"Let Not Mine Enemies Triumph Over Me"
Concerning the Just Cause of Fighting Racism(page last updated: June 17th 2020)
Psalms 25: kjv
Today's Audio Commentary: "Let Not Mine Enemies Triumph Over Me"
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| Psalm:25 "Let Not Mine Enemies Triumph Over Me" (commentary as one file)
- Is the BookOfPsalms still relevant today?
- When David wrote Psalm 25 3000+ years ago, the situations prompting him to do so were very different than say the racial riots we've been experiencing 2020 the past several weeks.
- The spiritual principals that he used to address his needs back then are the same and can still be applied. God is still the same, man is still the same, sin is still the same, we have enemies just the same. All that has changed is the names to the faces and the distance of time we have been trying to combat all this.
- kjv@Psalms:25:16 "Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted".
- It's a story as old as time: It is absolutely shameful the way some men and women treat other men and women.
- If there is one thing history repeatedly proves it is that governments cannot change the hearts of men, they can only partially contain them, intimidate/suppress them, attempt to reprogram and repatriate them. It works for a while on some, not all and not for long.
- One of the ways this can be proven is the racial unrest that we are experiencing today. Think of how long men have inflicted each other with prejudice and hatred and oppression. This despite every form of legality, peer pressure, defense, reasoning, negotiation, integration etc... thrown at the problem.
- kjv@Psalms:25:17 "The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses".
- Seems as though the problems get better for a time, but it is a volatile calm just one lynching or shooting away from blowing the lid off the boiling kettle once again.
- The troubles of the heart remain enlarged, inflamed, painful to the touch. People do what they might not otherwise do when the pressure is inevitably increased, the lines between ration and impulse are blurred, most any reaction swiftly self justified.
- One mans distress becomes his brother's and his family's, his community's, his people's; rightly so. But as we have also seen of late, His distress also becomes the business of organizers and activist, duplicitous elites, of radicals and anti-establishment agitators, criminally minded.
- We have talked about some of these leaders in previous psalms as "the wicked", who for their own selfish gain or the gain of the assembled cause use this man's distress to inflame the masses against the upright, against the lawful and just, to steer this otherwise just cause toward their own favor against the saint. The wicked of course never solves this distress, it is only their base of power. Where the wicked are in charge there is only moaning and discontent.
- kjv@Psalms:25:18 @ Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
- The psalmist cries out to God not only for immediate relief, but also lasting answers. It is not like any one of us have all the answers. Oh we think that if we could do this and get that implemented, and maybe it would slightly help. The affliction and pain will continue however, just as they always have. So too we are most often blind to the unintended consequences. It is obvious that the final answer is not in our hands, though we very much want it to be; so some of us call out to God.
- For God to look upon our afflictions and pain, we also know that He will have to look upon our sins and forgive them. All of us have sinned. All of us presently are sinning. All of us will sin again. How can God favor one sinner over another unless one of those sinners is willing to turn away from one's sins, bow before God and ask for HIS forgiveness? Some would say "but that man's sins are much bigger than mine". They might well be, but there is no bigger sin than not repenting and asking God for forgiveness. Some would say "ya but I am the one distressed". Even more reason sir to get on your knees and confess.
- kjv@Psalms:25:19 @ Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
- There are enemies without, enemies within. At times we ourselves can be our own worst enemies.
- Who is it that is our enemy when nearly all of us are in agreement that civil right is absolutely a just cause? It is not the cause that you and I fight over, it is the path each of us choose to achieve that just cause.
- There are those who say that the USA was founded upon racist principals and therefore in every detail is systematically racist. They will say that the only way to overcome this is to cut the tree down at it's trunk. You know that a whole lot of people are going to fight you tooth and nail to not allow that to happen. Are these people racist? Are they the enemies of this just cause? No, they disagree with the path you want to take to achieve this, not in the cause itself.
- Reverse the roles now. Are the people who insist in cutting the tree at its trunk, for all the division they are creating, are they offering anything better? Let me ask this another way, does the socialism they want to replace this tree with offer a race free solution. Of course not, the ideals of pure socialism have never been matched with any form of pure implementation; nor can it. By excluding a sizable portion of otherwise likely followers by their solution, are these radicals our enemy? No, probably not the majority of them.
- I began this commentary today by asking how anything David wrote three millennia ago could have relevance and practical application today.
- The enlightened modern man thinks that with the proper education and environment and government all these human ills will fall away, that man can do these things with the help of other like minded men and women.
- The saint believes that man is a fallen creature, that only God can pick him back up out of that.
kjv@Psalms:25:16 "Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted"
- The wicked are bound to use this difference of belief against the saint. "See, their solution is no solution at all".
- No the saint's solution is built upon the changing of the individual hearts of men, the power of what the fear of the Lord can do within a man and a woman's soul deep down. Not every heart will allow itself to be changed, therefore it is not a complete answer. It is however as complete an answer as there will ever be in this life. I plan in the remainder of this commentary to examine why that must be.
- It might well be said that we all are afflicted and pained, oppressed by our own fallen nature. The fallen nature is our biggest enemy. We are desolate of the ability to do much of anything about that.
- This does not mean that we have to sit on our hands and not do anything positive about the just cause of civil rights. It means that we are going to have to approach it much differently.
- I get the feeling from Psalms 25 that the psalmist going through this affliction has found only one answer to it: his Lord.
- Many today wonder the value of believing in the Lord, the answer sometimes might be as plain and simple as there are times in this life when there is no other answer that can be found other than the Lord.
- The numbers are too vast and the ailments too deep, the opposition too massive, the system too big and inflexible, the sins too many, for there to be an answer I could perform for myself. We turn to other like minded individuals, we gather, we collect, we promote and enlist, we investigate, we activate. Still the numbers, the ills, the opposition, the system, it is too much for there to be an answer we could as a group perform.
- Many have tried. Much has been planted with good intention. What has been planted must then be established. What is established must then be maintained, what is maintained sustained for there to be any lasting traction. Even then with traction, how much of anything becomes influential? how much does not suffer from unintended consequences? How much of what the heart of man righteously set out to achive does not at some point or the other bog down in its own corruption?
- The psalmist has come to the point of not having answers. It takes all of us a long long time of repeated fruitless effort to finally come to the realization. At that point what is left us? To throw our hands up in the air and say "Ok Lord, I get it now, come, you teach me".
- Only then can the psalmist and so the saint actually come to these following statements:
- kjv@Psalms:25:4 @ Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
- kjv@Psalms:25:5 @ Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
- kjv@Psalms:25:6 @ Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
- This is not an easy place before the Lord for any of us to come to.
- I can tell you why a good many non-believers refuse to come to this place before the Lord: they confuse the Lord's ways and paths and truth with the ways and paths and truths of other religious people.
- Religious people have been at the cause and forefront of large amount of this racial prejudice and affliction in the past. The fallen nature perhaps is most evidenced in the ways and paths and truths of self presumed religious people.
- These however are not the ways and paths and truth of the Lord our Savior. One has to be able to separate the character and will of the person Christ Jesus from those attempt to pin on Him these prejudicial attributes before one can "come to the place" of asking "Lord, shew me...teach me...lead me".
- It is a sad sad state of efforts for which these imposters will be judged most harshly.
kjv@Psalms:25:11 @ For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
- Neither is it an easy place for any of us to come to because self always thinks that there is something else yet to try.
- If it is not something else it is something more forceful, more demanding, more riotous.
- If it is not more forceful it is something more injurious. It flares out into the media and social media as accusation and innuendo and character assassination. Reverse racism, reverse prejudice, reverse discrimination is employed, fire fighting fire until the entire nation burns because of it.
- Whose purpose does this serve? To whose advantage is this set? The ungodly wicked. (refer to BackToThePsalms010 - Profile of the Wicked)
- Whose purpose does this not serve? From whom is the advantage taken away? The just cause. The saint.
kjv@Psalms:25:2 @ O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
- I also get the impression from Psalm 25 that the psalmist takes full responsibility for his own personal sins and iniquity.
- In this present sense it may be how I have treated another man or woman with or without knowing it. By preference, by profile, by familiarity, by awkwardness, vocally or by silence.
- In this present sense it may be how I have treated a group of these "other people" with or without knowing it. In conversation, in political priority, in employment and commerce, in considerations of justice, actively or by neglect.
- In this present sense it may be how I have conducted my own affairs with or without knowing it. Greedy, covetous, lustfully, cunningly, deceitfully, drunkenly, angrily, egregiously, criminally, un-biblically. Does not my sinful action effect the family and friends that I love? Does not it then also effect those neighbors I care very little about?
- There is yet another reason that believers and non-believers have difficulty coming to this teachable place:
- We all have difficulty coming to terms with what the forgiveness that we are asking from God actually means. God cannot forgive as in simply forget, as in a chalkboard simply erase, in order for HIM to forgive atonement and correction must be made. Sin incurs debt and debt must be paid. Man must be redeemed and in so clothed in the redeemer's good standing and righteousness. A man who stands before God without the attire of his redeemers righteousness is a man who must pay this debt himself. Add until he does pay this debt (which he cannot) his debt cannot be forgiven.
- Forgiveness, my friend, is not the remembrance of a sin vanishing from God's mind. How well we know this when we are asked to forgive another man's trespass against us. Has the remembrance of that vanished from within us? Forgiveness comes when the violation has properly been dealt with especially by the person who has been violated. The violator might care very little for your forgiveness, but to the violated finding that forgiveness means healing and moving on from that injury.
- We have violated God. It is God that we have violated and is injured. Most people refuse to see the need for God's forgiveness on these term. Therefore they never come to this teachable standing before God.
- In this sense we are our own greatest enemies (or should I say our own fallen nature).
- What then does the psalmist suggest can be done about this universal predicament? (EXPOUND)
Psalms 25:7-14 kjv
- In the previous section we considered this from the vantage point of the enemy being our fallen nature and that we each individually have to get back into the mercy and teaching of the Lord.
- There will be those now who will say "to each his own, that is fine if somebody else wants to do that as long he doesn't get in my way or the just cause's way". They don't see the any practical application of this as a group or world wide effort.
- What this provides the effort by dealing with this first on an individual basis is a substantial foundation and momentum to which a further group effort can be built.
- The psalmist doesn't mention directly here , he keeps his meditation on a personal level, but this meditation is purposely written in song form to be sung by a congregation of like minded individuals. The orchestration of these godly sentiments reverberate and resonate in the hearts of many many people (think of how many people have sung or read this psalm and many other similar psalms ever since).
- Now these sentiments can easily be misinterpreted, "mine enemies" could be interpreted "all black people" or "all white people", but the saint who has been shewn and taught by the Lord has then sworn the guard and protect these sentiments better meaning. The saint's chief enemy is the people who misinterpret and corrupt these ways and paths of the Lord.
- Unfortunately, David often describes the saint as being shot at with fiery darts from all directions. Saint is a very unenviable position that most nominal Christians choose to avoid for their own safety.
- When this biblical platform is operating properly however, there is a great sense of personal responsibility in the community even among the non-believers. There is what was once called the Protestant Work Ethic. Society benefits greatly even when there is a small remnant of this godly influence around. Citizens are more circumspect towards each other, they are more aware of and battle their fallen natures together, they are more willing to forgive each other in similar fashion as the Lord has forgiven them.
- In New Testament terms each believers soul has been regenerated. He is in this world, but not of this world. The Lord now is His master, the same Lord through whom all things were created, all things are delivered, all things are being gathered. The love of Christ is now this mans example, it is Christ's love that he recognizes and acknowledges and attempts to emulate.
- It is not an easy task for any believer to do this. Not any of us have been able to do this to any proximity of its full extent. But it is a much closer emulation than any other man without this high of a target set before him.
- These are the types of people that we need in our neighborhoods, in our congregations, on our committees and planning boards, in our organizations and governing bodies. Why? Because they represent God's subtle influence over a society, an ailing society without it.
- At present these people are few and largely avoiding the hostilities of their enemies from all directions. The wicked are also small in number, but they have turned public perception to their favor and control the majority numbers.
- David himself was a man who stood up and stood firm for the Lord even though he was greatly outnumbered. He was forced into exile several times remember; even had to play the role of a slobbering lunatic to get by in a foreign land for a time.
- It turned out however the Israel very much needed a man like David at the time, a man that led Israel into perhaps its greatest position of dominance, led them to an era when his son Solomon didn't have to fight wars and enjoyed the rest of the world's admiration and respect for its prosperity and international justice.
- Yet it was not the valor of David nor the wisdom of Solomon that brought this about, it was the shewing and the teaching and leading of the Lord whom; of both men humbled themselves to and asked for mercy and forgiveness.
- You might still be asking what does any of this have to do with modern day civil rights and racism? In a world hungry for the answers to these many human problems, God provides godly individuals, men and women set aside by HIM for HIS tasks. Sometimes it is one individual standing alone, not another godly person in sight, God uses that person to make a difference regardless of the odds and regardless of the personal quirks. Sometimes HE uses two or three or twelve people. Rarely does HE have to use any more than that so that it is know that it is by HIS power alone.
- This is what the just cause most urgently needs. By the means of recent political and social events we have all been stirred to do something for the sake of the cause. I wonder though how many of us have been stirred to do something for the cause of God as led by and taught by and empowered by our merciful Lord.
- There are people in today's congregation that are mouthing the words to this psalm. They have yet to feel the urgency and desperation the psalmist has emphasized behind it.
Psalms 25:20-22 kjv
- Let us talk about these enemies and this shame:
kjv@Psalms:25:3 "Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause".
- It appears that the enemies here transgress without cause. They might be of "the cause", they might even be leaders or spokesmen of the cause, but in so doing they transgress against the Lord and HIS cause without a valid reason, perhaps without not even knowing it. It is easy for one to be so wrapped up in their cause as to be blind and transgressing the greater cause. I think that we are all quite guilty of that.
- It appears very likely that the psalmist would be put to shame regardless of the outcome, especially if the outcome does not meet the people's nor God's expectation in the end. The expectation in this modern case is that racism would be substantially dealt with to the benefit of all members of society. We acknowledge that it is a continuous fight because of the nature of fallen man, any positive advancement must be sustained and furthered.
- I am of the belief that advancement comes in steps. One one those monumental steps was the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and their further explanation in the Federalist Papers. There were a few godly men that were of substantial influence over that group that drafted and signed that. No, these men were not perfect. Several of these men held to the very same racial ideas that we are attempting distance ourselves from. The few godly men that God had used on that occassion may not have even been in the room nor the City of Brotherly Love when it was conceived and instituted. The godly influence very well could have been a decade or two before that in the size or shape of a man like evangelist George Whitfield, a flawed and controversial man himself.
- Whatever the case, it is not the men whom these treasured documents portray, its is the godly influence and sentiment that those documents brought forth one step closer to the final expectation. The idea of equal rights was institutionalized. Ever since then we have struggled to bring equal rights about to all citizens; it will always be such a struggle. One does not destroy those documents to eliminate the struggle, one destroys those documents to begin the entire struggle all over again.
- Should the godly of that former age be ashamed that they were unable to deliver the full expectation people 300 years afterward now place upon them? Or should they trust that they were mightily used by God as a stepping stone to get us to the next step; the step we now have to take?
- Maybe brothers we should be the ones ashamed that we have not been used by God to pick up the ball where they left it off.
- Look at it this way:
- Are we putting the just cause ahead of our just God?
- Is there any doubt that God does not want us to love all people in the fashion HE has so loved the world?
- What then is keeping each man from completely doing so?
- Is it that the other man has to first show me that he loves me first?
- Is it that we somehow, despite a long history of failing at this, we think that we know better than God how this should be done?
- I will end with this: "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth" kjv@Psalms:25:10
- This world seems like a very odd place; doesn't it? Hostile and foreign in many respects. How could a loving God allow for that? We have to keep reminding ourselves "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth".
- If this world doesn't kill us (and it will), perhaps we will be all the stronger for it. What then is God's reasoning? We have to keep reminding ourselves "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth".
- If we are to ask why this is allowed to happen to us, better it is to ask why this was allowed to happen to HIS own son. Is God the Father cruel? Is it God that has the cruel hatred? "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth".
- How then can we explain that? mercy and truth? Well, it is us that fell from God, not God that fell from us. We are now living the many consequences of that fall. God remained constant and true to us even though we did no such thing for HIM. God made the means of HIS uncompromising righteosuness and His compassionate mercy to meet to together, providing for our escape. The majority of us have since refused. We are now experiencing the many immediate consequences of that. One of those consequences is our shameful treatment of one another. Another consequence is our seeming inability to do anything meaningful to combat that. God remains constant and true to us to this very day, extending the offer of our individual salvation, the regeneration of our spiritless souls, the calling to HIS glory and virtue as children of HIS kingdom, brothers and sisters united in HIM as equals, as one.
- "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth".
- Mercy. We do not deserve it. It is offered because of HIS good name anyway.
- Truth. There is so little we now know about it. It is offered because of HIS good name anyway.
kjv@Psalms:25:1 @ Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
- That is all I really know about the truth right now. If that be true then a good amount of changes should be quickly happening.
kjv@Psalms:25:12-16 @ What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
" kjv@Psalms:25:20 @ O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee"