What it means to love your enemies
(#272 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“Arise, Yahweh! Deliver me, my Mighty One! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” (Psalm 3:7)
“You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.” (Psalm 18:40)
“In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.” (Psalm 143:12)
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:28)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)
The Father’s words about David:
“You have shed much blood and fought many wars. You are not to build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.” (1 Chronicles 22:8)
The Father’s words about all those of old who had great faith, including David:
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since the Almighty had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40)
Put on the mind of the Messiah. Discern and comprehend. David was missing something. He was accomplished, yet incomplete. We believe he would want you to know this. He would tell you that the vengeance of Yahweh is activated by your prayers for your enemies, not your prayers against your enemies, something he would have to learn in eternity. “Only together with us would He be made perfect.”
He would also tell you that we should not desire vengeance, nor find joy in your enemy’s demise. He would tell you that the Messiah’s life upped the ante from, “You have heard it said” to “But I tell you!” He would tell you that the “eye for an eye” concept was easy to fulfill, and that loving your enemy is the more perfect way. He would rewrite some of his Psalms. He would expect us to have figured this out. His perfection waits for our perfection. “Only together with us would He be made perfect.” There is no room for bloodshed in this perfect place. David was a man after Yahweh’s heart, the apple of His eye. Part of what made him so was that he would admit his shortcomings easily and repent!
We have so much more available to us than David did. Rather than use the excuse that you cannot perceive because, “His ways are higher than Yours (Isaiah 55:9),” say to yourself, “I will reach for that higher way!” It was always an invitation, never a limitation loved one.
Now pay close attention to a mystery being revealed. Meditate on it, for it is deeper and wider than it might appear at first glance. Showering love on one who might just be an enemy is the very thing that will activate Yahweh’s vengeance, if in deed vengeance is due. Love is a double edge sword love one, and it knows exactly how to cut.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. (Matthew 13:16-17)