If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
Ahithophel King David’s top counselor
Ahithophel was a counselor of King David and a man greatly renowned for his wisdom. 2 Samuel 16:23 says “Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. He was a very good friend of David and together they had a strong successful kingdom.
One day David was walking at night around roof of his palace and sees a beautiful woman bathing. You know the story of Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. He calls for her and sleeps with her. Bathsheba becomes pregnant. So David calls her husband in from war and gives him the night off hoping he will sleep with his wife to hide the sin. The husbands name is Uriah.
Uriah does not sleep with his wife and David decides to have Uriah killed in battle. David orders Uriah to the front lines in a very dangerous place and orders his army commander to back off. Uriah is killed and David takes Bathsheba as his wife.
You know this story but you may not know the back story that leads to Psalms 55:12-14. David has groups of soldiers called his mighty men. One is named Eliam son of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 23:34). Now Bathsheba is the daughter of Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3) So Ahithophel is the grandfather of Bathsheba. Uriah (Bathsheba’s murdered husband) is also one of the mighty men listed (2 Samuel 23:39).
So not only was Ahithophel the grandfather of Bathsheba but he also had a son in the mighty men of David’s army and was close to Uriah. Ahithophel knew what David had done. He could not accuse the King. So in his hatred he began to counsel against David.
Was a friend – now an enemy
Ahithophel joined forces with David’s son Absalom who was try to overthrow David’s kingdom. The wisdom of Ahithophel was well know and Absalom used his wisdom. David had already repented to God for his sins but now he was running for his life. While running for his life, David sent another counselor back to counter the wisdom of Ahithophel. God allowed this to work and it saved David. Defeated Ahithophel went home broken hearted and committed suicide.
As David was running from Absalom and Ahithophel when he wrote Psalms 55. The lesson is this. The effects of sin causes unintended consequences. Sin never hurts just you. Others will be effected as in David’s sin. You will find temptations but allow the lightnside to guide you away. You never know how the effects of sin grow.
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. Psalm 55:12-14 NIV
The pain of intended harm from someone close.
This type of pain is too close to escape. It’s too close avoid. How do you deal with a family member or work relation that has lied about you. Maybe they have spoken hateful words to your face and a painful wedge is there daily to live with.
Below are my thoughts and steps to live with this pain.
- Look at your own life first for a reason. See if you can see if there is something they are reacting to. Even if they are wrong it is a starting point of conversation.
David was the original cause of this pain. There is a reason for their anger. It is an unintended consequence of David’s actions. I will publish this tomorrow in part 2.
- Pray for them and yourself. We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power of darkness. Ephesians 6:12-17
- Show compassion. Love your enemy which may be in your family. Don’t give more ammunition for their rage. Check your pride and be humble.
- Seek wise advise not gossip or social media advise.
- Learn from David’s Psalms. Cry out to God in your quiet times and also praise Him for His goodness. It is His spirit that will be required to work in their hearts. Ask God to rescue you.
- Guard your heart. For out of it pours your life.
Whatever happens in your situation, follow these steps and keep your heart right with God and others. Remember the kindness and repentance is also their choice to make. Keep allowing God to challenge and grow you. Don’t let this situation take so much of your thought that other important relationships are neglected. Keep a strong lightnside and remember God see all and is in control.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22
What is a sign of Christ in you?
One would be how you treat your enemies. They hate your religion, maybe your color, sexual orientation or other things. They just do not like you and they show it. This hate gives them energy to continue. Defuse hate with kindness.
DO the unexpected
This verse says to do the unexpected. To not reward evil with evil. But show kindness by helping them in some outward way. Take them to lunch! Help with gas. Treat them with kindness. The Bible says this action will “heap burning coals on their head.” In different version of the Bible it would call this “shame” or “unexpected kindness”. The idea is not to use kindness as a way to cause them pain. That would be mean. But maybe to offer peace. Maybe even receive a better understanding of your differences.
The King of Aram sent an army to surround Elisha and kill him. In the morning Elisha’s servant looked out a saw the hundreds of soldiers surrounding them. Elisa asked GOD to open their eyes to see God’s army. Suddenly the armies of GOD were seen overwhelming the size of the enemy. Elisa asked God to blind this army. Elisha could have taken advantage of the blindness and destroy his enemy. Instead, he had them fed and sent them back unharmed. They no longer harassed Israel.8-23
2 Kings 6:21-23 NIV
When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”  “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”  So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
GOD will reward you.
Let your enemy respond however they desire for your kindness. GOD will reward you. You may put burning coals on their heads but you will also have a bright lightnside.
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:28-29 NIV
You can ask people ‘are you a religious?’ They will say “I am a Christian, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, and so on.” A second question could be “Do you live by the standards of your religion each day?” (Gulp) This is the truth Paul is making to the Jews about Christianity. It is not the label and it is not the circumcision (specific rituals) that makes you right with God. It is the actions of the heart and your relationship with God that makes you a Christian.
Labels identify but can also hide.
This is not an easy truth to take in. Labels identify us and sometimes we can use them to falsely satisfy our inward fears that we are not right with God. “But I am a Methodist. I go to church. I am part of the worship team. I give my tithes.” All of these are good things but they are not the items that determine your right relationship with God.
Who are you in your heart?
Who are you in your mind and desires? Who are you in your spiritual relationships with God? It is these things that determine who we are in God’s eyes. Not the outward label. It is the inner actions and condition of the heart. What a terrible thought to be standing before God believing on a labeled. Or believing you are a Christian because of the outward things you have done. God looks at you and says “I never knew you”. Let’s make sure that day will never come. Seek God daily and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is the actions in our hearts that determine who we are in Christ.
We are Christians only if we are Christians in our hearts.
We can be called a great Christian and in our hearts hide a deep secrete sin. So let us make sure we have a lightnside that burns to follow Christ. That burns to live by the Holy Spirit. That burns to reflect God in our relationships and at work. A lightnside that repents when we sin but also have faith in the blood of Christ and receive the righteousness of God to cover our sin and wash our hearts.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! Psalm 53:6 NIV
Most of Psalms 53 describes very well the fallen nature of man. Because we are born in sin we start life running from GOD and building up desires and dreams for our own pleasures. This sinful nature will be part of us until GOD restores His people.
Psalms 53 is an old testament rendering of Romans 1-3.
Even Christians fail and sin. David says in verses 2-3 ” God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Two groups of people in Psalms 53.
Christians – Even though all people sin and fall short of God’s retirements there are those like me and you who believe Jesus died for our sins and God’s righteousness covers us. We will still sin but we also repent and put Faith in God.
Non-believers who has been molded by man’s fallen sinful nature to hate GOD and Christian. Great violence and darkness are born in their hearts. Their great rebellious love of self fuels their lives. They cannot stand holiness. They try and destroy it. But GOD stands in their way.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
The great desire for restoration comes out of verse six: “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!” I am always praying for Israel but I am also praying for a revival of America. Not the political “Make America Great Again” even though I voted for it. Only GOD can save America. Only a move of revival by His Spirit will darkness be overcome.
“When” not “If”
When God restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! GOD is going to restore mankind. In the last days mankind wail be set free from the fallen nature of sin and total restoration will be complete. I also pray revival will restore even our pagan USA to a Christian level of following GOD. I pray God would put a lightnside our nation. Maybe a modern Billy Graham be raised by GOD. I look forward to GOD’S restoration.
Billy Graham passed away this week at 99 years of age.
His message was simple and powerful to a world hurting under the effects of sin. Billy Graham met with several Presidents to pray for them and would give advice to lead the nation in righteousness. Billy Graham had many standards he lived by. One that I try very hard to do is to never travel or be alone with one other woman that is not your family. That is not easy to do but a good standard.
In 1999 Billy Graham came to Indianapolis.
In his upper seventies Billy Graham was at the final stretch of public crusades. Many people came because of the name (although I would argue the Holy Spirit was drawing them as well.) His message was clear. The terrible problems of today are not racism, violence, rebellion, addiction, loneliness, depression, or school shootings. They are a result of a deeper issue. That being S-I-N. And sin cannot be dealt with by man. Only the power and blood of Jesus can cleanse sin and restore a darkened heart. Only the Holy Spirit can give direction and power to follow God’s teaching in a world bent on pushing God out. Only God can make healthy a family destroyed by lack of discipline and the invasion of pornography, violence, and rebellion through TV, social media, games, and music.
The cause of all these problems is S-I-N.
The answer to all these problems is J-E-S-U-S.
The attraction to Billy Graham crusades was his stature as a historical evangelist. But also a longing to hear truth and an inward desire to have the freedom he spoke of. A desire to become right with God drew people to the meetings. A desire to bring health and direction to our homes and society. It was like a light shining bright in the darkness. The message and attraction of God’s presence attracted hungry souls. As the alter call was given, thousands responded. Being a pastor in Lebanon, I was part of a group of ministers and leaders that had prepared for months in planning and prayer for this moment. A powerful presence of God followed Billy Graham and now has received him home.
I pray another world evangelist of some kind will be raised to challenge the problems of today. The message and the cause is still the same as when Jesus looked over the crowd in His day in Mark 6:34 NIV When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Psalms 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
Part 1 described the oil of joy and declared it is from God. The Holy Spirit began to have me meditate about our part in this event. We take the position to be anointed.
Our position of anointing.
I believe there is a position we must place ourselves in to receive this oil of joy anointing from God.
- Position of submission – we bow our heads and hearts to the authority of God and in the acknowledgement of His status as Almighty God who created us for His Glory.
- Position of Trust – We come with a heart of trust. Knowing His love for us to become more like Christ. We trust His leadership and follow His path.
- Position of listening. We are quiet before Him – We are patient and calm before Him allowing His timing and place to anoint us. We expect it but allow God to choose the time and place to pour out His oil of Joy. It may surprise us when He chooses and it will be wonderful.
- Position of obedience and service – We live to serve Him. We are His vessel. We are led by the Holy Spirit in our daily walk. We come to God at times like this to give praise and honor to Him and to receive instruction…and sometimes to receive this oil of joy to take into battle.
There are probably many more positions but these are filling my heart and making the lightnside brighter.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7 NIV
Joy is an experience from God.
Oil of Joy. These words caught my eye and heart. The verse say God had anointed this man with the “oil of joy”. Joy is an experience from God. Outward situations has no effect on the inner joy. If the situation outside is dark, a secure and upbeat assurance of God’s presence fills your heart with assurance and hope. This joy worships radiates outward making life brighter . It is seem by others who would like to experience joy for themselves. This Joy is not a selfish experience but enjoys blessings others receive. No jealousy or envy but rather a joined happiness sharing in blessings of others.
oil of joy is a filter
This joy is like an oil. It runs down into the places that would be rough and rugged in our daily life and lubricates them so there is freedom of movement and no frustrating friction. This oil of joy is a filter where all the input from the eyes and ears travels through. The darkness and valleys of death become places where the presence of God brings healing to yourself and others through your words. Although grieving may be a part of the day there is an intense awareness of how it could be worse. An appreciation of the Holy Spirit brings a thankfulness that has joy lapping at its edges. You just can’t keep joy out. It runs into every situation.
I remember the testimony of a student and eventually a teacher in Teen Challenge. She said as she began the path away from addiction she had asked God to help her and I believe God anointed her with joy. In every situation of her life she would quote 1 Thessalonians 5:18-20 NIV “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God anoint me with your oil of joy.
I allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in me to prepare me for this joy. I take my eyes off others and situations and look to you the source of all good. Lord as we worship and at your time anoint our lives with this oil of joy. Allow the lightnside to burn brighter and hotter with this anointed Godly fuel. Amen.
God created the heavens and the earth. Jesus came as a carpenter.
Psalms 51 God is re-building a soul from sin’s destruction.
Step one. We come broken to God for mercy and help.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2 NIV
Step two. Confession of sins effect on us.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Psalm 51:3-6 NIV
Step 3. The request only God can do.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Psalm 51:7-9 NIV
Step 4. God the Re-builder.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Do you need a lightnside? Do you need restoration? Do you need Joy? Follow these steps and allow God to re-build your heart today.
Have you heard people say the church is full of hypocrites? They may be right!
Romans 2:17-24 “Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Pride of the position
The Jews were a proud people because of their “religion” and knowledge of the scripture. They are right and this is the focus in verses 17-24 of Romans 2. The Jews were a proud people because of their “religion” and knowledge of the scripture. They considered themselves to a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness. An instructor to the foolish and a teacher of babes (verses 19-20.) Paul is challenging the proud Jews to look inside and see if they are so proud of their position and knowledge that they forget to apply their knowledge to themselves. The things they teach does not seem to apply to them. They consider themselves to have “made it” in the kingdom because they are Jews and are teachers.
I was a hypocrite!
I remember a revival service I attended when the evangelist called for all sinners to come forward to accept Christ. I had a jealous place in my heart toward another pastor. While I had been a pastor for several years and went to college. This preacher was trained by distance learning and his church was growing like mad. I was jealous and there I was at the alter call. “All those with sin in your life come forward” the evangelist said. I was looking at these “sinners” knowing I belonged with them, but I was a pastor. I am embarrassed to tell you it took too long for me to take that first step. However the second and third step was easier and as I reached the alter I repented and God forgave and healed me. I repented to this pastor and we are friends.
Hypocrisy makes God distasteful to the unbeliever.
If we are not careful we can become a “professional” teacher and truth giver that only shares but does not look closely in the mirror of God’s word. The strong effect of this is found in verse 24 “The name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you”. From the Message translation “It is because of you Jews that the outsiders are down on God”.
Hypocrites are easy to be seen unless you are one. If you have a position of influence in the church or group of people please take heed, This is very common and easy to slip into. The pride of the position keeps you from the humility of the truth. Allow God to fill our own heart with His lightnside to keep you holy as you share His light to others.
Romans 2:21a ” you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”