What greatness is it that The Lord fights for us? How awesome is it that He defends us? He doesn’t take lightly when people mess with His children. When countries made war with Israel and took her captive, even when God used that war and captivity to discipline Israel, he still punished the countries in question.
Years ago, I was a nurse for a residential medical care home for severely disabled people. For some reason two of the other day nurses didn’t like me. Not only didn’t they like me, they maliciously planned to hurt me, to catch me at some wrongdoing and trip me up so that I would lose my job. Every time I turned around they were giving some false report to our supervisor. It was very difficult to go to work in such a stressful hate-laden atmosphere.
I have an anxiety disorder which often makes me cry when I try and speak in stressful situations. So when they would bring their attacks on me and we would try to settle it, I would sob. Not because I wanted to, and certainly not to get sympathy, but they used that against me as well, even stooping to childish name calling. That crying kept me from being able to speak for myself. But God was there. He spoke for me. He spoke to the nurse supervisor and opened her eyes to the situation. They went above the supervisor’s head to the administrator when they decided she was biased. But God kept defending me. The administrator got very tired of their juvenile antics and told the middle-aged women to grow up.
This Psalm, given to me by one of the techs on my team was a Godsend.
Verses 1-3 read,
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
3 Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation!”
A buckler is a type of shield, one used in combat and just as much a weapon as a protection. The Lord not only protects us but with the shield and buckler and spear and javelin He fights for us. Up close and long distance He is both an offensive and defensive fighter. He fights for us and He defends us. How glorious is that? And through it, He reminds us He is our salvation.
I don’t know if the two nurses, who were best friends and 25 years my senior ever felt the guilt of their acts. I did try and befriend them, but they were not interested. I wanted them to admit their wrongdoing and hate but they refused. They just looked at me with disdain. I wanted so much for them to feel at least convicted. But I don’t know if they ever did. They felt justified in their war on me. But both women claimed to be Christians, and I know if they were, the Lord would deal with them, because He disciplines those He loves, and if they weren’t then they would eventually pay for their acerbic accusations and spiteful schemes.
David also asked The Lord to make His enemies feel the shame of their evil. He wanted to see them punished. Verses 4-6 read,
“Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed
who devise evil against me!
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away!
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!”
I think when someone is so viciously attacking us, it is easy to call down judgement on them. But it is better and easier on the soul to let God be God. We can trust Him to hold us, we can trust that Judgment Day will come for everyone. He does punish those who hurt His children. He also loves people enough to want salvation for them.
After the tech gave me this Psalm, I read it and then God’s conviction filled me. I immediately prayed for those two women. I would go to their houses (at work) during my breaks and pretend I didn’t know they hated me. I was kind to them. I even prayed with them on a few occasions. I left the war up to my Lord and I loved those women. Whether it was the administrator’s admonishments to them, or my manifesting the fruit of The Spirit toward them, or The Lord’s conviction of them, I do not know, but they stopped making war on me. We didn’t become best buddies, but they decided to keep their disdain of me between the two of them.
Because someone is hateful to us, doesn’t give us the right to be hateful to them. Something is not improved by crouching down to the level of rabid dogs and joining in the evil. Something is made right by reaching up to the Lord, being like Him and giving it to Him. Verses 11-16 read,
“Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
my soul is bereft.
13 But I, when they were sick--
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.
15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
16 like profane mockers at a feast,
they gnash at me with their teeth.”
God’s love is unconditional. He loves our enemies just as much as He loves us. If Jesus doesn’t pay for their sins, then they will. We don’t have to worry about vengeance. We can love them with God’s unconditional love, even while they mock, hit, and hurt. If we respond to them with the hate they shower on us, how will they witness Jesus in us? How will they see the awesomeness of The Spirit in us? How will they ever hear The Father calling their names?
I wanted those women to feel every bit of shame and pain they threw on me. But then I looked at them with God’s heart and eyes. I looked at myself too with His heart and I knew I could leave it all to Him. I could pray for my enemies, I could love them sincerely, even if they always looked down their noses at me. I stopped worrying about them. I left them to The Lord. I instead gave my energy to celebrating the awesomeness of God by giving Him that burden. There were plenty of people in my life who also chose to revel in The Lord. Verses 27-28 read,
“Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long.”
I encourage you today, to let God be God to you. Trust Him. It is a faithful person who can trust The Lord for her complete welfare and love those who don’t deserve it. Remember, none of us deserve this awesome Salvation. It is a gift from God. He doesn’t withhold any good thing from us. We have no right to withhold His love and testimony from others.