July 25, 2018

Reading through the Psalms, I have pondered who or what was on David’s mind when he talked about taking refuge in God for protection from his enemies. The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles list some of the people who wanted to be rid of him. I wonder about other forces he might have had in mind.

He could have had self-esteem issues. Remember when Samuel visited David’s family to find the next king and David was not even considered until none of the other brothers were chosen? Or how the brothers treated him ‒ actually made fun of him ‒ when his dad sent him with supplies when they were a part of Israel’s military?

After David took out the giant and saved Israel from the Philistine army, he soon found himself at odds with the king because the people seemed more excited about him than about the king. Jealousy made the king his enemy.

David had another enemy called “lust.” Although he already had several wives, he took another man’s wife for his own pleasure and then tried to cover up his sin – to the point of murder. He experienced God’s forgiveness, but the fallout from his sin tormented him with family troubles to the end of his life.

I would have a difficult time naming a person that I would consider my enemy. Not everyone likes me, but I am not aware of anyone who wants me dead. I believe, however, that there are enemies that many of us need to be aware of and run to God for refuge and protection.

Illness attacks our energy and, if we allow it, can cloud our perspective and cool our motivation. Unemployment and financial challenges can become our enemy if we fail to believe that God will guide and provide. Relationships that are not working out well can feel like enemy attack. And the counterfeit god, Satan, is always looking for ways to discourage us or hinder our enthusiasm for Jesus.

We might have more enemies than appear on the surface. It is important to identify them and prepare for their attack.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

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