1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying to me,
“There is no help for you in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
4 I cry aloud to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
may your blessing be on your people! Selah
When I first started reading the Psalms I was surprised at all the talk of enemies. I had a hard time identifying with this because I try to live in peace with others. I don’t want to have enemies, so I try to not make any. So I wasn’t real sure how all of the “enemy talk” of the Psalms applied to my life.
Maybe you don’t have many enemies. Maybe you do. No matter how hard I try, I still have enemies. They might not have a face, but they do have a name and they are enemies. My tendency to criticize others is an enemy. My tendency to be judgmental and jump to conclusions is another enemy. I have an enemy I call selfishness and it shows up even when I’m trying to love selflessly. I have an enemy I call pride. He shows up quite often.
These are the enemies of holiness and will try to convince me that there’s no hope. They tell me that the way I am is the way I am and there’s nothing I can do to change.. The Psalmist reminds me that God is my shield and when I cry out to him, he answers. Lord, I’m crying out to you today!