"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How to Deal with Enemies

This was from my pastor's message on Wednesday night. How difficult is this?

Lessons from the Life of David

How to Deal with Enemies

I Samuel 16:13-15 speaks of the Spirit of the Lord being with David and an evil spirit tormenting Saul. Those two spirits are enemies of one another, and they influence the ones who have them in their lives. Therefore God's Spirit was influencing David while the evil spirit of Saul sought to destroy David.

Jesus speaks of how people will hate those who know the Lord because they do not know the One Who sent Jesus.

In John 15, Jesus says:

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."

How does Satan work through people in our lives?

1. Unjust treatment -- I Samuel 18:13 - because of jealousy, Saul demoted David; unjust treatment can happen at work, home, church, anywhere

2. Deception -- I Samuel 18:20,21 - this speaks of times you practice supposed kindness in order to destroy someone; hypocrisy; acting nice to someone's face while plotting to destroy them

3. Unjust accusation -- I Samuel 20:30,31 - Saul sought to destroy David's reputation and divide friends

Lying and murdering comes from Satan. Jesus said in John 8,

44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

We learned that David was demoted unjustly, but he didn't choose to seek revenge or talk bad about his treatment. Look at what David did instead:

14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him. (I Samuel 18:14)

How did David respond to his enemy?

1. He honored unjust authority -- David trusted God to take care of the situation

Romans 12 says,

19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]

2. He served his enemy -- I Samuel 19:9 - David played the harp for Saul to soothe him when the evil spirit troubled Saul

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h]

3. He refused to defend himself -- He never said, "Let me tell my side!" Instead He allowed God to take care of him. Like Jesus (Isaiah 53:7), David trust his life to the One who judges righteously.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

4. He refused to retaliate -- I Samuel 24:1-5 - David could have killed Saul easily a couple times, but he refused to lift his hand against the Lord's anointed. Instead he used these testings from God to build character. Character comes from trials so instead of seeking an easy life, learn to "count it all joy" when you go through these troubles.

James 1 reminds us:

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5. He humbled himself before his enemy -- I Samuel 24:8-10 -- Remember "a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).

6. He waited for God's justice in promotion -- II Samuel 2:4 -- The Bible reminds us to "wait on the Lord." Allow Him to handle our enemies as we seek to please Him with our lives.

I Samuel 18:14 says, "and the Lord was with him." -- David chose to honor God, and God protected him, promoted him and prospered him.

Verse 16 tells us, "all Israel and Judah loved David."

Proverbs 16:7 says,
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Psalm 75 reminds us,

6 For exaltation comes neither from the east
Nor from the west nor from the south.
7 But God is the Judge:
He puts down one,
And exalts another.

Think of Joseph. How is brothers sought to get rid of him by selling him into slavery in Egypt. But God allowed Joseph to find favor with the jailer and eventually the Pharaoh. What men meant for evil, God meant for good. Trust Him to work all things out for your good.

Proverbs 3:5,6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

Romans 8:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

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