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Knowing and Being Known

P1010427_edited-1_SnapseedThe 139th Psalm is one of the most loved songs of David. It starts and ends with the thought of a God who understands us better than we know ourselves.

David sings of One who is with us in life and in death, who saw us before we were born; who sees our days before we live them; and hears our words before we speak them.

But what are we to make of David’s sudden and unexpected expression of “perfect hatred” of the enemies of God? Listen for the  way the music changes as David sings,

16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies” (Psalm 139:16-22).

If David’s song, and the greater story of the Bible were to end with this 22nd verse, we might assume that it is “biblical” and “honorable” to hate those who hate us and our God—without reflecting carefully about the implications.

Yet, we know that the music doesn’t end there, but rather with a true and better King who leads us to higher ground… where at the foot of an uprooted tree, we are taught to care for our enemies and to love those who hate us and our God.

Could it be that the God who knows us better than we know him, or ourselves, is the One who, at this point in the music, enabled David to sense something wrong with his sudden change of direction? Is it a stretch to wonder whether the God who knows where history is going is the one who prompts David, and us, to conclude with…

23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23–24 NLT).


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101 Responses to “Knowing and Being Known”

  1. tracey5tgbtg says:

    When I saw that this post was about Psalm 139, I opened up my Bible and read through it before I read the rest of Mart’s post. I was reading along thinking how wonderful that God knows every single thing about me, because He created me, and how comforting that is. I enjoyed the parts about knowing that there is no place I can go where God is not there.

    Then I was hit up, as I always am when David goes into that vein, of hating enemies and those who do wrong. He calls them evil and bloodthirsty, as if he has never done an evil or bloodthirsty thing himself. I always question too: “should I actually have hatred for others?”

    Then I went back to the post and saw that was what Mart was focusing on.

    It is jarring the way David talks about hating his enemies. I have always reflected, when David talks in that way, that God knows him. He knows that David has that streak, as do we all, of wanting to see evil punished. God allows David to speak his entire heart. And God allows all of us to speak our entire hearts. He already knows every single we thing we are thinking; there is no use to try and hide it.

    I think it does show how close David is to God, that he ends by saying “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” David expresses his thoughts, but in the end, he wants to follow God’s will and God’s leading.

  2. foreverblessed says:

    Call it coincidence, but just this morning we have been going through Psalm 139 with our church house group.
    Everything was read, just not these verses 19-22. Which stared me in the face.
    So I am very thankful for this explanation of Mart! Thanks you Mart!

    The focus was on the Holy Spirit who is the One who is with us, and in us, and around us, as a warm blanket around us. But also the One who goes into us, flows through us, and cleanses all the hidden areas, the darker parts in or inner being that have not yet been touched by the Light of God.

    These verses, that are such a sudden change of tone by David: hating the enemies of God, and his enemies.

    Very good thing to ponder about, that selfsame Spirit that is always with us, and around us and in us, to ask the HS to search our deepest inner parts. Our deepest motives.
    We might not like what we get to see in ourselves. I was also thinking, that what we find irritant in others is something that is deeply hidden in ourselves.

    God do so with me, and cleanse me and flow through me.
    And let me make the Words of Jesus active in me
    Matt 5:10,11

  3. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Tracey! We can be very open to God, what we feel, and think. Things we can be ashamed of, but open it up to God anyway. There is no sin to deep for God not to cover by the blood of His Son.

  4. poohpity says:

    Yes it seems in David revealing his own heart it was no different that the one’s he was talking about to God. Rather than asking God to change their heart David asked about his own heart and laid that before God.

    Several of David’s songs he does those very things sharing how he feels about people, circumstances and even God then by the end, David’s focus gets back to God and His attributes and ends with praise about who God is and what He is capable of doing.

  5. cbrown says:

    Lord thank you for your Word, thank you Jesus for my salvation in You, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to me to help me.I pray Lord that like David prayed “You will point out anything in me that offends You and lead me” along the path of everlasting Life”.

  6. poohpity says:

    Jesus being the True and Better said, “what’s that to you, you follow me”. I understood that to mean to mind my own business or don’t fret about others but just to pick up my life with all it’s thorns, toils and follow Jesus.

  7. jeff1 says:

    It is when I realize that my own heart is far from God’s that I see how hypocritical I have become. I am no better than my enemies in that my hatred of them has blinded my vision of God. Love is very much the word on peoples lips today but I have seen hatred in action, known it in my heart and witnessed the long time affects of what it does to Society. Man’s love will not change hatred for in man’s realm love often turns to hatred. It is not until the supernatural love of God penetrates our hearts and minds shall we truly know God’s love.

    When I think of how He came so far from glory
    Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
    To suffer shame and such disgrace
    On Mount Calvary take my place
    Then I ask myself this question
    Who am I?

    Who am I that the King should bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For whom am I?

    When I’m reminded of His words
    I’ll leave Him never
    If you’ll be true I’ll give to you life forever
    Oh I wonder what I could have done
    To deserve God’s only Son
    To fight my battles until they’re won
    For who am I?

    Who am I that the King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not thy will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?
    But to an old rugged cross He’d go for, who am I?

  8. street says:

    thinking of david’s hatred for the enemies of God. you have to remember this is a sheppard boy who faced many adversaries at a very young age. lion, bear, goliath saul. he knew there were things that would kill him if he was not paying attention or obeying the maker of his office. he also understood to sheppard you needed to make decisions for the welfare of your charges. to see this hatred played out in justice you can look at the Old Testament, Revelation, or david’s charge to solomon at his death. thinking of the grace that david enjoyed and the promise it would never end.

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life”

  9. joycemb says:

    I am reminded of Peter cutting off the ear of the soldier as they arrested Jesus. Jesus immediately healed the wound. It is in our heart to want justice. God’s justice is so different, and that’s another oxymoron.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    This subject akin to the last has huge possibilities to explore.

    If you agree that the Holy Spirit is the Author of all Scripture then you have to look past the fact that people just like you and I wrote the Psalms while inspired to by God, and I would go so far as to say not only write by inspiration, but each and every word so placed as to give true meaning that God wants said.

    Hence the danger of altering words to sound more modern or in line with the moods of present day usage.

    Notwithstanding the fact that there is some 1712 pages in my King James Bible, to center on only one psalm or in part of one psalm in order to congeal all of Scripture into one meaning shows the complexity of studying God’s Word to say the least.

    The Bible starts with these words “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” and ends with, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

    To this very moment you will not get everyone to agree on what these two sentences mean.

    The story God wants us to know are found within the pages and between these two sentences as well as the events and life we are living right now.

    If we agree that God is omnipotent and omnipresent, can wrap our understanding around the fact that He has no beginning nor an end, how can we say such a being has an enemy?

    What would an ‘enemy” of God ever hope to accomplish?

    How could we ever hope to hide anything from God, so asking Him to search us is redundant, unless we think we are doing well enough to please Him and so say to Him in prayer, “Go ahead have a look, you will see my heart is right.” Then add “If you find anything wrong, fix it please.”

    Are there “things” that God *hates*, absolutely, but they are attitudes and spirits rather than the people under their control.

    Are we ask not to hate the same things God hates? No, but are told to love the person under the control of evil attitudes and actions.

    How do we as people separate the person from their evil and if we can’t how then is it possible not to attach your hatred of evil from the person doing it?

    If you are honest with yourself there are people you just don’t like, let alone love.

    How then is it possible for any of us to live up to a standard some believe God has put on being Christian?

    As I understand it we are covered by the blood of Christ and only because He is able to live up to the standard are any of us found to be acceptable to God the Judge of all things, not by our ability to “love our enemies” or love the enemies of God. Only because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

    I believe God speaks to us from the Bible, and especially the Psalms, but I also believe He talks to each of us individually and may say one thing to one person and another thing to another right from the same verse, depending what each person is able to learn at the time when they are able to accept it An event only the Holy Spirit knows.

    This is what happens when I write in the afternoon between events, things get to long…

    Steve

  11. poohpity says:

    I was thinking this evening do we really believe that God knows us so intimately as even knowing our thoughts, motives and is it worth our time and energy to grow to know Him intimately? Does one believe it is even possible to grow into a deeper intimate relationship with our God and what would that be like?

  12. street says:

    it’s kinda hard to condemn your enemy of sin when you are guilty of the same offense. remember sinning against God make you guilty of breaking all the law. the law is seamless and perfect, a perfect covering for the righteous. it more like a hospital gown from mans perspective. there is a covering provided by a righteous and holy God and it is found in His Son by faith. i find it interesting the people of faith in the Old Testament are saved by the same covering. Habakkuk 2:4

    been thinking it’s not safe in the flesh, but is safe in the Spirit of Christ. remember something of walking in the Spirit and putting the deeds of the flesh to death. Romans 8:13

  13. street says:

    poo said,”I was thinking this evening do we really believe that God knows us so intimately as even knowing our thoughts,”

    nothing is hidden from His eyes. God is light and it penetrates everything. He knew us before we were born. He is unlike anything we have ever known. made in His image makes even our peers a mystery. thinking He is the Greatest satisfaction of the heart to those who know Him.

  14. joycemb says:

    Amen! street

  15. SFDBWV says:

    I believe it is the Presbyterian’s that have a basis in “predestination”, and I believe Tim Keller is from that Protestant denomination.

    Psalms 139:13 expresses the wonder of being *made* in your mother’s womb, Psalms 139: 14, 15 continues to praise God for intimately knowing us both spiritually and physically when being *made* in secret in the depths of the earth, and psalms 139:16 is very interesting as it can be seen as saying before I was formed God seen my being before I was a being at all. Most all translations interpret this to say “”Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped before one came to be.”

    Yet some wonder why I and others see abortion as such a litmus test in learning the character of those who ask us to allow them to represent us.

    Psalms 139:19-22 indicates David’s desire to be removed from the company of wicked evil people. I certainly can relate.

    I guess I am wondering if we have a say in our lives at all or is it all laid out eons of ages before we are born?

    Out of time…first rain in over 20 days.

    Steve

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes, it may seem that it is hard to condemn your enemy of sin when you are guilty of the same, but, if you are walking in the flesh, it is natural. It is the foolishness of an eye for an eye type justice, where you and your enemy become blind together, and your revenge has found its sickening deceptive pleasure.
    Your spirit choice is again useless, until conviction again helps you walk back to being in the spirit instead.
    Perhaps a never ending battle of the mind, is just being lived out in us all.
    The only one we ever fool, is the fool in us when we continue to make our wrong choices first.
    May God help us to walk against our nature, and to just Follow Christ instead.
    Gary

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve.. yes we do have a say, but what should we say?

    If we believe that salvation must be awaiting us, for there is no longer any other resolve now that we have been called, and invited, to the Wedding, in our hearing the Groom say, “Come!”

    If we believe we can do nothing to change that upcoming event, we are then predestined in our thinking, our way of faith says, we are only to yet experience it.

    But, holding to that premise, if we can do that for our own way of thinking, even our faith, can we not also in our thinking, see there is a predestine of others to their condemnation as well, if they still choose to refuse.

    Just thinking…

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    sorry, predestination

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    If the Groom is who “we know” He is, for we “are” His Bride, then we also know, that He is only obeying the All Knowing One who charges Him to do every act.
    If predestination is what it is, then why does He even bother to invite anyone, specifically calling them by name, knowing exactly who will, and who will not, “Come?”

    Having said that, we who are called, are called Christians. We know Who it is, that has calls us, and we also know the fate of those who refuse to believe in Him, or accept His Call.

    Then, predestination believers must also conclude, that there is a predestination for some to be locked outside the Wedding, “Forever!”
    Or, do predestination believers, believe something else?

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    As far as Abortion goes, we believers, believe that all those innocent lives that are snuffed out because of man’s decision to Abort the Gift of a Life given only by God, that the names of the Innocent are written is His Book of Life.
    Or, do we believe something else?

    We must conclude that God will bring together all things, for the good of those, Who Love Him.
    Gary

  21. SFDBWV says:

    I haven’t much time Gary and for that I apologize, it seems that too is out of my control as well.

    I would caution you that when you take up the concept of predestination, the unequaled power of God and we His children it can make you a little crazy and somewhat frustrated in trying to figure it all out. Just as the Psalmist said, He is above our ability to understand.

    I fully agree we are to make the choice for Jesus, and strive then to live out the remainder of our lives as holy as we are able, but then is that already been worked out in God’s plan before the world was made???

    It appears the Scripture bears this concept out, so where does that leave us? Are we acting out our lives in an already written event or is each event new?

    Caution in answering too quickly as there are a lot of evidence for the predestined view of our lives written in the Scriptures. And following thru to any conclusion shows us that this Bible isn’t about us it is about God .

    And God is represented most clearly in the person of Himself in Jesus of Nazareth to whom we call Lord.

    Steve

  22. joycemb says:

    Steve thanks for that! The Bible not being about us but about God in reference to the discussion about predestination reminds me of end times disputes concerning whether we are pre, post or amil. concerning end times discussions in Rev. 20. Does it matter, really? As you’ve said, there is so much about God we can’t understand while in our bodies. So true.

  23. joycemb says:

    When I was in school I could not decide for any particular view of Bible interpretation as I could see the merits and problems of all. In fact, after many discussions even the most popular interpretation never fully explained itself without leaving more questions. Probably why I’ve decided on an ecumenical approach. Yet the bottom line has to be Jesus Christ crucified no matter the approach.

    What’s the topic again? Sorry if I’m lost in thought here.

    That’s why I love this blog. Room to grow. Even when it’s like tip-toeing through a briar patch there’s always still waters on the other side. Thank you Jesus!

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… no matter how much time I take before responding, I believe the bible is about both, God and man.
    At least the parts I’ve read, because there is an account of the creation of earth and mankind, and the destruction of almost every living thing on the earth, even most of mankind, for starters.
    Then there are so many more stories about all types of people in it everywhere, so how can it all be just about God?
    In the sense that nothing would exist without God perhaps, but the bible exists as a living, active word, to all those He enlightens through His Word.
    Many believe it is God’s Love Letter to all Mankind.
    I can make no case for believing, or not believing in predestination, as it will not save or destroy you on the basis of your believing in it or not.
    It is as you say, a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that makes or breaks us, any other case one can make.
    I’ll leave that higher stuff, to the pre/post thinkers, or to those who feel led to pursue it for themselves.
    Just like we can never know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, although many others have given it their best, but it still remains a mystery.
    Gary

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Knowing and Being Known, makes me now think about another mention in the word, the one about having one’s name written in the book of life.
    Is it at conception or before life begins, or when we receive our new life?
    Does the bible tell us “when” that writing actually happens, or if it can ever be then changed, or eradicated.
    It seems to me, that if your name is not there when the books are opened, it is not good for your pending case in court about your Eternal Judgment.

  26. joycemb says:

    Mart said,
    “where at the foot of an uprooted tree, we are taught to care for our enemies and to love those who hate us and our God”.

    This sounds like a sacrificial sort of love to me. Sacrificing our opinions, our differences, our rights when necessary. Even our little gods; whether they be time, money, or our personal convictions we still need to love and care for others. Much like the older brother or the new Jewish converts who wanted to maintain their religious practice of circumcision I’m thinking that even and especially within the Body of Christ the practice of love is just as sacrificial as to those outside the faith.
    Just thinking…

  27. street says:

    gary said,”eye for an eye type justice, where you and your enemy become blind together, and your revenge has found its sickening deceptive pleasure.”

    i don’t think eye for an eye is about justice or revenge, it’s about punishment and the limit God imposes on it. in other words, you can not punish past the infraction or injury.

  28. poohpity says:

    Getting to know God can be a very fulfilling journey that takes an eternity but the impact on one’s life in the here and now sure does bring many benefits especially when we realize that we are never dealt with in the manner we deserve. Knowing that about God really grows our love and adoration for/of Him.

  29. street says:

    gary said,”Perhaps a never ending battle of the mind, is just being lived out in us all.”

    gary, is the battle over, when we surrender our hearts mind will commonsense knowledge and receive the pure milk of the Word?

    taking every thought into captivity till adjudicated before God?

    i think it is a battle with God we really need to lose sooner then later. i am beginning to understand why He leaves His Holly Spirit behind. oh to learn to keep instep with Him, oh the places you will go!

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    street… while you say, an eye for an eye is to limit the amount of punishment done to an offender, maybe that is true, but, is it not also to inflict another injury upon that offender of equal value?
    Would it not also be used as the premise that one bad thing deserves an equally bad thing, applying only the law of reciprocity, evil for evil, and never showing a turning of the cheek, or a showing of grace, love, compassion, and mercy?
    But, I may be wrong…

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    street asks… “gary, is the battle over, when we surrender our hearts mind will commonsense knowledge and receive the pure milk of the Word?”
    Yes, it would be, (if,) we are not also bound to actually living in these earthly tents, or in the here and now, all while awaiting our true transfiguration into a new body of purity and holiness.
    Until then, we must battle on, as we must either put on the armor, or choose not to.
    Gary

  32. poohpity says:

    Yes sometimes the way we think about things is so far removed from the way God thinks about things or His way and reasoning. That is why it is so important to grow in our knowledge of God then we do not assume or guess as to His reasoning or logic. But and there is a but we have to get out of ourselves and spend time with God, learning not thinking we know but really getting to know Him and not leaning on our understanding because most often it is wrong, faulty and consumed with self.

  33. poohpity says:

    There is a very big difference in experiencing God and being taught about Him. One seems to be hands on(personal) and the others hands off(impersonal).

  34. joycemb says:

    Keeping God at arms’ length until one can trust Him completely doesn’t deter Him from loving us completely, does it. So much to learn about Him it never ends. And think how much more we will learn in an instant when we finally see Him face to face! Hallelujah! come Lord Jesus, come!

  35. jeff1 says:

    As you say there is a very big difference in experiencing God and being taught about Him especially as there is much false teaching going on. I was told that the younger generations are questioning the teachings of their religions and finding that what is being preached is not being practiced and so a falling away is occurring. The question remains does a falling away from attendance at Churches mean a falling away from God or the institutions that say they represent God. Religions have complicated God and that is why God wants us to focus on Christ but for myself I have given too much thought to God and taken my eyes of Christ which has brought me confusion. The best advice I ever got from another believers was to keep my faith simple and I do not believe studying the Bible to know God is simple but to look how Christ lived is the better option but following Christ was not easy as we see from the Characters in the Bible either then or today. What I do see that these Characters did have set backs as well as successes so failure at one stage in their life did not mean they gave up and that should be an inspiration for us as well to keep the faith regardless of difficulties for in doing so we are trusting God and isn’t that what pleases God that we trust Him.

  36. poohpity says:

    Jesus was sent to reveal the Father. God just in a different form. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) then in John 17:25-26 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

    I agree with you Viv that people are falling away from the church in all it’s religiosity more to a relationship with the Lord which seems to be often left out. People can see, they want to know God but not the religious expectations found in many churches which often times is not one in the same.

    I saw this the other day, “Be like Jesus: spend enough time with sinners to ruin your reputation with religious people”. So sad but so true. That is exactly who Jesus spent His time with and it was the religious people who rejected Him. If Jesus is revealing God then that is who God seeks not the self righteous but those who recognize their need of a Mighty God.

    The stories in the Bible are about real people and it does not hide the fact that they were real, real doubts, real struggles with all their faults and failures but showing that God never gave up on them even when they have given up on Him.

  37. poohpity says:

    I guess I get so confused if one knows that people in the pulpit and outside the pulpit are not teaching truth but then does not want to read the bible for themselves to find out what is in it because of fear they will not understand or think it is over their head but they will never know will they? So how can one ever know unless they give it a try? Surprises awaits, a whole new world to discover and enjoy finding out for one’s self, not leaving it to others to spoon feed us but to go right the source.

  38. jeff1 says:

    The reason I fear it so much is that I have known many different denominations who differ greatly on their interpretation of it. If on the other hand Christians from all denominations where to unite in agreement that Christ is our leader, perhaps non believers would take us seriously, united we stand, divided we fall. The Churches are their own worst enemies as I see it for Christ should come before any strongly held doctrine. I live in a Country that as become more religious than Christian and I see what either false teaching or lack of knowledge has done and I do not like the outcome!

  39. jeff1 says:

    Today the Assembly in Northern Ireland is about to collapse as two men have been murdered and the Security Forces believe the IRA where involved. The terrorist group was to have disarmed for the peace settlement to succeed but once again trust has been abused and we are back at square one. Please pray for all those in Governing to make godly decisions for the outcome to change the hearts and minds of all concerned.

  40. street says:

    gary said,”is it not also to inflict another injury upon that offender of equal value?”

    yes that is correct. what if they repent? would you demand the punishment in light of the cross? sometimes we are not as shrewd as a snake and innocent has a dove as we think we are. if i remember right some who have repented payed back 4 times as much voluntarily after meeting Jesus. what would posses a person to do such a thing?

    thinking of the teachers of the law asking Jesus by what authority did He clear out the Temple?
    posse- a body or force armed with legal authority. in this case legal Authority from Heaven.
    the interesting thing about their denial is they lacked the ability to countermand Him. it would be a good reason to leave a congregation. those who followed Jesus were kicked out. the called out ones. this leaves me with the most important question i can ask myself…
    am i a teacher of the law or a follower of Jesus?

    jeff said,”Religions have complicated God and that is why God wants us to focus on Christ but for myself I have given too much thought to God and taken my eyes of Christ which has brought me confusion.”

    i think this is a normal thing to go through, till Christ is formed in us. He does save us and gives us the Holy Spirit, but we are not there yet. He leaves our being intact as people of choice, this is Gods will for all mankind. our choices get better as we get to know and trust Him. i think this is why we find division in ourselves and our thinking, you will not find this in the Godhead. thinking further, if there was anyone you would want to be like, why would you chose someone other than Jesus? the walter mitty in me needs to die too. yes we all struggle with the reality of the Trinity. He is so unlike us. it ok Jesus prayed for our unity…

  41. joycemb says:

    Trinity-unity-narrow way?

  42. joycemb says:

    I don’t think it can be in the body, only in the spirit.

  43. poohpity says:

    Viv you said, “The reason I fear it so much is that I have known many different denominations who differ greatly on their interpretation of it.” That is the very exact reason for reading it yourself. It is not a book of confusing things that make no sense, it is all very interesting and eye opening not much is about interpretation and those who say that usually have not read it. Rather than trying to interpret it, it is far easier just to read what it says not what it does not say.

  44. street says:

    been thinking some more about Trinity. when we get away from the person of Christ we become enamored with an idea and not God Himself Who is a person. i know where you have been jeff i have been there on more than one occasion. ideas are more easily distorted than persons. i find the philosophers in love with themselves and ideas. i have to admit the philosophers make us look a lot closer at the truth than we would have on our own. He leads us in the Way Everlasting. if not for His eternal love we would have no life at all. He tries and refines us.

  45. SFDBWV says:

    When I read of the last words of David in 2Kings 2:1-10 I see a man seeing to his last requests in both grace and revenge as he instructed Solomon to tend to his old enemies.

    The ensuing verses read in 2Kings 2:12-46 we see Solomon’s kingdom made secure by murder.

    If I remember the story correctly God would not allow David to build His Temple, because David was a man of war and had blood on his hands, yet gave to Solomon nearly everything he desired because he ask for wisdom to rule his people.

    Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

    It would seem that even David, the apple of God’s eye and instrument in accomplishing God will, still lacked one thing, that being the heart and mind of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Yes Jesus is still a better David.

    Steve

  46. joycemb says:

    Steve I looked at some commentaries about this Psalm and they all point to the same idea being David was rightfully angry against those that seemed to be against God as the New Covenant law of loving ones enemies had not yet been put into effect. When I think of it it makes perfect sense! Yet David being a man after Gods own heart was smart enought to know how easily he could become an enemy of God. We are all just like David, vulnerable to indifference, apathy, or outright rejection of God I think. That’s why reading scripture is so important for me as it’s so easy to become distracted either by my own thoughts like Walter Mitty or stuff I see on TV or internet sometimes.

  47. jeff1 says:

    It’s not just understanding God’s word it is applying it in a world that is distant from God that I find difficult. To my dismay I find myself impatient with the world and myself for while there is ugliness in the world I have to accept that I play my part in it. It is man not learning seems to be the difficulty, for wars, crime and violence have been around for a long time and though we are more civilized today the world seems to be moving away from God rather than towards Him. I believe that religions have claimed God and made Him to their way of thinking rather than God making man to His way of thinking. Thankfully when we look at David we can see how well God knows us and our ability to mess up and has covered our backs!

  48. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, please do not think you are alone in having difficulty applying God’s word in this ugly world. Most of us if honest will confess that to be the case. YOU are open and honest like David…that is so beautiful and uplifting to me….I think what I have the most difficulty with is deception…liars are very difficult to love…While there is a lot that I don’t understand…that which I do understand has not been readily applied….thank you for your honesty.

  49. street says:

    steve said,” The ensuing verses read in 2Kings 2:12-46 we see Solomon’s kingdom made secure by murder.”

    does Jesus set up His millennial Kingdom in the same way?

    let look at the parties…simmmion never accepted david as king or God’s anointed one. he broke his agreement not to leave the city or it would cost him his life.

    joab murdered abner, absolom, and i believe another one. david failed to deal with this man and absolon. joab also conspired against solomnn with his brother against david. i would hardly call this murder.

    now to his other bother who’s life was spared by solomn and later tried to usurp the thrown of solomn by asking for the hand of a woman that slept with david to keep him warm. i tend to believe God was working through david and solomn in these acts. solomn did not carry them out immediately, but came around to obeying his father. i am intrigued by these accounts recorded as david’s will and there fulfillment. there is a verse of those who curse you will be cursed and those who bless you will be blessed. we are talking about the thrown of david and One of his Descendant’s will sit on this thrown forever. i agree with you in that Jesus is the better david. when Jesus said you must deny yourself take up your cross and follow, or you can not be His disciple. i find myself thinking like joab more than thinking like david. joab thought about himself, david thought about obeying God. God bless you and make His face shine upon you.

  50. street says:

    steve said,”If I remember the story correctly God would not allow David to build His Temple, because David was a man of war and had blood on his hands, yet gave to Solomon nearly everything he desired because he ask for wisdom to rule his people.”

    you have forgotten that God promised to build david a house! some how i can’t see this house as a temporary.

    God knew He would destroy this Temple and would not let david’s name be on it. i find it interesting that Jesus’s thrown is called the thrown of david. if i remember right david was Greatly humbled by this. God Loves David.

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Admittedly I am having difficulty centering on what it is that troubles me concerning this attempted balance between hating God’s enemies and loving ours.

    There is a direct conflict with Jesus’ message of forgiveness and David’s last instructions to Solomon to exact revenge upon David’s unfinished business not to allow these men to die unavenged.

    Perhaps it is that David’s change of direction in the 139th Psalm is as Mart suspects that David sensed something wrong with his sense of hate as a righteous attitude, but felt a nudge toward seeking God’s approval or disapproval as a correction of his heart.

    Clearly David’s last requests to Solomon reflected that he felt killing off or settling old scores with his old enemies was justified.

    The cruel murders we see Islamic extremist’s committing everywhere today in their view is equally justified, but according to Jesus we are to love our enemies not commit justifiable homicide.

    I think maybe what I am trying to say and sense from this subject is that even the very best of us is very much like all the rest of us in our fallibility and inability to live up to the standard of Jesus. No matter how close we get we are always going to need the covering of Christ’s blood for the imperfectness yet found in our hearts.

    So in our life we just do the best we can and trust the rest to God and so live on peaceably in that rest.

    Steve

  52. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Mart, your intro comment is definitely “food for thought”… I tried to give it a “thumbs up”, but (for some reason) it didn’t accept it.

    Was pondering King David’s comment in verse 22, “Yes, I hate them with *total hatred*, for your enemies are my enemies”. Don’t think I’ve heard the phrase, “total hatred” before. For instance, I hate cockroaches, but I would just tell someone I hate them… though I do have “total hatred” towards them! Lol! Total hatred speaks to (absolutely) no love in your heart for something or someone… It says to me that the person searched his or her heart and could not find any love in it for the thing, person, etc. anywhere… More thoughts later if I have time and this blog topic is still current.

    68 degrees with the promise of sunshine in my neck of the woods.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  53. poohpity says:

    I wonder if there may not be some confusion over “David a man after God’s own heart” and what is meant by that? Maybe a paraphrase might show that to mean that David pursed learning about(Acts 13:22) the heart of God, His will, His ways and His plan thus after(like going after)God’s own heart. Solomon also pursued getting to know God which with all his wisdom came to the same conclusion that pursuing to know God is what brings the most satisfaction in this life (Ecc 12:12-14).

  54. poohpity says:

    So maybe time spent on knowing rather than wanting to be known because in the knowing we realize that we are already known very well even those very secret places that most keep hidden from the world around them with masks, is an open book to God. So the pursuit to know God better and better shows our love for Him because when someone loves another they usually want to know all about them that is what promotes intimacy in a relationship

  55. Regina says:

    Had to come back for one more comment… Was thinking about Mart’s comment,

    “But what are we to make of David’s sudden and unexpected expression of “perfect hatred” of the enemies of God?”

    Perfect hatred? Hmm, God has taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who would spitefully misuse or abuse us… Of a truth, we don’t *love* satan as he’s our number one enemy. In fact, we could see him as our only enemy because he uses people (at least most of the time) to commit wicked/evil acts against us. I know the *love* commandment doesn’t apply to satan because he’s a wicked/evil *spirit*… the only enemy that we’re *NOT* required to love because he’s our only “real” enemy…

    My thoughts for now,
    Regina

  56. poohpity says:

    I wonder if we consider the fact that all human being were enemies of God like what it says in Romans 5:9-11; Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” we may have a differing opinion of enemies and whether we are to love them. That may mean we are to treat others(enemies) as God has treated us.
    Col 1:21-22; Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, 1 Col:21,22 are the promise we believe, yet, Paul has given those their full context with a condition in verse 23, there in comes our responsibility, which somehow we just failed to mention here.
    Verse 23…
    “if you remain grounded and settled in the faith and are not moved away from the hope inspired by the good news to which you listened, which has been preached to every creature under heaven and of which I Paul became a minister.
    I hope I have not ruined anyone’s day here by completing the context, which Paul felt was worthy of including.

    Great morning row with light breezes and cooler weather, and with much wet weather headed our way, many others got their day started early to avoid the inevitable
    latter day rains.
    Gary

  58. foreverblessed says:

    Indeed, that David so switched over from glorifying God to telling how much he hated his enemies!
    We now have the Gospels, the teaching of Jesus:
    Loving your enemies, not to judge etc.

    The God at eventide of yesterday is also still in my heart, when we see the wrong in others, there is an amount of judging necessary, in able to have seen the wrong, but how far can that go:
    from judging that is right and judging that is wrong, and not our place to do.
    But having the mind of Jesus, is the mind of wanting to save all his children. Even the ones who do not yet know they are His children.
    In my mind the theme of the bible is God wanting to save mankind, whatever mess they have made, as deep as the mess goes, so deep goes Jesus to save them.

    Qouting from God at eventide:

    Sep 11 Lose This Desire

    Again I say, never judge another. That is one of My tasks I have never relegated to any follower.

    Live with Me. So you will be enabled to see more of that inner self that I see in each one. Thus you will learn a humility that makes you lose desire to judge.

    Oh, seek to love and understand all. Love them for My sake. They are Mine. As you live with Me you will see how I yearn over them, and long for them. Seeing this your love for Me must prevent your hurting Me by unkind criticism of those for whom I care.

  59. jeff1 says:

    Narrowpathseeker, thank you for reassuring me that I am not alone in my difficulties for sometimes it does feel lonely when others are not seeing God the way I see Him. I too have had hatred for my enemies so I understand where David was coming from. It does not just go away because our enemies are still our enemies and they are still out to harm us. At the very best I do not wish revenge but loving them seems a step too far for me at this moment in time. Time heals wounds, I believe but unless the perpetrator eventually sees their wrong then I am not sure that I can love them the way God loves us.

  60. joycemb says:

    The thing that I love about David and the Psalms is that he and other authors were so brutally honest with God and the reader about their struggles and difficulties.

  61. oneg2dblu says:

    To say we are not to judge anyone, is a very broad statement, because, we who are to elect those who are to serve, have to make that judgment.
    Even the Apostles in Acts 6:3, told those in the early church to pick seven men from among yourselves who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom.

    Is that not also making a judgment about the character of others?

    Today we in leadership, still have to select/qualify/judge certain types of character, set by scriptural standards, before they can serve as Deacons and Elders.
    How about those who we put in the Children’s Ministry, in the Child Care Programs, and such.

    Certainly some must be made at times, so what type of judging was Christ actually speaking about?

    I feel one must qualify further, what type of judging should not be done, before we jump on board using such a broadly interpreted word, don’t we then judge others who we feel are guilty of judging us?
    Just a thought…

  62. remarutho says:

    Good Day BTA —

    King David speaks intimately with the Almighty,
    it seems to me. In Psalm 139 he confessed that
    knowledge of God is exalted and more than the
    human mind can take in. Yet, God understands
    everything about we people He created — in essential
    molecular, genetic and spiritual ways.

    David writes:

    “You have enclosed me behind and before,
    And laid Your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    It is too high, I cannot attain to it.”

    It seems to me also that David’s riff on those who are rebellious against God and who hate God, is a plea to be cleansed and reconciled to God — taking up God’s cause in the world at all times. David prays then that God will remove his anxiety about not proving to be 100% God’s man.

    This makes me think of Jesus’ words to Peter that “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.”
    There is a testing — never accomplished by people, but only by the will of God. Perhaps like the testing of gold in a furnace or silver in a crucible.

    Maru

  63. narrowpathseeker says:

    Maru

    It is so good to see you are back and ok. There was much concern for your well being here and prayers for you. Steve is always so very thoughtful and on top of things and I believe it was he, that first pointed out that you had not been here for a time. Anyway, certainly glad you are back.

  64. remarutho says:

    Not feeling especially welcome, Narrow, but thanks for praying!

    Despite my feelings, this topic of Knowing and Being Known is at the heart of our relationship with the Lord. It’s all about Him, isn’t it?

    Being known by God is to have the Lord’s penetrating attention upon our all our thoughts, desires and fears.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Even if you not feel it, you are very welcome!
    Just like God loves us, whether we feel it or not!
    God is soooo concerned about all of us, and He wants to have us all saved.

    Gary, it is Jesus very clear command:
    DO not judge or you will be judged
    Matthew 7:1

    Since you are the one who is soooo keen on telling us to obey God. I was wondering:so that is how you obey yourself?
    Start arguing about this point. So arguing before obeying?

    Anyway, it is alright if you are arguing, like David who was clear about how he felt and talked about it. But your constant reminder to us, that we have to obey, makes me wonder, to who are you really talking all the time when you comment.

  66. joycemb says:

    Good afternoon! Just stopping by to see what’s going on.

    Maru so happy to hear from you, God bless you.

    I just got this on FB and it was such a great reminder for me:
    “Receive My Peace. It is My continual gift to you. The best way to receive this gift is to sit quietly in My Presence, trusting Me in every area of your life. Quietness and trust accomplish far more than you can imagine: not only in you, but also on earth and in heaven. When you trust Me in a given area, you release that problem or person into My care.” -Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

  67. narrowpathseeker says:

    Maru, I am so sorry that you are not feeling welcomed. I don’t really know the circumstances of your feelings or from where they generated, but like Foreverblessed said, “Even if you not feel it, you are very welcome!
    Just like God loves us, whether we feel it or not!”

    I know several people were concerned about your absence and missed your comments. I hope you are feeling more uplifted in spirit very soon as I expect you will be when your many friends here know you are back.

  68. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina……I found your thoughts on Satan being our number one enemy and that we don’t have to love him very interesting. It made me think how Satan is…didn’t he want to be above God? …power happy?.. arrogant? full of false pride? The father of liars? I think I have the hardest time trying to love those that have those characteristics of satan. Truth and remorse soothe me and melt away bad feelings almost instantly whereas the lack of remorse enveloped in lies just generates more anger. I am pretty sure loving those people does not consist of any pleasant feelings towards them. Anyway, I like your thoughts on that.

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I’ve upset you again, I’m sorry for that.
    As to whom I am speaking, I’ll let you be the judge on that.
    But, I have a feeling you may have already.
    Gary

  70. street says:

    steve said,”Clearly David’s last requests to Solomon reflected that he felt killing off or settling old scores with his old enemies was justified.”

    thinking of david as king of israel and the chief law enforcement officer of the kingdom. somewhere in the this enforcement, david, is to be impartial. not easy for any human to do. i tend to think, looking back, like all, we wish we had done better and failed less often.

    asking God to search him out and rest his anxious thoughts because he knows they can not be trusted. only God is a sure thing in a temporal world.

    i am always amazed at the flood of rubbish that flows through my mind. the trick is to let it pass down steam and not swim out to it. stay alert your Savior can show up at anytime.

    20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

    21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

  71. street says:

    i don’t know if i can agree with satan being our number one enemy, when you consider the fallen state of man. it not satin that is responsible for our sins, it is us!
    he and us are just really good at deceiving each other and ourselves. if He had not given us His Spirit we could not make heads or tails out of Scripture. humbly press on and spend lots of time with Him. it helps to keep us from getting bored, complacent, prideful, by doing what He asks us to do.

  72. street says:

    forever said, “We now have the Gospels, the teaching of Jesus:
    Loving your enemies, not to judge etc.”

    drives me crazy when people say don’t judge. at least you put etc on the end. hope you know what the rest of the verse means. you can only pardon people for offenses against yourself. for offenses against God and community we are required to be impartial and certainly not retaliate. as a community we are required to set standards and enforce them, right now i wonder if we even have any in the world? certainly within the church. come to think of it, it should be like night and day. hoping the light dawns on many others.

  73. street says:

    “What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

  74. SFDBWV says:

    I believe it was Michelangelo that sculpted the statue of a naked David.

    How very appropriate and as is the gift of a true artist he understood what a naked David meant.

    From the time we are introduced to David in the Scripture through his famous naked dance up to his very last words all of David is exposed to us.

    Very few of us could withstand such a scrutiny, yet God has seen every detail and if we are to believe David’s Psalm God seen them before we were formed or made in secret.

    In this Psalm I see that David sensed that something was yet missing within his heart and ask God to fill in whatever was missing in order to make him feel complete.

    Continuing I understand what was missing was the rebirth and indwelling of the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah/Christ.

    David sensed this yet couldn’t as yet name it.

    Since the birth of Jesus we can name what is missing in us to make us complete and need only to invite Him in yet so very many resist the invitation out of a long list of issues that only their nakedness can reveal.

    David ask god to search him and repair him, sadly one of the human faults we all endure is when we search others and only expose their warts not remove or overlook them.

    49 degrees with light drizzle.

    Steve

  75. SFDBWV says:

    Maru like you I view this Blog sometimes as a battleground rather than a friendly coffee clutch, but as an ex-Marine I also rely on knowing that someone always has my back on the battlefield.

    Please know I am many others here have your back, when you may feel unwelcome remember that and remember I and others consider you an integral part of whatever conversation topic we may be dissecting.

    I am relieved to see you once again commenting and hope you continue to.

    Steve

  76. jeff1 says:

    Steve says, David ask God to search him and repair him, sadly one of the human faults we all endure is when we search others and only expose their warts not remove or overlook them. It is necessary to examine our own selves but we must also be honest with ourselves, I have examined myself and deceived myself but when God penetrates my heart it is then I see my own warts and can agree with God that it is the blood of Christ that makes me right with God not my faith or works, they are secondary to my Salvation and are for God to judge.

    Thinking that judgement comes with the territory as King David had to make tough decisions but it is not always our place to judge for silence is often the best option. If you have watched the film ‘A Few Good Men’,
    Jack Nicholson’s performance is one of the most memorable of any performance I have seen in that it is not only his delivery which is memorable but the script which has so much truth and that is that we can not always handle the truth and this is why God chooses whom He chooses.

    Jack Nicholson as Col Jessup:

    Son, we live in a world that as walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men and guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possible fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have the luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

    You don’t want the truth. Because deep down,in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You want me there (boasting) We use words like honour, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone of a life defending something. You use them as a punchline.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom, I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way I don’t give a ….what you think your entitled to.

    The point I am trying to make is that while Col Jessup make seem like a monster to us there is truth in what he is saying, I do not get to see the difficult decisions that comes with the territory of another, God has appointed them and it is His judgement call.

  77. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian….WOW!! I never saw that movie(I am going to look for it on Netflix) but your correlation with this character to Judgement was profoundly enlightening. Thank You.

  78. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All,
    poohpity said, “I wonder if we consider the fact that all human being were enemies of God like what it says in Romans 5:9-11; Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

    Your comment, pooh, brought some other thoughts to mind… For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, they’re now new creations in Christ their old nature is gone and they now have a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 3:1-3). But those who reject Christ still have a sin nature, and are, indeed, enemies of God. Thinking about that verse in Revelation (no time to find it) where people are going to openly reject God, they won’t be able to die, and they’re gonna beg for rocks (or boulders (?) to fall on them… I paraphrased. So, satan, the angels who followed him and the people who reject God are all enemies of God.

    narrowpathseeker said, “Regina……I found your thoughts on Satan being our number one enemy and that we don’t have to love him very interesting. It made me think how Satan is…didn’t he want to be above God? …power happy?.. arrogant? full of false pride? The father of liars? I think I have the hardest time trying to love those that have those characteristics of satan. Truth and remorse soothe me and melt away bad feelings almost instantly whereas the lack of remorse enveloped in lies just generates more anger. I am pretty sure loving those people does not consist of any pleasant feelings towards them. Anyway, I like your thoughts on that.”

    Yes, narrow, satan is all of what you listed in your comment, but the thought that provoked me to write what I wrote about him is that satan is an *evil* spirit. He’s not on the same level as we are as he is not flesh and blood. We are not commanded to love him as he is not of this world, and Jesus, Himself, kicked him out of heaven. Thank you for appreciating my thoughts…

    90 degrees and about 30 min. before dusk in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  79. street says:

    thinking of a new tangent here on search me oh God.

    thinking God honors our choices, good or bad. we believe God saved us by repentance and faith. He gives His Holy Spirit as a deposit. in keeping with this honor of choices, is david asking for a closer walk with God? can we? i learned today in Revelation 3: 8 there is an open door that is always open, need to take advantage of it.

  80. street says:

    i can see how there is a question in david’s mind about such hate for man and being one. but is it a hate for man or evil? without question david is a man of faith, for the righteous shall live by faith.

    david’s reaction to goliath’s taunt to israel comes to mind in this zeal for God. this young man is incredible.

    never a dull moment.

  81. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I am not sure of much of anything…I just get some pretty strong feelings about some things some times…and because it strongly bothers me that I don’t “FEEL” all warm and compassionate about people that seem to share satan’s characteristics I have to wonder if they are not “possessed” with demonic spirits. I am thinking of all the evil in the world today such as those that smile as they decapitate another human being and have to believe it is the evil spirit of satan that lives in them as I don’t know how else a human being could do that. Then I think of those in Westboro Church that could go to disrupt funerals of innocent children even and bring more heartache upon the families of the deceased…and wonder if even those knowing scripture could be demon possessed…satan knows scripture and he knows God…it didn’t stop him from wanting to be top dog. Anyway…they are just my thoughts… I still believe we are to LOVE these people, pray for them, and do good unto them…my confusion lies in what that LOVE may FEEK like and what IS doing good unto them….have we too long ignored the “casting out demons” as one of the signs that would follow those who believe? I NEVER hear anything about that and wonder why….

  82. narrowpathseeker says:

    “FEEL” sorry

  83. jeff1 says:

    When Jesus told Peter to ‘get behind me Satan’ surely that means that we can be possessed by demonic spirits.
    I was brought up not to interfer in the spirit world as it is God’s domain and way above my understanding. I happen to believe that God wants us to trust Him and that means not dabbling in the spirit world for it is dangerous when we do no understand what we are dabbling in. I was told this by a member of the ‘Church of Christ’ and I instantly knew that this was correct teaching so my spirit was in tune with this person’s spirit. There are religions that dabble in spiritual more than others but if God warned against it then He had good reason. We can unleash bad spirits and cause ourselves great anguish in the process.

  84. poohpity says:

    Regina, before we knew Jesus we were His enemies and yet He went to the cross while we were still enemies, if He being God would do that for His enemies how much more should we extend that same grace to others. If one does not realize that then does one really know God or what great love He showed for humanity. I guess it depends on whether we are looking to please God or our own rights.

    Luke 6:27-36
    27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[b] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

    32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

    There is a very big difference in knowing about God and truly knowing Him. It will be seen in how we treat our enemies.

  85. jeff1 says:

    Yes Pooh, For someone who has felt great hatred for my enemies I see a battle going on inside me and having seen hatred and violence in action among those who claim to know Christ I know how we do not always practice what we preach. A person can believe they have accepted Christ but not live it out, this is when they quote the Bible to back up what they want to believe, it is very easy to deceive yourself when you convince yourself you are justified in doing so and 30 plus years of violence and hatred can influence your thinking no matter what you know in your heart.
    There is indeed a BIG difference to knowing about God and truly knowing Him.

  86. poohpity says:

    Viv, I do not believe there is anything at all wrong in using scripture as a guide to teach us how to deal with those we feel are enemies or how to show love and grace. We all need to be taught differently or nothing ever changes. Yes you are right anyone can justify a behavior and use the bible to back it up but the difference is listening to the leading of the Spirit. Knowing what comes from God and what comes from self. No one is perfect in learning but don’t you think at least one can see some change at some point when justification and blame are let go of? It seems the best starting place is understanding ourselves and what God has done for us then we can give others the same break we received(grace).

  87. poohpity says:

    It all comes down to choice. We can continue to chose to hold on to anger, bitterness, rage, malice which turns into self destruction or make the choice to put it all into the hand of God.

  88. jeff1 says:

    I am talking here of my personal battle, Pooh, I let 30 years of violence and hatred demonise my thinking, it is God who speaks to my heart and tells me my thinking is wrong but there is an ongoing battle in my head. You might think it is easy to let go of hatred and violence but in a small community like I live in where everyone knows everyone and your neighbours and your friends have been directly affected by it and I myself have been directly affected by it then it is much more difficult than you think. Especially when those who hate you have not changed their anger, bitterness and rage towards you. The reality of being faced by anger, bitterness and rage is very different when it stares you in the face. Your reaction is to fight back because it is the only way you know for when faced with them they are very frightening and you are very aware that Satan can exist in man. I am not sure that man knows how to fight evil any other way than by defending himself!

  89. poohpity says:

    Anger, evil, hatred, bitterness is common to all mankind not just your little area. You still have a choice to react to all of it the same way everyone else does which would imply doing it “my way” but there are different ways to deal with it that brings healing, health, joy. Those ways are found in trusting and believing in God and doing things the way He leads and teaches us. Bottom line the choice is ours and no one ever said it was easy but we do, after all, have help. The battle fighting evil is not ours to fight it belongs to the Lord.

  90. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… Only working half a day today, which gives me an opportunity to chat for a few with yall…

    narrow said, “Regina, I am not sure of much of anything…I just get some pretty strong feelings about some things some times…and because it strongly bothers me that I don’t “FEEL” all warm and compassionate about people that seem to share satan’s characteristics I have to wonder if they are not “possessed” with demonic spirits. I am thinking of all the evil in the world today such as those that smile as they decapitate another human being and have to believe it is the evil spirit of satan that lives in them as I don’t know how else a human being could do that.”

    I totally understand how you feel, narrow… After reading what you wrote, I asked myself, “why does some people have a propensity to do evil while others only desire to do good? Not thinking about this from a spiritual perspective because there are some people (I could even say many people) who desire to do good, and they don’t know the LORD Jesus. Could it be possible that those who desire to do evil are descendants of Cain and those who desire to do good are descendants of Abel? And, yes, both sets of descendants are relatives, but we’re *ALL* related to Adam and Eve. So, we both realize, narrow, that the desire to do evil was born in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve (our parents) decided to disobey God and eat forbidden fruit. It opened up a “pandora’s box” that only Jesus could shut. My thoughts for now.

    pooh, I’ll share my thoughts on what you shared later on… off to work now.

    73 degrees and sunshine in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  91. jeff1 says:

    The smaller the area the bigger impact for you cannot speak to someone who has not been personally hurt by violence. In one small village there are 26 graves and those where all someone’s son, father, brother, friend or neighbour. The thing is these people are ordinary people they do no retaliate they simply grieve for their loved ones and try to understand why them. I do the same I try to understand why God allows it and why those who have carried it out are now in Government without having denounced violence. God does work in mysterious ways and I trust God but that does not mean we do not suffer at the hands of our enemies and the Bible shows that very clearly. Perhaps if you lived with it and witnessed it for 30 years you would feel differently. And what of the people carrying out their violent acts, I do not see God changing their hearts when they do not let Him anywhere near their hearts to change. The Churches here have tried but when people choose not to hear, what then! Also is it God’s will that evil should triumph or is it a case of when good men do nothing evil does triumph!

  92. poohpity says:

    Viv, are you assuming I have not lived around violence? For many years I was associated with an outlaw biker gang and so I know very well what being around violence looks like and I was arrested for attempted murder myself. I usually do not talk about things I do not know or have not experienced and I know how God works in lives by helping us to overcome. I am not responsible for the behavior of others, it is actually none of my business but I am only responsible for myself before God.

    I also understand mental health problems from experience as well as from education and I know the problems with holding on to anger, malice, rage, bitterness which causes major depression and anxiety. When one realizes the grace given to us from being fully known by God which He has bestowed on us it would behoove a person to grow to know God better that then will help us to let go of the anger, rage, bitterness we feel towards others that causes us to think of them as enemies rather than fellow sojourners.

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    How about generational prejudice? Like those who still carry in their hearts, their forefather’s feelings about living with past slavery as if it is their own affliction or their identity?
    How easy it is to say, just forgive and forget, or just give it to God.
    Yes, that will help you, but, does it help others who choose to carry their own form of perceived oppression, and hold the sins of you fathers forever against you?
    What breaks the cycle of, I am not ready to forgive or forget what your people have done to my people in the past?
    I do not think we are the first generation to ever take all this recurring troubled condition of man, to God.
    Just thinking…

  94. oneg2dblu says:

    So, if we only care about what we do, will that be enough to truly resolve the battle?

  95. poohpity says:

    Well I guess for those who trust God to work in peoples lives, we pray and depend on God. After all it is God who has the power to change peoples hearts.

  96. jeff1 says:

    Our Governments have been giving men of violence what they want since the peace settlement in 1998, they have encouraged them into Government, they have given prisoners early release, they have given terrorists compensation, they have apologised to them for Bloody Sunday and paid them compensation. Do you know what the IRA have given in return nothing, not an apology for the Security Forces they killed many in front of their children, not an apology for Civilians murdered on remembrance day parades, some families do not know where their loved ones are buried for the IRA disposed of the bodies. Do you think that God has the power to change hearts that do not want to be changed, God gives us choice and they have chosen murder and mayhem. Is it not our God given right to defend ourselves given the choice they have given us?

  97. poohpity says:

    Viv, I was responding to what Gary wrote but God suggested(choice) we pray for those we have such troubles against and I do believe that God can do anything even change a heart that does not want to be changed. He is after all God.

  98. poohpity says:

    I have found after praying about someone I have such troubles with that it is my heart that gets changed towards them.

  99. jeff1 says:

    I would say that is where we differ I believe God does not force Himself on anyone and has to see a willingness in their heart to want to change. God give us freedom to choose and it is our choice whom we love and hate. I did not set out in life to hate anyone it happened because of having family and friends murdered. It is not that I walk around with hate in my heart but after 30 years of violence and 17 years of a peace settlement that has been broken just last week by 2 more murders I have little trust that men of violence want to change to God’s way. I have been taught that we take responsibility for our actions and then God’s will, will prevail. Men of violence do not take responsibility for their actions but pass the buck to someone else and a cycle of blame occurs leaving everyone in limbo.

  100. poohpity says:

    God’s Will will prevail no matter what people chose to do. Hanging on to bitterness, anger, hatred becomes very self destructive to the person holding on to it but that does not effect God’s plan. We can make a choice to be free from the bondage of self destruction for a better way of forgiveness, mercy and grace.

  101. jeff1 says:

    And I am so thankful for that, for I have made enough bad choices myself to see men doing likewise and know that ultimately it is only God can save man from himself as was God’s plan from the beginning.

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