From Those Who Work Evil

Those Who Work Evil
Psalms 59:1-5 ESV

“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me;
deliver me from those who work evil,
and save me from bloodthirsty men.

“For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
fierce men stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to meet me, and see!
You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel.
Rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah”

Who are our enemies? They are all those who oppose the truth of the gospel, who chart their own course, who go their own way, and who give no regard for the holiness and righteousness of God, but who think that God is all together like them, and that he should conform to their likeness.

Now, they may not verbalize those exact thoughts, but by their behaviors they do. For, they are rude, crude, indecent, impure, and full of lust, thinking solely or mainly about themselves and about fulfilling their own fleshly desires, with little regard for who they will hurt in the process.

And I am speaking here of some who profess faith in Jesus Christ, some of whom are in prominent positions within the gatherings of the church or who are in positions of leadership and/or influence over others. They mainly feed their own appetites, and they resist anyone who opposes their behaviors.

But they will try to mask what is going on in their minds and hearts with religious performance or with some other kind of disguise. They will try to hide their true character, but it keeps spilling out in what they do and in what they say. For, they cannot hold it inside.

Some of them I think would kill their own grandmothers if they got in their way or if it suited their purposes. For this is speaking of those who work evil against others willfully and premeditatedly, plotting evil on their beds. For, they want to remove all opposition to themselves.

Therefore, they are opposed to the truth of the gospel for it exposes their sins and the attitude of their hearts for what they are. It exposes their evil deeds, and it calls sin what it is. And they don’t like that. For they don’t want their evil deeds exposed, which is why they won’t come into the light.

So, they create their own gospel message which appeases the flesh, and which allows them to go on in their sin guilt free while promising them heaven when they die, regardless of how they live their lives on the earth. So, they oppose those who expose the false gospel for what it is, too.

So, this is a call for God to help, to come to the aid of those who are being abused, oppressed, fought against, and falsely accused of wrong they did not do. For those who plot evil will lie against those who are righteous in how they live, especially if they feel threatened by them.

O My Strength!
Psalms 59:8-10, 16-17 ESV

“But you, O Lord, laugh at them;
you hold all the nations in derision.
O my Strength, I will watch for you,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”

“But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.”

But God is still in control. Jesus Christ is still fully sovereign over all that he has made. Although God allows evil to exist, he will punish those who do evil. They will not be able to prevail forever. If not soon, one day the Lord will step in and he will deliver us from our enemies and from our suffering.

But even though we still have to suffer at the hands of those who hate the Lord and his gospel, and even though he may not physically remove us from that suffering anytime soon, we can still find refuge and comfort in Jesus and in his love and in his strength which he gives us so we can endure.

He will help us not to give in to fear or intimidation. He will help us say “No!” to those who will try to convince us to compromise or to give in to fear. And he will help us to stand strong in our faith and to resist the devil and to not fear what humans may do to us, and to be at peace, too.

So, even though we have enemies coming against us to try to trip us up or to attack us or to try to convince others to hate and reject us, or who are doing evil against us behind our backs because they want to take us out, we are not to fear them or what they might do.

We are, instead, to draw on the strength of the Lord to carry us through, and we are to rejoice in the Lord and in his strength, and we are to keep on in following our Lord in obedience and in being and doing who he has called us to be and to do, all for the glory of God who gives us strength.

YOU RAISE ME UP

Brendan Graham / Rolf Lovland

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.

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