When I was a little boy, I was scared to death of one particular dog in our neighborhood that chased me every time I went down the street. The more he would chase me, the faster I would run. The faster I ran, the faster he ran.
One day, I’d had enough. I just got fed up with being scared of that dog. I was running down the street, with him chasing after me, when suddenly I stopped and whirled around and shouted at him, “Stop it!”
To my surprise, that dog stopped. He looked at me as if to say, “Do you really mean it?” And I glared back at him full force. Then he turned around and ran the other way.
I hadn’t realized until that moment that I had the authority to speak to that dog in a way that he knew — and I knew — that I had the upper hand.
The Bible uses the word “rebuke” in a number of places. That word literally means, “Stop it! That’s enough!”
In Malachi 3:10˗11, we read these great words: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes.”
When we give to God’s work on this earth, He promises to rebuke the devil on our behalf. He’ll say, “Stop it! That’s enough! You will have no more hold on this person’s life!” And believe me, God has the upper hand! When God rebukes the devil on your behalf, the devil is rebuked!