Summary: We may not live long enough to outlive our enemies, but two things are certain: 1. We will have enemies, and, 2. God wants us to deal with them in a certain way.
What To Do With Your Enemy
Griffith Baptist Church – 8/10/08
Text: Psalm 41
Main Verse: Psalms 41:11 - By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
1. Confession of the Afflicted – 41:1-4
2. Characteristics of an Enemy – 41:5-9
3. Consolation of the Favored – 41:10-13
A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday. “What are you most proud of?” he asked.
“Well, “ said the man, “I don’t have an enemy in the world.”
“What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!” said the reporter.
“Yep,” added the centenarian, “I outlived every last one of them.”
Well, we may not live long enough to outlive our enemies, but two things are certain:
1. We will have enemies, and,
2. God wants us to deal with them in a certain way.
Well, focusing on our Psalm, it has a dual role
First, this is a messianic Psalm, and when you read it closely, you will see it’s parallels
(particularly verse 9 and it’s reference to Judas)
Second, what it has to say concerning those who seem to be against us, treat us badly, or are
just all out mean and nasty.
Transition Statement: First, let’s take a look at some of the things that our enemies do.
1. What Enemies Do – 41:5-8
A. They look forward to you falling and wait eagerly for it – 5
i. They cannot wait to see you trip up
ii. We all make mistakes and friends know that.
iii. Friends seek to:
a. Understand your weaknesses
b. Overlook your faults
c. Be honest with you to help you when needed – Proverbs 27:5-6 – 5Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
d. Restore you
B. They fake friendship so they can gather information to use against you – 6
i. Being fake is an attempt to deceive, to be something your not, hypocrisy - Did you hear about the guy that bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas? A friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty 4-Wheel drive vehicles." "She did," he replied. "But where am I gonna find a fake Jeep?"
ii. Watch out for those who normally aren’t your friend and than suddenly are
iii. They have many characteristics:
c. Asking a lot of questions, sometimes personal, that they never asked before
d. Trying to steer a conversation toward something that could be used against you
iv. They are listening carefully, as they did to Christ, to try and have a cause for accusation - Luke 11:53-54 – 53And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: 54Laying wait for him, (used of snares that catch birds) and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
v. They build up your ego with the intent to see you fall - Luke 20:20-23 – 20And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. 21And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: 22Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? 23But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?
vi. Paul even felt this among those who called themselves Christians and friends - 2 Corinthians 11:26 - In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
C. They find friends to gossip about you and hurt you – 7
i. A man once wrote, I overheard my mother passing along to my father a newsy tidbit, concerning a neighbor. "You know you shouldn’t repeat stories about others," I said with mock seriousness. "That makes you a gossip." "I’m not a gossip!" she snapped back. "I’m a news analyst."
a. There are too many “news analysts” today, especially in the church
b. Too many people talking instead of being busy for God
ii. The key phrase here is that “together” they whisper
iii. It is a team effort, even if there are only two
iv. Someone once said, it isn’t gossip if the only one you tell is yourself
v. Look at what others have said about gossip: