Psalms 140:1-3 ESV
“Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;
preserve me from violent men,
who plan evil things in their heart
and stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s,
and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah”
Who are these “evil men” today in our present world, and/or in America, and/or in the church at large in America? They are the thieves and robbers Jesus spoke of (John 10) who are out to destroy the church and who care nothing for the people (the sheep), for they are hired hands. And they are the “strangers” who we are to run away from. And they are those who use cunning and craftiness and deceitful scheming in their evil plans which are for conquering the nations, and the people, and for destroying the church.
And they are liars and deceivers and manipulators who are charlatans, and who are wolves in sheep’s clothing, whose goal it is to trick and to trap the people in their webs of deception. And some (or many) of them are pastors of church congregations (or of what is falsely being called “church”). And some of them are just ordinary people who are husbands and wives and fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and children of parents, but who plot evil against others in their hearts and who like stirring things up.
And we must be on our guard against them for they are usually very manipulative, and they can come across as charming and innocent while they have a snake’s bite. And they will use the art of stirring things up to try to get us to fight with them, or they will try to manipulate us via their emotions, or they will try to put words in our mouths that aren’t there, or they will do all sorts of tricks to try to get us to fail in some way so that they can accuse us falsely of what we did not do.
Psalms 140:4-5 ESV
“Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
preserve me from violent men,
who have planned to trip up my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
and with cords they have spread a net;
beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah”
So, we must take these matters to the Lord in prayer and pray for his wisdom and ask him to guard us from the hands of the wicked. For evil people abound these days who are plotting evil against others, and who are plotting evil against the righteous. And so we need the Lord to help us to see their tricks and their traps so that we do not fall into them, and so that we do not get caught in their snares. For their tricks are many, and if one doesn’t work, they will try another and another until one does work.
And there are many reasons that evil people do this to other people. In some cases, it is because they want to get rid of them, but they need to do it in a conniving way so as to escape suspicion, and in order to put it all on the other people who they are trying to put away. Some of them do it to silence voices they do not want to be heard, and so they will try to discredit some people so that others will stop listening to them. It is basically mostly for all the same reasons Jesus’ opponents did evil toward him.
Psalms 140:6-8 ESV
“I say to the Lord, You are my God;
give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord!
O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah”
When we are treated in the manner as this describes here, and especially if that treatment comes through the hands of people who are supposed to care for us, or who give the impression that they do, and who themselves are trusted people and so above suspicion, we seriously need to call upon the Lord to give us counsel and wisdom and direction to make the right decisions, and to know when to speak, and what to say, and what not to say, and when to be silent. And we should never respond in the flesh.
We need to allow the Lord to lead us in this and to be our strength and for us to not rely on our own strength and wisdom, which may be a pitfall for us. And we have to be so guarded in how we respond, for these people are tricksters by profession and they know all the many ways at getting at us and at getting their desired response from us. So, we can’t go this alone, and we must not let them stir up our emotions to where we will fight. We can certainly speak the truth in love, and stand for what is right, and stand against what is evil, but we should not let them drag us into a fight.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]
Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redman
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be the name of the Lord
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
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