Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Psalms 140-142

Today’s devotional commentary will focus on the opening verses of Psalm 140 where David prays, “Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man” (140:1).  Take a moment and note David not only knew his enemy, he also defined the character of his enemy–“evil”.  Let’s take a lesson from David’s prayer and consider how he described the nature and manner of his enemy (Psalm 140:1-5).

Psalm 140:1 – Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man [wicked; immoral]: preserve me from the violent man [unjust; cruel; malicious];

Psalm 140:2 – Which imagine [devise; plot; purpose] mischiefs [evil; wickedness] in their heart; continually [always; daily] are they gathered together [assembled] for war [battle; fighting].

Psalm 140:3 – They have sharpened [pierced] their tongues [talk; speech] like a serpent; adders’ [viper] poison [fury; wrath; rage; indignation] is under their lips. Selah.

Psalm 140:4 – Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed [devised; plotted] to overthrow [cast down; i.e. with intent to harm; to drive away] my goings [steps].

Psalm 140:5 – The proud [arrogant] have hid a snare [trap] for me, and cords [a noose]; they have spread a net [i.e. a trap for catching animals] by the wayside; they have set gins [traps] for me. Selah.

David understood the sinful character of his enemy (“evil, violent, wicked, and proud”).  He also did not underestimate his enemy’s malicious ways and intent… plotting, always fighting, threatening words…not retreating until they had overthrown and entrapped him.

David’s characterization of his enemy might shock the sensibilities of some Christians; however, it should not.  Disregarding or minimizing the character of one’s enemy is not only foolish, it is dangerous.

Permit me to make a political and spiritual observation on this point.

Political observation: Liberal news media outlets, Hollywood personalities, and left-wing politicians are engaging in an unremitting attack on President Donald Trump, his family, and administration in a way I have never witnessed.

While I would not hold up the President as a model of conservatism or a perfect moral standard, I nevertheless appreciate his political agenda upholds Constitutional liberties and his conservative ideas, so maligned by his enemies, are frequently parallel to my own as a Christian.

American Christians would be wise to awaken to the reality the liberal left’s unmasked vitriol of hate, lies, and distortions are as much about eroding Christian values and morals in our nation as they are in attacking and overthrowing the presidency.

A spiritual observation: I find a naiveté in the 21st century church regarding the depths of depravity in the hearts of sinful men.  In a nation where “political correctness” is endorsed over principle and professing Christians tolerate sin in the name of “Christian liberty”, there is a reticence among preachers and churches to confront the sins of society.

It is not enough to know the enemies of Christ and His people.  It is not enough to define what manner of people the enemy are…evil, wicked, violent, and proud.  We must accept as our mandate Paul’s challenge to Timothy as he was writing from his prison cell in Rome and awaiting his execution:

2 Timothy 4:2, 5 – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine…5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

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