As believers there are often times when we deal with people who think our beliefs are foolish. Some of those people can be downright cruel. The cruelest can be people who grew up in church or gave church a try and were wounded there. In their defensive stance they lash out at us, they mock us, and they mock The Lord. What could have been a passionate love for God becomes a fiery hate for Him and His followers. King Saul was like that. He had been chosen by The Lord to be Israel’s first king. He was anointed with The Holy Spirit and prophesied. He relished the music and songs of God. But he never fully committed to love God with all his heart. He loved himself. He envisioned himself as great and mighty and assumed his legacy would be his descendants as kings. Because God anointed David to be Saul’s successor over his son Jonathon Saul selfishness, pride, and resentment turned to wrath against God and David. He did some wicked things trying to murder David.
David wrote this Psalm after he found out that Saul had ordered his guards to kill Ahimelech and the other priests at Nob for helping David and his men by feeding them the showbread and giving David Goliath’s sword.(1 Samuel 21 and 22). It was a horrific act done in a rage of hatred. Verses 1-4 read,
“Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
2 Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.”
David was dismayed by Saul’s evil. Saul couldn’t see God’s love for him. Saul had become obsessed with the idea of killing David. This pursuit was eating him alive and he was blind to it. David was sickened by the idea that Saul could commit this ghastly evil when all he had to do was trust The Lord God who loved him and wanted good for him, who had anointed and gifted him so well.
David didn’t have to plot against Saul. We do not have to plot against God’s enemies either. We know that God will deal with them. He is the King, and Judge. He is the ultimate Avenger. We know what god can do and we appreciate His might. We understand that God is holding His wrath, but he doesn’t have to restrain it. Verses 5-7 read,
“But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7 “See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
Saul was hurting but instead of taking refuge in The Lord, he hunted David with a violent hatred. David on the other hand took refuge in The Lord. He obeyed, trusted, and followed Almighty God. He didn’t hate Saul because God didn’t hate Saul, he pitied him. He shook his head at Saul’s ignorance.
Think about those people you come across who seem to hate God so vehemently, who say nasty things about Christians and Christ, and who feel justified in malicious acts against God and His children. They may hate us and hate God, but God loves them. He loves them as much as He loves us. They call us fools, but it is they who have been blinded and become irrational.
We like David can rest in God. We are a contrast to the people who worship themselves and therefore depend on themselves. We can live our lives with peace of spirit. We know God takes care of us, nourishes us, teaches us and molds us. David said it this way in verses 8-9,
“But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.”
Do not hate those who hate you. Feel sorry for them. They don’t know what they’re doing. Be compassionate. Remember mercy. Keep your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. Be still and know He is The Lord. Don’t reciprocate the hate. Respond with love. In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus told us,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”