How to Deal with Enemies, Adversaries, and Antagonists

We all have them – the people that drive us bonkers, or cause anxiety in our lives, or simply rob us of Christ’s peace.

It may be the politician in the town who wants to restrict what you can do in your own backyard, or the policies of state and federal folk that endanger your livelihood, or even  want to encourage immorality (as if it needed it)
Our enemies may be a neighbor or a relative, or one we counted as a friend.  It might be even someone in your church body, or even closer, a member of your congregation.  Someone who you aren’t sure whether it was intentional or not, but someone who betrayed you, or hurt you,  the pain of which makes you want to cry out for revenge.

Been their done,  that, bear the scars, or at least I think I do.

The writers of the scripture, especially David and the other psalmists  knew pain well, they were threatened.  They knew enemies and adversaries well – not just the kind we deal with in America today – but those who would kill the body as well as try to kill the soul. Their answer to such people was simple – turn them over to God – let Him deal out justice.

Such is Psalm 140,  where the psalmist cries for the LORD (All capitals means it is His name – not His title)  to rescue Him from them – to keep him from the hands of the wicked.  He calls out for justice for those who are wicked – but if you look at it – that which is called out for is that they don’t succeed in their desires, that they plans are foiled, but for what purpose?

Consider Ezekiel’s take on the wicked (by definition – our enemies and adversaries are… aren’t they?)

3:18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  Ezekiel 3:18 (ESV)

and

23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?   Ezekiel 18:22-23 (ESV)

If God puts blocks in the way of their schemes, their actions, if He, as promised saves us from the snares of the evil one ( and his minions) then isn’t it possible, even probable, knowing the heart of God, that in their frustration they might determine that they  plans for evil, God will redeem and use for good?  If they grasp that, then they too will be granted repentance, even as we were.  They they will come ot know God’s peace?

In praying that God rescue us, could that rescue be accomplished by making these people His children?  To trust in God for this – yeah – that’s a level of faith we need to cry out that in His mercy – we find ourselves able to trust in Him.

Lord, may we learn to pray, as our forefathers did, that You turn the hearts of our enemies and adversaries toward you…

And then may we, having seen your mercy.. your heart, your love.. rejoice.

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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