Summary: Exposition of Psalm 35 regarding praying for our enemies
Text: Psalm 35:13-14, Title: Kill ‘Em and Bless ‘Em 2, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/3/11, AM
1. Opening ill – taking scripture seriously, martyrs about denying Him, also forgiving others
2. Know more is going on than you see (Acts 2:23)
1. In this text, Peter tells the men that they killed Jesus, but only after He was handed over to them by God for His predetermined purpose. They thought they were doing one thing, God was ensuring that they were carrying out His purpose. God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called by Him. He works all things after the inscrutable counsel of His will, and toward His desired ends. And know that sometimes those ends are accomplished through the painful wounds of an enemy.
2. Gen 50:20, Rom 8:28, 31-39, 2 Cor 4:18
3. Illustration: The legend says that Genghis Khan, the Mongol king of the 13th century, was out hunting one hot summer day with his favorite hawk perched on his wrist.
4. Don’t feel like all of the opposition from the enemy is without purpose. It is hard to view every hurtful act as being used of God, but it is true, and we must bring our minds into submission to that fact, and our hearts will follow. God could at anytime speak peace to your enemies, and He doesn’t always do that. He could cease sustaining their heart to beat and their lungs to work, and their opposition would immediately end. God doesn’t fall asleep, nor does He do things whimsically, but wisely and intentionally. So at least He is allowing this enemy to harass you, therefore you know that the enemy is serving God’s purposes. And it is easier to pray for someone if you know that God using them in your life (even if it is painful). So thank God for your enemy, ask God to reveal what He is teaching you through these attacks, and pray blessing upon the head of those who oppose you.
Know it is an explosive, public testimony (Acts 7:55-60)
1. When you are suffering at the hands of another at work, in school, in the community, people are watching you (the Christian) will respond. Just like Jesus said that we have no credit if we love those who love us, we have no credit if we lash back at our enemies. The unconverted world lashes back at those from whom it perceives an attack from. But with us it should not be the same. Jesus openly prayed for His murderers as did Stephen did in this text. And the results were staggering.
2. Illustration: Dietrich Bonheoffer who wrote , “It is infinitely easier to suffer in obedience to a human command than to accept suffering as free, responsible men. It is infinitely easier to suffer with others than to suffer alone. It is infinitely easier to suffer as public heroes than to suffer apart and in ignominy. It is infinitely easier to suffer physical death than to endure spiritual suffering. Christ suffered as a free man alone, apart and in spirit, and since that day many Christians have suffered with Him.” this was the story of our speaker last week, our brethren in the world counting the cost each day, ever mindful that despite the beatings, there was a watching world.