Psalms 13: Good Versus Evil
How are you? Are you able to relate to David’s words as we ponder our way through Psalms 13? Psalms 13:4 is the last of the sad verses in the psalm. It is also one that leaves me with the most questions as I ponder it. What are your thoughts?
Who is David’s Enemy?
Who is the enemy in which David refers to here? There are many thoughts on that. Some people feel it could be Saul who was jealous of David and was trying to kill him. Some people feel it was Absalom who was trying to overthrow him. Some people feel there wasn’t one particular enemy in mind.
We already know that David had many enemies. He fought many wars. Some were personal and some were for the good of his community. He could even be talking about himself. We can all be our worst enemies on earth at times. David could also mean a more general term in enemy or he could be talking about enemies in general and not one particular situation.
He could be talking about “THE ENEMY”, the enemy of us all, Satan. After all, who ever or whatever seems to be our enemy, whatever darkness seems to come over us, Satan is behind it all, even if we don’t see it. We may see the face of a rival at work, or an abuser, or even a loved one who has wronged us in some way, but the one behind the cruelty is Satan.
I wonder if it wouldn’t be healthier to see the face of Satan as our enemy instead of the actual person or situation that seems to be against us. In that way, it might not feel so personal. Maybe it would be easier to be more forgiving of the person and more understanding of the situation. For example, I think it is easier to think that God is going to get “even” and be the victor over Satan than it is to think that God might get “even” with the person or situation that did us wrong.
I am not saying take the responsibility away from the person or make excuses for him or her. After all, if he or she wronged you, then they still should take responsibility for it and apologize. But if we see them as someone who is struggling against Satan’s influences just as we are, it seems like it would be easier to know that it wasn’t about our worth and that we are called to forgive them as much as others are called to forgive us.
Have you ever wanted to win or succeed because of how others would think? Have you ever felt like you wanted to succeed because you didn’t want others to think down on you or think less of you? Have you ever wanted to win or succeed because you didn’t want the other person to say, “Ha, ha, I won and you lost. Ha, ha, I won and you lost.”
I know there have been times when I didn’t succeed and my adversary sort of mocked me and put me down. It didn’t feel very well, especially when it happened when I was a child. I didn’t understand that it was “just a game” or that people can be mean sometimes and it has nothing to do with my worth.
I also have to admit that I have had my fair share of pridefulness as well. Most of it was meant to be in the name of fun, but some of it not so much. Pride can get in our way, if we are on the “winning” end of it or the “losing” end of it. It doesn’t matter. It still isn’t a pleasant, good, or righteous thing to feel or show. Often times the pridefulness of our adversary and the ribbing that goes with it, feels worse than the original loss.
Good Versus Evil:
It might sound strange, but some feel that if David was talking in generalities, if Psalms 13 was a general thought about nothing in particular, then he probably wasn’t thinking about prideful enemies saying anything against him personally. His concerns could have been more philosophical and spiritual. He could have been concerned about good versus evil. David could have been concerned about the devil winning over a child of God.
This is the ultimate conflict in all of our lives. Especially as Christians, we want to do what we can to be on God’s side and see God’s side succeed. We struggle and sin when Satan creeps into our lives in some way. For example, when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we prayer for God’s kingdom, not for Satan’s kingdom.
I said in the beginning of the post that I have questions with this verse. I have already mentioned one of them about whether it is healthier to view our enemies as Satan and not as the people or situation specifically. However, I have other questions as well.
If David was talking about the fight against Satan and concerned about good versus evil, then his plea was for God to make things right so God wouldn’t look bad. It reminds me of when Moses talked with God and asked for mercy for the Israelites in Exodus 32:11-13 after they had made the golden calf. Let’s look at those words again: “And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to who thou swarest by thine own self, and sadist unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.” (KJV) In the same way that Moses was pleading for mercy not just for the Israelites, but also to preserve God’s glory, so the enemy can’t boast of a win against God, David may have been doing the same thing in Psalms 13:4.
So, why should I question that motive and strategy? I question it, because it sounds like David and Moses are being a bit manipulative to God. I mean God doesn’t need anyone to tell Him how to run His creations and God doesn’t need anyone looking out for Him. I don’t know about you, but it seems a bit sneaky and wrong to ask God to help you, so that others won’t look badly upon God. Yet, God doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, in Exodus 32:14, we see how God changes His mind and “repented”. (That is another verse that puzzles me.) What are your thoughts?
My other question is, why are we even caring what other people think? Aren’t we trying to please God and not people? Doesn’t Paul ask in Galatians 1:10 (KJV), “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”? We are called to please God, not people. We see it again in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, when Paul says, “But as we were allow of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as a pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” We see this concept in many verses. What are your thoughts?
Thank you for your infinite love and wisdom. Thank you for your Word and your mercy. Thank you for being there for us and for showing us the way to You. Help us to be concerned with not only ourselves but with your kingdom as well. Help us to understand your will for us when things seem a bit confusing. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
If you missed other posts in the series, you may want to go back and read them now. Here they are:
*Psalms 13: Crying Out to God
*Psalms 13: When God Seems Far, Do We Fend for Ourselves?
*Psalms 13: Crying for Life Over Death
If you enjoyed this post, please stay tuned for the rest of the series on Psalms 13. Also, you might like to read these similar posts:
*Perseverance: It Will Happen in God's Timing
*We are Called to be Careful for Nothing?
*Biblical Encouragement for the Depressed and Discouraged
Now, it is your turn.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.