I don’t care if they curse me, as long as You bless me. You will make my enemies fail when they attack, and you will make me glad to be your servant.
~Psalms 109:28, CEV
I no doubt deserve my enemies but I do not deserve my friends.
If I understand correctly, Psalm 109 was written on the occasion of David fleeing Saul. Some advised him to run for his life by fleeing to the mountains. Since David had been loyal to Saul and his house, he felt betrayed by the king. In Psalm 109, David imagines what his enemies are saying about him. He believes they are cursing him. I am a list maker and here are the “Curses” David believes are being pronounced on himself by his enemies…
- Let his [David] life be cut short and someone else have his job.
- Let his children be orphans and his wife a widow.
- Let his descendant be beggars.
- Let his creditors foreclose on all his loans.
- Let everyone treat him with unkindness.
- Let no one have pity on his children.
- Let his name be forgotten.
- Let a curse be on him for the rest of his life.
- Let him have nothing but trouble.
- Let curses cling to him like garments.
These are some serious imprecations. Where they real or did David’s imagination get the best of him? I think they are real. Jesus said in Luke 6:26, Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how your ancestors treated the false prophets. I am in full agreement with the late great Dr. R.G. Lee, “every true man of God will acquire enemies along the way”. It is not a good sign when all men praise you. Thank God for your enemies, it is a sign that you are not a false prophet.
My mentor, Calvin C. Inman, shared his life experiences with me, things that he had learned over time and one of the things he taught me was how to respond to criticism. He said, “Everyone is praying but not all are praying for you to succeed, some will be praying that you fail. In time, you will be able to discern who is praying for you and who is not.” To be honest with you, I didn’t believe him at first. I thought there was no way a human could discern such things. Call it a gift, call it what you will, but God enables His servants to discern such things. Now, after 46 years of ministry, I concur with Bro. Inman. There is no telling what could be accomplished if every member of the church prayed earnestly for their pastor but whether they are praying for you or against you, you must love them all. From time to time, we are called on to minister to those who we know are critical of every thing we do.
Today is 45th
Today is our 45th Wedding Anniversary and I remembered…shock, shock! I am very fortunate to have a faithful wife who has never hesitated to go where God calls us and never complained about the circumstances once we got there but I shouldn’t have brought her to Danville. Hugh took it upon himself to break her out of her shell. She was extremely quiet and introverted when we came to Danville. She is very outspoken now: Thank you Hugh! Just kidding, Hugh will always be my friend and June needed more self-confidence. By the way, Hugh is not absent, I see a kinder, gentler version of Hugh is Joe. We have a little trip planned for the second week in September to celebrate number 45. I’ll tell you one thing, these 45 years went by in a hurry and June and I have been blessed beyond description. Our greatest treasure, next to Jesus, is our children and grand children. We do cherish our friends and God has made us rich in that department. Money can’t buy true friends. We do love you and we appreciate your tolerance over the years.