The Noise of the Enemy
Psalms 55:1-3 ESV
“Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.”
Jesus said that we, his followers, will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. So, when we go through such times, it should not surprise us. But that doesn’t make it any less painful. Suffering is still painful. It still hurts.
Although Satan is our true enemy, he has many humans who work for him who do his bidding, although I must say that these humans may not all realize that they are being used as pawns in the hands of our enemy in order to attempt to bring us down.
These human enemies are fully aware that they are doing evil against us, though. They know good from evil. They know right from wrong, but they choose to do wrong and to not do right, and then they make excuses for why they continue to do wrong and “can’t” do right.
So, all their excuses for their behaviors are just “noise.” All their explaining away and justifying their evil practices which they choose to continue in is just empty clatter. For, they are unwilling to submit to Christ as Lord, to surrender their lives to him, and to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to God.
And that is oppressive, because they know they are hurting us, and they know what to do to not hurt us, but they continue to do what hurts us anyway, because they choose themselves over God and over us, and over faithfulness, honesty, purity, love and kindness.
And it is oppressive to us for we must bear the burden of their sins against us as they continue in their sin without genuine repentance, and without regard for how they are hurting us. And it is because they repeat the same sins and the same old excuses habitually for why they can’t change, but their explanations do not hold water, and they are cruel.
This kind of habitual sin is usually the result (the fruit) of things stored up in the heart which have not been dealt with at the cross, such as anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, envy, selfishness and the like. But an unwillingness to resolve these heart issues also shows cruelty to others.
The Enemy Who Taunts Me
Psalms 55:12-14 ESV
“For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God’s house we walked in the throng.”
The sad reality is that many of our enemies are not foreign to us. They are family members, members of our own households, friends, neighbors, companions (or former companions), members of our church fellowships, pastors and elders of our churches, and our political leaders who have sworn to protect us.
I was remarking to someone the other day that it is easier to be on Twitter than on Facebook. When I was on Facebook, the people in my feed were friends, neighbors, and people I knew personally, such as other Christians and family members, so if they came against me sharply or cruelly, it was more personal, and it hurt.
On Twitter I have no control over who is in my feed, and I don’t know anyone personally, so if anyone disagrees with me sharply, or goes to name calling, or to accusing me falsely of something, or threatens my life and wants me dead because they disagree with me, I am not hurt by it.
So, it is so true that is easier to bear up under unjust suffering if it comes from someone you don’t know, and you can just walk away from. But it is a lot harder when the attacks of the enemy against you come from those who are close to you, who are supposed to love you.
It is especially egregious that brothers and sisters in Christ should treat one another with such disdain, hatred, and cruelty as to willfully sin against one another without conscience and without true repentance or change.
God Will Humble Them
Psalms 55:19-21 ESV
“God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.”
This is so heartbreaking that husbands and wives, children and parents, friends and neighbors, and brothers and sisters in Christ would treat one another in this manner. To willfully and deliberately sin against those they say they love, and then to refuse to change is outright cruelty.
But even worse than that is to willfully, deliberately, and even premeditatedly continue sinning against Jesus even after they say they believe in him as our Lord and Savior. That shows they do not love God, they do not honor him or respect him, and they have no regard for his commandments.
Many Christian husbands or wives are living in blatant adultery against their mates via sexual (lust) addiction. They know what the Bible teaches about sin, and they know the way out, but they choose their idolatry and their adultery over love for God and love for spouse out of pure selfishness.
So they sneak around, they lie, they make excuses, even in advance, they do what they know is evil, crooked, and hurtful, and they do it habitually, because they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil, no matter who they hurt in the process.
For, they are lovers of self and of self-indulgence, and they are still on the throne of their own lives, and they are prideful, and they want to maintain control over their own lives. So, they view porn, and they masturbate, and they get involved in extramarital affairs, or they do sex-texting, etc.
Then they tell lies to protect themselves, and they justify and rationalize their behaviors, and they make excuses, and they pretend ignorance, and they embrace all sorts of teachings and philosophies which give them an “out” for their sin or which support them in continuing in their sin.
They are seekers after the impure rather than the pure. They look for ways to go where they know they ought not to go. They do internet searches without guards in place, even though they know that has led them into sin over again. They are foolish, without restraint, and without love.
But then they will put on a façade of righteousness or godliness, or they will try to do things they think are loving in place of true love, faithfulness, honesty, purity and integrity, in order to try to fool others into believing that they are living for the Lord or that they are loving their spouses.
But God is not fooled by their performances or by their excuses. He can see through them all, for he can look straight into the heart. And one day he will humble them because they did not change and because they did not fear God.
Take it to the Lord
Psalms 55:22 ESV
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.”
If you are being injured by the unloving actions of others who are willfully sinning against you and who refuse to change, who lie to you about their intentions and then who make excuses for why they “can’t” change, then take your burden to the Lord in prayer.
If you are following the Lord with your life, he will sustain you. And he will help you to remain strong in your faith despite the oppression of the enemy coming against you from those closest to you. Even though other humans have deserted you, the Lord will not. He will give you all you need to remain steadfast in faith and to continue to give him praise through it all.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!