the temple. Paul is arrested, a mob ensues, and he is threatened to be flogged by a Roman commander. This is called off when Paul reveals he is a Roman citizen. The Jewish leaders extend their debate as to whether Paul has done anything wrong, while the Romans try to figure out how to proceed. A governor named Festus asks the Jewish leaders to bring Paul to Caesarea and agrees to have him taken to Caesar to plead his case in trial. On the way, the Jewish leaders try to ambush Paul in order to kill him. It’s high drama, and good to read, but for our purposes…the reminder is that the real target of the ambush is not Paul, but to halt the spread of the Gospel of Christ.
As followers of Jesus, we experience our enemy the devil setting small and large ambushes all of the time. These cloaked attacks come suddenly when we are unaware. He lies in wait in camouflage—mere suggestions or even blatant accusations are made to get us in emotional states that will cause internal wars if not external arguments and strife. Full-blown attacks are waged while we are unsuspecting. 1 Peter 5:8 says the enemy prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but sometimes he’s like a sniper and you didn’t see it coming. Did you know that GOD also sets ambushes? In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat seeks the LORD about an ensuing battle and sends the singers in first to praise and thank the LORD whose mercy endures forever. Verse 22 says that at the very moment they began to sing praise, the LORD set ambushes against their enemies. In confusion, they began to fight each other and Israel was victorious! Remember: the ambush is about something other than what it seems, and the LORD sets ambushes too!