Enemy

Our natural tendency

is to despise

to mock

to wish the worst on

 

our enemies

 

And when they fall

it seems like it should feel right

to be glad

they got what was coming to them

 

Satisfaction, right?

 

But that supposed satisfaction

only leaves a bittersweet taste

in our mouthes

 

We might do well to remember

that Jesus said,

“He who is without sin,

cast the first stone.”

 

David in the Bible

he was the rightful king

 

But Saul

the actual king on the throne

feeling very threatened

 

spent much of his time

and energy

pursuing David

and trying to kill him

 

for years

15 years

 

David had logical reasons

for retaliation

to hate

to fight back

 

even to gloat

with smug satisfaction

when his enemy

died

 

But he wept

 

He wept over the violent end

that came to Saul

 

and not only for him,

but for Saul’s son Jonathan

David’s best friend

 

He wept over the death of his beloved friend

and he wept over the death of his hateful enemy

 

and there was no satisfaction

for Saul getting what was coming to him

 

only sadness

 

For this king

was a foreshadowing

of a greater King

 

who would look on a whole race of people

who should have gotten

what was coming to them

 

and He wept

 

and He died

 

and the enemies

were saved

 

and they were loved

 

– Susie Stewart

 

In lament, David ripped his clothes to ribbons.  All the men with him did the same.  They wept and fasted the rest of the day, grieving the death of Saul and his son Jonathan, and also the army of God and the nation Israel, victims in a failed battle.

– 2 Samuel 1:11,12 (MSG)

 

Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!

But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

– Isaiah 54:4,5 (NLT)

 

Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

– Romans 5:7,8 (NLT)

 

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

– Matthew 5:43-48 (MSG)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

 

 

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