Do you know, I used to read the Psalms and wonder why David seemed so obsessed with his enemies? He interrupts his own conversations with God over and over again to talk to his enemies or talk to God about his enemies. They dominate his pleas for help and intrude into his declarations of God’s goodness. It’s hard to get far in the Psalms without running into talk of enemies.
For years, I skimmed quickly past those passages, not thinking much about them other than to make the mental note that David had real enemies and I didn’t, thank the Lord.
And then God started writing the Katie story. And then He started writing the Pleven story. And then He started writing the Tommy story.
Now we understand David the Psalmist better than we used to. We understand a bit more from the inside what it’s like to be chosen by God to be part of a public story when we didn’t seek it out, and of the weight of responsibility that comes with that. We have a better understanding of what it means to live without the luxury of suffering ones’ troubles in privacy, and how publicity can intensify our experience of both the good and the evil that is already present in society. We understand now what it’s like to be in a position that draws personal fire from those who hate God. Now we have experienced that the awareness of the animosity of our enemies must be reckoned with as a real part of our lives whether we asked for it or not.
David lived all this to a far greater degree than I have, and now I identify a bit more with what he writes about his enemies. He did not cater to their demands of him, cower before them in paranoia, allow them to interpret God’s world and ways to him, live in denial of them, grow hard and cynical because of them, or try to take revenge on them. He is a magnificent model for me of how to think and feel and talk about those who hate us.
Of course, the real story is not about David or us or any other human being. The real story is as immense and sweeping as the whole of history and into eternity.
The truth is that there are those who hate everything God loves. You name it; if God loves it, they will hate it. They aren’t reasonable; they have to hate it; they can’t help themselves.
They are not the real enemy; they are pawns held captive to the enemy of our souls to carry out his bidding–unfruitful works of darkness.
And we who love and follow the Lord Jesus are not the real target of the enemy’s hatred. His antagonism is with the Truth, and he will use any underhanded tactics at his disposal–even using the voices of those who love the Lord to speak false ideas–to lie, accuse, steal, kill, and destroy against the Truth wherever he finds it.
And just as God is using David’s openness about his enemies to help me, I am willing to be open about my personal battles for the sake of the readers who are hard-working, Jesus-loving, exhausted, struggling moms of many children and adoptive moms. Many of you have been open with me one-on-one and like me, you have at times been easy targets for the father of lies and the enemy of all that is good. And yes, it can be especially troubling when he speaks his wrong-headed perspective through otherwise kind people who love God but have been deceived by our culture’s point of view.
May God have mercy on those who are enslaved by the evil one. May their hostility against us and our calling drive us all the more to the great Lover of our souls. May we listen all the more to His voice alone, and put our hope in Him alone.
Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.