Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Against the Anger of My Foes

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. Psalm 138

I hope you took time to read the verse above slowly. Probably the first thing you felt was protection. I hope so. The Psalm is telling you that even in the midst of your crisis God’s protective hand is upon you, saving you.

I hope you also noticed exactly what God’s hand is against – the anger of your enemies. I don’t want to overstate the case here, but I think we often view God as having sides and because we count ourselves among the righteous, that means God is opposed to those who stand opposed to us. We can find many Psalms that speak about God in more aggressive ways concerning our enemies. However, this one seems to speak against the anger of our foes.

The word is about frustrating the plans some may have to harm us, to bring disgrace on the name of our God through the negation of his blessings to us. The verse from Psalm 138 speaks not so much against our enemies as against their plans for us, because, as hard as it may be for us to grasp, God loves those who oppose us too.

Yes, that can be an uncomfortable realization. God loves our enemies. He may not love what they do to us, what they say about us, or how they might work to nullify his purposes in our life, but he loves them. Why does God call us to love and forgive our enemies? Because that is what he does with them!

Imagine that person you have been at war with for years, the person that, regardless of the issue, the two of you are on opposite sides. God loves that person and wants to work in their life to bring blessings and peace. This may mean the two of you begin to agree on things, but it may not. God will work in their life to bring about his own purposes and glory, not just to make your life easier.

So, the next time you find yourself in a friend – foe situation, remember, your foe may still be God’s friend. Love and forgive them because God himself has done that very same thing for them as well.

Pastor Craig