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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

March 17 2024


Sunday March 17

Responding to Evil and Violent People

 

Psalm 140:1-8

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men,

2 Who plan evil things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war.

3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.

5 The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set traps for me. Selah

6 I said to the LORD: "You are my God; Hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.

8 Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; Do not further his wicked scheme, Lest they be exalted. Selah

 

If there is one thing that we should learn from the life of David that we can apply to our journey as believers, it is that before we can wear the crown, we must experience the Cross. Jesus also exemplified this great truth of the Bible. Suffering always precedes a greater experience of the presence of God in our lives. The persecuted church leaders in China told us, “Don’t pray that persecution will stop, but that we will have faith, patience and strength to endure it. Persecution is good for the church; it keeps us purified.”

 

Psalm 140 was born out of a time of intense suffering and persecution in the life of David. For 15 long years after he was anointed to be the next king of Israel by the prophet Samuel David experienced hell on earth as Saul became jealous and sought to kill him. When David still tried to serve on Saul’s court, he was surrounded by evil and violent men who hated him because of his righteous life and pure motives.

 

In verses 1-5, we see what sinners will always do to those who live righteous lives around them. They will hate them and attempt to remove them. David was a light in the midst of great darkness and so are we today! Our lives expose the evil intents of wicked hearts, and they can’t stand it. A sinner will either repent or he will attempt deny even the existence of a holy God to cover his evil deeds and to enjoy the temporary pleasure he receives from them.

 

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world…”. A righteous life condemns the wicked around us and they can’t stand it. Jesus said that is why they hated Him and that we would be hated for the same reason. My friend we are experiencing this in America today as the media, Hollywood, and liberal politicians mock, deride and blame Christians for everything.

 

In verses 6-8, David first responds to this persecution by affirming his faith in the LORD! We also must affirm our faith in the Lord and not be ashamed to confess it openly. We must humbly ask Him for the help we need to live and work among difficult people who hate us and want to see us fail.

 

Also, whenever David found himself in that kind of a situation, he gave himself to prayer and asked God for the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. Here he asked God to put a helmet on his head and protect him from deception and danger. This reminds us of Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” 

 

He also prayed for his enemies, that their evil desires would change, and their evil plans would not succeed. If they succeeded, they would only become proud and go on to do greater evil. Our prayers for godless people must focus on changing their character, and not just stopping their persecution of believers. In the New Testament we are taught by Jesus to do this: “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” (Matthew 5:44). Someone must have prayed this for Saul in the book of Acts, and he became the great apostle who “turned the world upside down” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

May the LORD give us grace to respond in this way today!

 

God bless!

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