Monday, November 26, 2007

Hating the Enemies of God

When someone is very valuable to you and another person attacks them in a vile and hateful manner, how does it make you feel? If someone verbally abused your mate or your child in a hateful, open and blatant manner, how would you respond? David has just spent the first 18 verses of Psalm 139 meditating on the greatness of God. Now he focuses on those who hate the God that He loves. Who is David speaking of? Note the descriptions. He calls them the wicked (v19); Men of bloodshed (v19); God’s enemies (v20); Those who hate God (v21); and Those who rise up against God (v21). Based on these descriptions, these were not moderate, passive foes of God. They were unashamed, hateful, open and blatant despisers of God and God’s people. These individuals are mainly identified by their tongue seen in their verbal irreverence and their profanity.

What does David ask God to do? David asks God to slay the wicked. This may seem extreme but go back to the questions I raised earlier. David was not taking matters into his own hands. This is not a verse justifying blowing up abortion clinics or other atrocities committed under the banner of righteousness. David is simply stating that an enemy of God is an enemy of his as well. He longs for the day when all the enemies of God will be punished. He is also depending on God to protect him from these enemies.

Why does David make such a request? David wanted to be removed from every enemy of God. A close companionship with haters of God will take a damaging toll on our spiritual life. Spurgeon said, “Godless men are not the stuff out of which true friends can ever be made.” Paul wrote similar words in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” David hated these enemies of God meaning that he rejected them and wanted no association with them.

But David does not end the chapter with a decree for revenge on God’s enemies. The greatest hatred that we should have as followers of Christ is a hatred for sin in our own lives. Psalm 139 can be divided by direction. In verses 1-18, David looks up. In verses 19-22, David looks around. And in verses 23-24, David looks within. David asks God to search him and know his heart. The word “search” means “to explore, dig or probe.” David asks God to penetrate down to where his unspoken words dwell and where unstated motives hide in secret. He also asks God to try him and know his anxious thoughts. David is asking God to test him for secret sins. He is asking God to find anything that could distract him from his fellowship with his Creator. David desires to know anything in his life that can hurt his relationship with God. He desires to be led in “the everlasting way.” In other words, he wanted to be a man of God.

It’s easy to want God to slay His enemies in our culture today. But if we really understand how great our God is we will have even more of a hatred for sin in our own lives. We will be asking God to slay the enemies of lust, gossip, hatred, bitterness and selfishness that are found in our own hearts. When was the last time you asked God to slay the enemies of sin in your own life? How great is our God!

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