“Then he sent messengers into the city to King Ahab of Israel, and said to him: ‘Thus says Benhadad: Your silver and gold are mine.’ The king of Israel answered, ‘As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have.’ The messengers came again and said: ‘Thus says Benhadad: I sent to you, saying, “Deliver to me your silver and gold, your wives and children”; nevertheless I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants, and lay hands on whatever pleases them, and take it away.’ Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, ‘Look now! See how this man is seeking trouble; for he sent to me for my wives, my children, my silver, and my gold; and I did not refuse him.’ Then all the elders and all the said to him, ‘Do not listen or consent.’ So he said to the messengers of Benhadad, ‘Tell my lord the king: All that you first demanded of your servant I will do; but this thin I cannot do.’” 1 Kings 20:2-9a
My (our) enemy(ies) will demand I give them what belongs to me in what amounts to extortion. Giving in to those demands, in an attempt to keep peace, to avoid confrontation, in hopes the enemy will go away only leads to more demands. The demands at first may not be as unrealistic and over the top as Benhadad’s to Ahab, but if I first feed those desires I am only providing fuel for those desires to grow. A little isn’t enough, a lot isn’t either, as my/our enemy wants it all. It’s one thing to give generously to help another in need; it is something entirely different to give into threats and bullying. God will exhort but never extort. O that I always remember God is with me and stand up to the threats and demands of the enemy and never give in nor give up anything that belongs to God. That I stand firm wearing the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and sturdy shoes proclaim the gospel of peace to the enemy who confronts me.