Psalms 57:1-3 ESV
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!”
We all have enemies, no matter who we are. Even some of the most loved people on this earth have or have had those who did not like them, perhaps out of jealousy and resentment. But as followers of Jesus Christ we have additional enemies because Satan is our number one enemy and he is out to get us to take us down, because he doesn’t want us following Jesus, and he doesn’t want us spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
So, those who are still living for sin and for the flesh, especially those professing faith in Jesus Christ, they may become our enemies because they don’t want to hear messages which tell them that they must repent of their sins and follow Jesus in obedience and that if they don’t they will not inherit eternal life with God. Now, if the messages are in writing on the internet, they don’t have to read them, but some do anyway, and then get angry.
But if we are those who take God and his word seriously, and if we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and if we are spreading the gospel of Jesus to the world around us, including to the worldly church, we will face opposition. And that is because we live in a day and time, at least here in America, where the truth of the gospel is not being taught much any more at all in favor of a feel-good gospel.
This feel-good gospel makes no demands on its adherents to walk in righteousness and holiness and to leave their lives of sin behind them to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. And so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are still living in sin, still in slavery to sin, still deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over and over again, while they claim Jesus as their Lord and heaven as their eternal destiny.
And so if we are not among those who are following after this feel-good gospel, we will be hated, rejected, slandered, betrayed, ignored, falsely accused, attacked verbally, mistreated, ostracized, and treated as though we are the enemy, and as though we are the ones in error, and as though we are being judgmental, self-righteous, intolerant and unkind for telling the truth. For the truth is not what people want to hear these days.
Psalms 57:4-5 ESV
“My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!”
I think that whenever I read these words “in the midst of lions” I think “in the midst of liars.” Liars and deceivers abound in our day and age. Politicians lie, the news media lies, government officials and health officials lie, preachers lie, spouses lie, children lie, Christians tell lies, teachers lie, and the list goes on and on. Every day we are being faced with lies in the news media and on social media and coming from the mouth of the government.
Sometimes I wonder if there are many people at all anymore who are telling the truth. It is nearly impossible to know who is telling the truth these days, and even if we do know, because of experience, and because of people’s histories, if we don’t have evidence, we can’t prove it, so we can’t say with any certainty that it is a lie, but we can suspect it. Now some lies are obvious, but not all are, especially in areas not provable.
But it is a sad place to be not being able to trust people, especially those who are habitual liars. It is sad knowing that people are lying to us all the time, keeping things hidden from us, secretly sinning against us, betraying us with their lies and with their sins against us. And it is even sadder that so many people are naively trusting these people and they are just accepting the lies as truth because “so and so” said it.
Too many professing Christians are buying into the cheap grace gospel which tells them that all they have to do is “believe” but without really explaining what biblical faith is and what that faith should look like. And so they are either giving them the impression or they are telling them outright that they don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord or obey him or forsake their sinful practices, but they will still go to heaven when they die.
And they are doing so because they are not testing what they hear. If it sounds good to their ears, they put a “like” on it or they share it (on social media) or they just accept it because it eases their consciences and it gives them permission to keep living in sin without guilt. So many are not reading the Scriptures for themselves (in context) but they are relying on others to tell them what it says, and so many people are following the lies.
Psalms 57:6-10 ESV
“They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.”
Those who are promoting this cheap grace gospel aren’t just teaching lies, but they are strongly opposing the truth. And they are setting traps for those who are believing the truth. And this is why we need to study the Scriptures for ourselves for there are many of these traps out there just waiting for someone to “take the hook” and to fall or to not know how to answer and then be discredited.
But we can’t fear them, and we have no control over them or what they will do or what they will say to us or about us. We have no control over what will happen to us next or what tomorrow will bring us. What we have to hold on to is that God holds us in his hands and he is the one in control of what happens to us. And we just have to keep obeying the Lord in doing and in saying what he tells us and leave the consequences in his hands.
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
By Ira F. Stanphill
I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.
I don’t know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I’m covered with His blood.
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