Dastardly Duos

You are reading one of those Psalms where the writer is pleading and praying for the destruction of God’s enemies and you encounter a verse that seems to be describing extraterrestrial aliens like “Oreb and Zeeb”  or “Zebah and Zalmunah” (83:11 and elsewhere).  Who are these people?!  They are kings of tribes who are a continual thorn in the flesh of the people of God.  They craft evil plots, they hinder movements, and they seek to pillage the towns and villages of the Israelites.

Perhaps there is a message in the meaning of their names.  Oreb means “a swarm of flies or insects,” while Zeeb means  “to be yellow.”  It is not uncommon for God’s people to be swarmed by those with a bent to agitate; this may cause fear or cowardice.  Zebah means “to play the victim” while Zalmunnah means “shade has been denied.”  Enemies of God can make us feel like suffering victims.

Other dastardly duos can be found in various locations of the Old and the New Testaments.  There are multiple references to Sihon (“tempestuous”) and Og (“to bake or gyrate”). Have you ever felt this kind of restlessness in your soul?  Sanballet (“to prick; thorny”) and Tobiah (“to weary or overburden”) tried to keep God’s people from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire before God.  Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses and were reprobate in the faith. 

More duos appear in the New Testament.  Paul warns of Hymanaeous and Alexander who had shipwrecked their faith and made it their mission to be a hindrance to him.  Phygellus and Hermogenes were cowardly and turned away from him. 

Is it any wonder that these pernicious pairs cannot face us alone?  We just have to  be aware of the context from which they operate.  They seek to hinder the work of God through His messengers. 

Christ also knows the power of two.  That’s how He sent out His disciples.  Instead of being a hindrance to the gospel of the kingdom, let us, in the Spirit’s power, become “dynamic duos.”