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People Skills | Psalm 5, Romans 12:14, 17-21, Matthew 10:16, Psalm 37:5-6

Today, we’re talking about how to handle enemies in life, with the help from King David and his many enemies. Know that God will bring forth righteousness and justice. We’re called to bless our enemies and allow Him to handle the rest. It’s hard – I get it! But let’s lean into His truth. He will rescue us from our enemies.

Let’s jump in and find out how.

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In World War II, the enemy was clear. They wore swastikas on their sleeves. Their leader had a mustache and a heart filled with hatred. It’s easy to see an evil dictator as an enemy. It’s a lot harder when you’ve got an enemy in the cube next to yours at work or at school or in your neighborhood. Shark Week continues on the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and if you’re dealing with an enemy that is a person in your life, you are not alone. Today we’re going to talk about attacks from people in your life. And you know who dealt with this a lot? King David. He had many enemies, including a king who wanted to kill him, who hunted him down like an animal for a long period of time. And I’m so thankful that King David wrote down so many of his prayers. You’ll find them in the Psalms. Today, we begin in Psalm 5, King David writes,

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.

David starts off by saying, only God can get me out of this situation. Maybe you can do that too. “God, you’re the only one who can help me.” Say that. Let him know you are trusting him alone. Verse three now.

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. 5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. 6 You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. 8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. 10 O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.

See, David is reminding himself and reminding you and I today, that we are surrounded by God’s shield of love. He sees what you’re going through. He doesn’t miss a thing. So, what do you do when someone is persecuting you? When someone is hurt you at work or school or in your neighborhood? I’ve dealt with this before. Let’s go back to school for a second. It was 11th grade, I think, and I was in Mrs. Siemens Spanish class. There was a girl in class, I won’t say her name, we’ll call her Jennifer. It wasn’t her real name, and she used to call me Chubs. “Oh, Chubs, did you forget to do your homework again?” And it broke my heart. It humiliated me every day in class. I can still see where I was sitting in that classroom and where Jennifer was sitting. And one day Jennifer sneezed, and I was a Christian by this point in my life, I gave my life to Jesus when I was 16, and I took a deep breath and I said three words. God bless you. And a silence fell over the class because everybody knew that Jennifer was my enemy. And I think it preached a sermon that day because I don’t remember her ever making fun of me and calling me chubs again. It’s powerful when we do what God tells us to do, and he is giving us a prescription in Romans chapter 12. Let’s begin in verse 14. Join me there.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

In those moments in that classroom it was a very simple thing that I did by saying, God bless you. But it was very hard and it was very powerful. Dropping down to verse 17 now,

Never pay back evil with more evil.

I know it’s tempting.

Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

I know how your emotions can get the best of you, and it does feel like evil conquers me sometimes, when I’m so angry, angry at someone for trying to hurt me or going behind my back, whatever it is. But you know what? We don’t have to let evil conquer us. We can conquer evil by doing good. One way you do good when someone has done you evil is bless them. It’s hard. Sometimes it feels like there’s cotton balls in your mouth trying to blow them. Lord, bless them. Lord, say the name of the person in this case for me, I’m going back to high school. Bless Jennifer, Lord. Bless her family. Start by asking God to bless her dog. Whatever it takes, it’s a good place to start. I also want to give you a prayer and a promise before our time is up today. The prayer comes from Matthew chapter 10, verse 16. Jesus said,

“…be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”

And when I’m dealing with an enemy as a person, when a person is attacking me, I will say, Lord, in this situation, please make me shrewd as a snake and harmless as a dove. The promise I want to leave you with today comes from Psalm 37 verses five and six.

Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him and he will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun.

Nothing escapes our Lord. He rescued King David and he will rescue you from your enemies too. All right, until next time. You are really loved.

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