And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee – Job 1:15; The Bible
Satan went to God to make a request to attack Job. Isn’t it surprising that Satan did not appear physically to attack Job neither did he send a demon but Job’s
possessions were attacked by people? People who were ‘inspired’ by the devil. The third attack also came from people – the Chaldeans. The third category of people are Subtractors – represented by the minus sign “-“.
Subtractors signifies loss. It could be a loss of physical possessions as we see in Job’s case. Subtractors can cause a great deal of loss by empowering one’s weakness. Consider Jonadab and Amnon in the book of 2nd Samuel of the Bible:
And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? Wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister. And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand. 2 Samuel 13: 2 – 5; The Bible
Amnon eventually raped Tamar, this ultimately led to his death in the hands of Absalom. Anyone that encourages you to sin is a subtractor. Some will consistently give you bad counsel. You need to be conscious of the results that such counsel produce. Wisdom is known by her children. Subtractors can cause a loss of favour. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son, David invited him to the palace to regularly feast at the king’s table and also restored to him Saul’s possessions in Ziba’s custody. Ziba waited for the opportuned moment to undo Mephibosheth. David was fleeing from Absalom his son and Ziba met him. He gave food supplies to King David and then proceeded to lie against Mephibosheth. The result of the lie was this:
Then said the King to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth… – 2 Samuel 16:4; The Bible
Much later the King and Mephibosheth met and the King asked him why he did not go with him when Absalom turned against him:
And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame.
Who is the Ziba in your life? May the wisdom of the Lord direct you. Some subtractors are sometimes impostors, who pretend as if they are friends but with a negative agenda in mind. Sometimes they are very close people. They are usually effective when they are close, especially within your inner circle. The closer they are, the more effective their destructive acts. From that vantage point, they can run errands for the enemy. For good measure Jesus said:
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. – Matthew 10:36; The Bible
Delilah was on hand to undo Samson. Through persistence and emotional
manipulation, she was able to discover the secret of Samson’s power and sold him to the enemy. Judas was a subtractor; he sold Jesus to the enemy. Joseph’s brothers were subtractors; they were envious of him and sold him to slavery.
Sometimes people oscillate to the subtractor level when they allow the flesh to take hold of them. Peter was an additioner and a multiplier but in a careless moment, he functioned as a subtractor.
But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. – Mark 8:33; The Bible
Peter has just operated in the Spirit by saying Jesus was the Christ here in Mark 8:29: “And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” But in the next moment, he was off-key. The key here is to be sensitive. Sometime an ally can become a subtractor when offended as we see in the case of Ahithophel.
Those who are walking in disobedience are subtractors – the wrath of God is upon them and the consequence of their actions can come on their fellows. Consider Jonah whose disobedience almost led to a shipwreck. Some subtractors are also trailed by curses, such that wherever they go, they bring the evil with them. Those who want to help them are those they seek to destroy. Those who help them get into trouble. Some will cause a loss of favour, promotion etc. Some of them are versed in the art of eye-service and are social masquerades. Some are agents of darkness. It takes a great deal of wisdom and maturity to maintain a relationship with a subtractor.
Subtractors can undo one’s destiny if given room to operate, cause immense setbacks and negative reversal and even death if one is careless with his life. Some of the tools of trade of a subtractor are lies, tale bearing, back-biting, manipulation, deception, gossip, character assassination and eye-service to mention a few. If you are a subtractor, repent and move over onto the positive side.
We will conclude on this with the last category – Dividers, in the next series. The wisdom of God will keep you and direct your paths. You will not be a victim of enemies of your destiny, you will be victorious.