Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
In our last post, the passage emphasized the trials David experienced, a hopeless that was expressed by outward and inward enemies. Multiple iniquities, more than the hairs of his head, and evils surrounding him.
His heart was failing.
As we consider our passage, verse 13 reflects David’s heartfelt desire to see God active and working, delivering his child from all his enemies. David is not asking for mercy in this request, but that the motivating factor to drive God in delivering his child is God’s own pleasure in saving those who call out to Him. Not only is David appealing to God to take pleasure in delivering the saint, but that the Lord would make haste.
I love doing things that please me. I love writing in this blog, and will get up early in the morning in order to be involved with the text and to ask God for direction. I take pleasure in it! I usually (always?) put off things that I take no pleasure in (weeding the garden for example), in order to do that which pleases me. Of course this is a comparison of earth with heaven, yet that which we are pleased to do, we seek to find time to do.
How about God? Do you see God as a God who takes pleasure in delivering His saints? Is the God you worship a God that is reluctant in delivering the saint? Is He One who is distant and would rather not be bothered?
What is it that God takes no pleasure in? What actions does God prefer not to be involved in (I speak as a man)? A quick search of the Word brings a number of verses for my reader to consider.
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” – Ezekiel 18:32 ESV
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. – Hebrews 10:6 ESV
but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” – Hebrew 10:38 ESV
After David appeals to God for deliverance, he speaks of the natural outcome of this deliverance as he understood it. Deliverance for David would mean the doom of his enemies.
He speaks of “those” enemies that he was facing, that they be put to shame, disappointed, turned back, brought to dishonor and appalled.
Let’s remember that David is a man of war, that his perspective was that of victory or defeat against his foes. The entire kingdom of Israel existed through military conquest, and for the nation to continue, it’s physical enemies would need to be held back.
Is it so for us as the body of Christ in the church age? Are we dealing with physical enemies, and should we seek their downfall, that they be put to shame?
Consider the contrast of David’s desire for his enemies with the New Testament teaching provided to the saints.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 ESV
Is it fair to deduce from this passage that since we do not wrestle against the physical, that we are also not to enter into adversarial attitudes with those who may appear to be “against” us?
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, – Matthew 5:44 ESV
In my opinion, (which is worth less than two pennies) this is the most challenging single verse in the Bible to live out. I am a naturally pessimistic, argumentative and judgmental fella, and find that an attitude of grace and mercy towards those I meet with during my day to day life is impossible without the continual help from God in thinking and behaving properly, under His direction.
Our outlook on life is to be per the Messiah’s teaching and though we often feel as David felt in this passage, we have a higher calling, a calling that will prioritize love over revenge, of forgiveness over bitterness, of prayer over argumentation.
We have a high calling brothers. Let us remember the challenge, and seek to follow the One who loved us when we were enemies!
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. – Romans 5:10
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