Sunday, 23 April 2023
“The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!” -Psalm 64:10
David was chosen by God to be a King and was given the ability to face giants and armies and fight against them in the name of the Lord. He was very successful and was well known for his valiant deeds in the battle field.
In Psalm 64 we find David facing a problem that was different from battles out in the field. Here was a battle where his enemy did not openly challenge him but made schemes and plotted on how to make him fall without a sword or spear. Their sword was their tongue and their arrows were their words. David was apprehensive about the conspiracy of the wicked who sprung surprise attacks on him.
Don’t we face similar situations from different quarters of life too? –sometimes from people who are envious or maybe at workplaces. People who perceive you as a threat, scheme to bring you down, resorting to slander and plans to trap you and put you in a situation that would bring your downfall. It’s quite common in the world. Such situations could occur anywhere and in anybody’s life.
David brought it before the Lord and asked for His intervention in the situation. He had the confidence that God would thwart the wicked schemes of the enemies.
How should we as followers of Christ handle difficult people and situations?
While we do need to bring such matters to a just God for His intervention, we can understand and practice a few principles Jesus taught us in the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Matthew 5:
1) Love your enemies (Matt 5:44). What does loving your enemy look like? Being willing to overlook the wrongs done to you, is one way. Think of how God has overlooked so many wrongs that we have done as He patiently gives us many chances to repent.
2) Matt 5: 47 [TLB] reminds us to continue to be friendly to those hostile to us. We should learn to ignore the talk that was meant to provoke us, continuing to greet them, as if we never heard them say anything provoking. It’s the best way to evade an “arrow” that was meant to hurt us.
3) Pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44). Would we call our situation “persecution”? Maybe not, but, as soon as we choose to follow Christ, we face situations that challenge us. When someone attacks us personally by slandering and plotting our downfall, it can trigger the worst response. The devil knows the confusion and anger such acts can generate in us. As children of our Father in heaven we have to immediately start praying for the person/s who are working against us, instead of holding resentment.
4) Let us remind ourselves of these familiar words of Jesus in Matt 5: 45-48, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Being perfect would seem to be the hardest thing to do in a situation where we are being personally attacked. The only response that is expected of us is to turn to the Lord and cry out to him as David did. That humility and surrender is the perfection that we are called upon to bring into our situation. Then, David’s words, “The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him.” will become real in our lives.
TO REMEMBER: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”