DO WE RECOGNIZE OUR ENEMIES?
READ: Psalm 35:1-10
“How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!” Psalm 35:17 (NLT)
Not everything in the Psalms is peaceful and uplifting. For example, Psalm 35 embodies a voice of revenge, anger and pleading. The Psalmist asks God to confound his enemies and chase them away, to make them ashamed. Some readers accustomed to receiving comfort from the psalms may wonder how this type of writing found its way into the Holy Book. Many who tend to think of the Psalms as being edifying are not aware that a good portion (roughly 20%) involves requesting God to punish enemies in a variety of ways. The counsel “to turn the other cheek” or “to forgive 70 times 7” is largely absent from this section of the Bible.
Few of us have adversaries actively plotting our demise. No, usually our primary enemies, with which we should be concerned, dwell within us. The great evangelist, Dwight L, Moody, once remarked, “ I have more trouble with myself than with any other man I ever met.”
A quote from Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us” quite clearly identifies the problem. Most of us in our more honest moment could, no doubt, make similar observations.
Yes, our enemies are most often within rather than without, but that does not make them less dangerous to our well-being! Like a leader in a military campaign, we must try to identify them. Some common indwelling enemies are anger, hate, lust, jealousy and revenge, just to name a few. These are the “weapons” that Satan can readily use to lead us to sin. We need to not only identify these enemies but also closely delineate circumstances that evoke them and give them power over us. However, it is important to remind ourselves as we attempt to combat these foes: we are not alone. The Holy Spirit will, if we request, guide and strengthen us for the battle.