When Faced with Enemies

Sam Petitfils

“Let them curse, but you will bless!  They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad.”  Psalm 109:28

The Bible speaks to almost every issue known to man, including how one deals with enemies. Many of the Psalms seem to pray down curses upon evil people; we call these the imprecatory Psalms. God’s servants in the Bible all faced significant enemies, and often drove them to the brink. So how do we deal with enemies?

1) Do not feel threatened by their curses.
In this verse, the Psalmist seems to give his enemies leave to curse all they want. He writes, “Let them curse.” He knows that God pays no attention to their rants and will not listen to their threats. In fact, he writes, “but you will bless.” He knows he resides under the watchful eyes of God and is not subject to the threats of others.

So when faced with threats by our enemies, do not feel intimidated or fearful. Paul echoes this thought in Philippians 1:28 where he tells his readers to not be “frightened in anything by your opponents.” People can rail all they want, but the child of God needs to keep pace with God’s will and continue in well-doing.

2) Recognize God will overthrow evil.
Though evil workers arise, they “are put to shame.” Though they seem to prosper in evil doing, their reign of terror will not last. God, usually in this life, will put them to shame. It’s crucial for our spiritual sanity to recognize this truth. God does not allow evil to run unchecked, though at times it seems to do just that. God has a timetable and a plan. Such evildoers “will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb” (Psalm 37:2). When faced with aggressive behavior from those who do not know God, recognize they “shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:9), and “be no more” (Psalm 37:10).

3) Rejoice and be glad.
Notice the hope of the godly in this verse: “. . . but your servant will be glad.” That’s right. Though evil seems to get the upper hand in this life, God will not allow His servants to go down in defeat. We should be glad and rejoice because God will vindicate His servants who look to Him for justice.

Now the New Testament reinforces these truths. Let’s examine the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:19-21:

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’  To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Such a response can only come from a person made new by the grace of God. Jesus Himself treated His enemies this way and even spoke about it (Matthew 5:38-42). The reason the child of God can treat enemies with such grace comes from knowing God will ultimately bring about universal justice and vindicate His children.

We have no reason to fret or fear. God will keep us in His perfect peace because our mind focuses on him. He will make right what sin has broken, and will not allow evil to destroy us. We need to look to Him and turn our cares and trouble over to Him. He delights in protecting those who love him.

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