Enemies at the gate

King David’s life was characterized by mountain tops and deep valleys. He wrote many of the Psalms during these bright and dark periods. Several express his state of mind while being pursued by enemies.

Consider Psalm 3, for example. In this case, his son Absalom is seeking to usurp his throne. Yes, his son is attempting to kill him and rule in his place.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.” (Psalm 3:1-2)

I sometimes find it difficult to locate myself in David’s psalms. After all, I don’t have anyone trying to kill me, especially not my son! I hardly ever have a spear thrown at my head (1 Samuel 18:11).

However…

I do have enemies. They show up all the time. Let me name a few.

Pride

Envy

Bitterness

Lust

Fear

Do you recognize any? Ever struggled like me?

Like roaring lions (1 Peter 5:8), I often find these enemies at the gate. They come to rob my peace, my joy, my obedience, my life (John 10:10).

Maybe I understand David better than I think. Let’s see how he responds to this relentless pursuit.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people. (Psalm 3:3-8)

The next time you wake in a cold sweat, the next time fear grips you in the dark of night, the next time you are tempted to choose wrong over right, hate over love, take heart. The very same God that saved David from the tens of thousands will save you as well. In a mighty way.

Choose Him. Call out. He’s quick to deliver, pleased to bless, full of love. For you.

Peace, friend.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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