One can put a thousand to flight…?


This article is just one within a body of articles categorized as

“Misquoting God”…

In this “episode” of misquoting God I will address the phrase…

Charge“If one can put a thousand to flight then two can put ten thousand to flight”

This is often misquoted in charismatic, Full Gospel or Word of Faith circles as a colloquialism to “stand in agreement” with another person against the devil. Sometimes it is also used in conjunction with another misunderstanding in scripture of attempting to “bind” the devil from a person or event.

I know many who have used this first misquote yet, I am unaware of any of them who actually knew what the reference is nor the context from which it was taken before being misapplied.

The verse is found in Deut. 32:30 and reads like this,

“How could one man pursue a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?” 

In chapter 32, God is pronouncing judgment on Israel for their pursuit and worship of other gods. Israel at this time was greater in number than the Roman Empire and yet, God placed Israel into the hands of their enemies and one was able to pursue a thousand and two ten thousand.

In this series of verses, God was lamenting that His people were so silly that they did not realize that the only reason their enemies were winning against such insurmountable odds, was because God…their Rock…had sold them into the hands of their enemies.

Now how exactly this is turned around into a positive declaration of victory due to agreement between two or more believers is beyond me.

There IS a reference which would be better suited for this proclamation, and it is found in Lev. 26:2-8,

“If you follow My statutes and faithfully observe My commands, I will give you rain at the right time, and the land will yield its produce… You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword.

Five of you will pursue 100, and 100 of you will pursue 10,000; your enemies will fall before you by the sword.”

Notice though, the difference in the numbers!

When Israel was obedient the numbers were 5 to 100 and 100 to 10,000.

When God joined with Israel’s enemies, it was 1 to 1,000 and 2 to 10,000.

I guess if you are not concerned about which covenant you are drawing your promises from then it isn’t that much more of a “leap” to switch the negative promises for the positive ones as well.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time but have just never gotten around to doing it. There are SO many verses which have been taken out of context and misused over the years that it is down right embarrassing. The worse part is that I have been one of those who commonly misused them!

This set me on a bit of a journey in scripture to discover which of my favorite “quotes” and “principles” were actually clearly represented in scripture IN THE WAY that I had been using them.

What I found embarrassed me, upset me, angered me and finally won my heart.

I’ll address the previously mentioned topics of “standing in agreement” and “binding the devil” in another post.

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!