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Follower of One : Missions For The Rest Of Us

Mike Henry Sr.

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774 Thoughts Toward Enemies - Enjoying God Part 7 -Psalm 139:19-22

• 4 min

Are we really supposed to hate our enemies? Hi, I'm Mike Henry Sr. with Follower of One. Thanks for joining me again today on the Follower of One Podcast.  Since I committed to a series on Psalm 139, I have to read the parts that are challenging to us too. And that's what we find today in verses 19 through 22. I'm reading from the New American Standard Bible. "Oh, that you would slay the wicked. O God; Depart from me, therefore, men, of bloodshed. For they speak against You, wickedly; And Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies." Once again, that's Psalm 139 verses 19 through 22.  So my question that I opened with is, "Are we supposed to hate our enemies?" This clearly is what David is doing here. He's stating this very clearly in Psalm 139. But we have new information. We have information that's more recent than this and was spoken by Jesus and is in the New Testament. How do these things not contradict each other?  In Matthew 5:43-44, it says, "You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Jesus is speaking in that passage. And so I believe we get our challenge here from the idea that we can read the Old Testament as being something that is descriptive of what was going on: it describes what's going on. Or it can be prescriptive that it can be a prescription for how we're supposed to live. And in these four verses I believe what we're reading is a description of how David felt. David was honest with God, and I believe we're called to be honest with God as well. I do, in fact, hate the people who hate God. But I don't know who those people are. You see this side of eternity, we can't tell. They might be trapped in a sin, or they may be in a position of difficulty.  Even people who violently object to the things of Christ in our world today,  it's still possible for them to be saved. And therefore, I don't think we can determine who the enemies of God are. Everything is still cloaked in this fallen world. And therefore Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.  And that's my challenge to us today. Even as we read what David felt and thought about his enemies in that day, we don't go all the way there. In fact, we postpone that and we trust God to handle that and make it right. God will get right with the world. And if people are enemies of God's, they will suffer the consequences. But all of us in flesh today, all of those people that you meet at work today, the people that you interact with today, they're people that we can pray for. And they're people that we can try and figure out how to love and appreciate.  So let's look for ways to appreciate people today. How can we show appreciation even to people who are cruel to us are difficult to us?  Now don't put yourself in a position where you will be harmed. Let's use some common sense here. But in our normal workplaces, we're not in a position of harm. We might be in a position where someone would like for us to be gone, or there's something difficult going on in our workplace. Pray for the people that are involved in that and ask God to show you ways that you can be a blessing to them.  That's our command today. Even when we read these statements in the Old Testament, we can use those to help us remember that our job is to love them and it's God's job to make it right. And he will do that.  Thanks for being a marketplace minister. And thank you for joining us on this podcast. Consider joining our online community. We're a group of everyday Christians who are trying to figure out how to glorify God in our daily lives. You can join us at https://community.followerofone.org. Thanks very much.  

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