Thursday, December 8, 2022

The World’s Hatred (Psalm 140)

"Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts" (Ps. 140:1–2).

Commenting with insight on Psalm 140 concerning the many onslaughts David faced at the hands of his enemies, Calvin wrote, “Being as he was a figure of Christ, we need not wonder that the agents of the devil directed so much of their rage against him.” The enemies of God always rise up most strongly against those who do much to advance the kingdom of the Lord. This is a prudent though diabolical strategy. They spit forth blasphemy, and hatred sticks to their tongues. The animosity of Satan’s minions against the saints of the Lord, especially those of great standing in the church, is evident throughout history and clearly continues even today.

We find this to be true in the life of David, the prophets, Christ Himself, and those who followed after Him for the sake of the truth. Jesus warned His disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him first. Do not be surprised then when unbelievers are hostile toward you. You should expect this rather than be surprised when it happens. If you are walking in righteousness, you will be persecuted by the world, just as it persecuted all those who walked before you. Saul mercilessly pursued David, foreign nations enslaved Israel, the false seed of Israel killed the prophets, Jews and Gentiles put Christ to death on the cross, the religious leaders killed a number of the apostles, Diocletian put thousands of Christians to death—and the theme goes on and on down to our present day when Islamic and Hindu nations murder Christians on account of their beliefs.

Why does the world hate Christ and His followers with such intensity? Jesus said it is because the darkness hates the light. He told the disciples that the world hated Him because “I testify that what it does is evil” (John 7:7). The light pricks the dulled conscience of the pagan, True followers of the Lord stand for the truth, purity, and righteousness, and shine light on darkness. The world hates such a testimony. It loves its immoral ways and delusions and does not want to be confronted by the truth of God. If you have pagan friends, do not be deceived. No matter how much “love” they may show you, they hate everything in which you believe. They despise Christ and would rather continue in their sins than submit themselves to the Sovereign King who reigns in righteousness and truth.

How do you respond when someone is hateful toward you because of your faith? Read Proverbs 15:18; Matthew 5:38–42; Romans 12:17; 1 Peter 3:9. How should you respond? Do you find it difficult to respond properly to those who criticize you? Commit this to God and pray for the grace to give blessing instead of insult.