My Enemies Trample on Me

Psalms 56:1-4 ESV

“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?”

Jesus said that if we follow him with our lives that we will be hated and persecuted. We will be treated like he was when he lived on this earth. His enemies will be our enemies. And who were his greatest enemies? They were rulers in the temple of God, the religious, the teachers of the Scriptures. They were people in positions of power and influence over the common people. And they were his own people of his own race and religion, and they were his neighbors and even some of his own family.

And what did they do to him that showed that they hated him and that they were persecuting him? They opposed him continuously. They hounded and harassed him at every turn. They tried to trick him and to trip him up with his words so they would have cause to accuse him. So they even laid traps for him to fall into (hoping he would fall). They attacked him hypocritically for doing good to people on the Sabbath, and they accused him falsely of actions and motivations which were not his. And they rejected him.

They also slandered him, and they stirred up other people against him, and eventually, when the time was right, they laid hold of him and arrested him and took him through a mock trial, and they beat him beyond recognition (to my understanding), and they spat upon him, and they put a crown of thorns upon his head, and they forced him to carry his own cross to his own crucifixion where they hung him on that cross to die as though he was guilty of some horrible crime worthy of death. And this can happen to us, too.

[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]

Psalms 56:5-7 ESV

“All day long they injure my cause;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk;
they watch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape?
In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!”

And who are “they” today? Well, “they” can be people in the gatherings of the church who profess to believe in Jesus, and they can be pastors and elders in these congregations. And they can be people in the world, and they can be world leaders and leaders within our individual nations, and they can be the news media, and people of prominence, and movie stars, and sports heroes. And they can be our neighbors and people who claim to be our friends, and they can even be people in our own families.

And how might they injure our cause today? Well, if our cause is the cause of Christ, and if it is the gospel of our salvation as is taught to us in the Scriptures (in context), then they could publicly come against us to try to discredit us and to take apart what we are teaching and to try to prove that what we are teaching is false and that what they are proclaiming is the truth, even though the truth is the opposite of what they are proclaiming. And they could turn others against us so that they will not listen to us.

And they could gossip about us to others and slander us and get others to turn against us that way. Or they could personally attack us face to face and accuse us falsely of teaching what is false. I think I have shared before about the time one of our friends stood in our living room yelling at me because I had been testing the teachings of two different people or groups and he felt I should join the majority and go with them for he believed the majority was right, and since I was in the minority that I must be wrong.

Psalms 56:8-11 ESV

“You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”

Now, this is not saying that men can’t do anything to us. They definitely can. They can falsely accuse us and they can yell and scream at us and they can reject us and toss us aside and cast us off as though we are worth nothing. And they can turn others against us and attack our integrity and ruin our reputations and ban us from their church properties and put us on church discipline and accuse us of not being of God and of lying when we did not lie. And they can tell us to “go someplace else where you will be a better fit.”

But the point of this is not to say they can’t do all these things and much more but that we are not to fear what they might do to us, for if we are following Jesus with our lives, he is on our side. God is watching out for us, and he has our tears in his bottle, and he cares about us and that we are hurting. And, although he may not always remove us from our painful circumstances, he will deliver us from the affects of those circumstances on our minds and on our hearts so that we can be at peace and still walk in joy.

Psalms 56:12-13 ESV

“I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.”

The important thing in all of this, no matter what enemies come against us, and no matter what damage they are able to do to us, is that we are to keep our trust in the Lord. We are to remain steadfast in our walks of faith and holiness, and we must continue to do the work of the Lord to which he has called us and for which he has equipped and provided for us to do that work. For our God is in control over all things. Nothing can happen to us but what God allows it and he has a purpose for it, and so we need to keep the faith.

And yes, if we are followers of Jesus, we have made vows to God. Our faith is a vow of commitment, of fidelity, of loyalty and of devotion to our Lord to remain true to him and to not go after other gods. For when we believe in Jesus we enter into a marriage covenant with our Lord much like the Jewish marriage in the Bible. Although our marriage to our Lord is not yet consummated (completed) still it is a covenant of marriage and one day our Lord is going to return and take us to be with him forever and at that time our marriage to him will be accomplished and our salvation will be complete.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Why Are You Afraid?

An Original Work / December 5, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

Do not be afraid.
Your Lord is always by your side.
Serve the Lord in righteousness
Before Him all your days.

Those who hate the light
Will not come to the Lord.
They fear their deeds
Might be noticed.
So, they hate the light,
And they embrace the night.

Do not be afraid,
Although your enemy attacks.
Dare to share your testimony
Of God’s saving grace.

Do not fear their threats,
But honor Christ, your Lord.
Be prepared to give an answer
For the hope you have,
With gentleness; respect.

Why are you afraid?
For all that’s hidden will be shown.
What I tell you, speak in daylight.
Let the truth be known.

Do not be afraid
Of those who’ll take your life.
Fear the Lord with understanding.
Trust Him with your life,
And give not up to strife.

Do not be afraid.
Take courage, it is I, your Lord.
Bow before Me; now adore Me.
Oh, why do you doubt?

Listen to the Lord.
Get up and bear His name!
Run and tell the world He loves them.
Jesus came to save.
Give Him your all today.

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