“Even my own close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me [betraying me].”Psalms 41:9 AMP
In the course of the past week, I came across an article that changed the way I saw slave trade in the 1800s. For most of us, we understand only the stereotype that the white slave masters were the bad guys, while the Africans were poor victims of their inhumane actions. However, the article, which was written by the granddaughter of a celebrated African slave trader, said:
“African intellectuals tend to blame the West for the slave trade, but I knew that white traders couldn’t have loaded their ships without help from Africans like my great-grandfather. I read arguments for paying reparations to the descendants of American slaves and wondered whether someone might soon expect my family to contribute.”
And that got me thinking about the enemies within- our Trojan horses. Truly, no great entity can be defeated by external attacks alone without the presence of an internal weak link.
Circa 1200 B.C, the Greeks were at the losing end of a 10-year war against the city of Troy, their major obstacle being their inability to penetrate the walls of the city. A wooden horse was constructed by the army and left at the gates of the city as a peace offering to the gods of Troy while the Greek army appeared to sail away.
Against warnings from the advisors, the horse was taken into the city to signify acceptance of the offering. Unbeknownst to the Trojans, a select force of tactical soldiers from the Greek army had been hid in the hollow horse that was wheeled into the city. As night fell, the men crept out of the horse, took down the guards, and opened the gates from within for the rest of the Greek army to take the city.
Today, a “Trojan horse” is a figurative expression for a person or thing intended to undermine or secretly overthrow an enemy or opponent, further emphasizing the fact that the subtle, seemingly innocuous enemy whom the Psalmist describes as a “close friend” is often far more dangerous that those who openly attack us.
More often than not, these enemies take the form of the person between our own ears, or situations caused by our own hands. They become more dangerous because we concentrate on external factors, completely oblivious to the very cause of the problem that may be right in front of us.
So, the next time you have to troubleshoot an issue, you might want to look close within you and around your close circle for the possible Trojan horse before considering the external factors.
Have you ever had a “Trojan Horse-esque” experience? I’d love to hear you tell it, as well as what you learned from it!