“Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake; In Your righteousness bring my life out of trouble. In your lovingkindness, silence and destroy my enemies And destroy all those who afflict my life, For I am Your servant.”
Psalm 143:11-12 (Amplified Bible)
When I was a kid, I often felt I couldn’t relate to many of the Psalms. It seemed like David or other authors were always talking about their enemies. “Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord…” What enemies? I didn’t have any enemies, I always got along with people, tried to please others, never felt abused or bullied. I was lucky, I guess, but I just never really related. Who are my enemies?
As an adult, I of course understand enemies differently. Certainly, there continue to be many people in this world who suffer threats from true, in person, real-live enemies. But for me, living in my small, safe part of the world, I see that my enemies are figurative, or invisible influences and pressures, conditions, and sins, that take over my mind and my thoughts: doubt, fear, depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, complacency, selfishness, apathy. The list goes on and on. But in this light, the Psalms can take on a new meaning and become completely relatable. How often am I turned away from God by my thoughts, the focus on myself and my problems, insecurities, or selfish ambitions? They certainly draw me away from Christ and his will for my life.
The Psalm ends, “For I am Your servant”. Well, if these things draw me away from Christ, then they also hinder me from fully serving him. And isn’t that God’s will for my life? So, I guess I can tell my younger self that I actually do have enemies. And the Psalms help remind me to seek God’s help to silence and destroy them. In this life, maybe, but for eternity in the hope of Christ, for sure!
Loving and kind God, I ask for your help to identify, name and silence the enemies that afflict me, so that I may serve you more fully, each and every day. Amen.