Bellowing with their Mouths

Psalms 59:1-4 ESV

“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me;
deliver me from those who work evil,
and save me from bloodthirsty men.

“For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
fierce men stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to meet me, and see!”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we die with him to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness, we will have enemies, who are the enemies of God/Christ. And his enemies are those who refuse to bow the knee to him, and who refuse to obey his commands under the New Covenant, but who do the opposite of his commands, in his face, in direct defiance to him and to his commands, in their pride, and in their arrogance, and in their stubborn wills.

They make no room for God/Christ in their lives at all. And many of these people may be those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and who are convinced that all their sins are forgiven, and that they are on their way to heaven, but who deny him by their actions (their deeds). Although they may honor God sometimes with their lips, their hearts are far from him, for their god is really their own fleshly appetites which they place above all else. But they oppose the Lord openly when they oppose his servants who are telling them the truth of what God’s word teaches.

Now, there are Christians throughout the world whose enemies are literally going after them to put them to death physically. And that is possible here in America, too, but it is not as prevalent as it is in other nations where Christianity is outlawed. Here the persecution is mainly more on a verbal level, resulting in verbal attacks and cutting and hateful and insulting remarks and false accusations intended to sully the reputations of the righteous who are walking in obedience to the Lord. And here it is more about rejection and casting out those who are sold out to Jesus Christ.

So, this is a prayer for deliverance from one’s enemies, and for protection from those who do evil against us. And I do know that God will sometimes physically deliver us from our enemies, but he doesn’t always. For in the New Testament we read that as followers of Christ we will share in his sufferings. And those who are enemies of the cross of Christ will also be our enemies, and we will be treated like Jesus was treated. So, persecution is going to be part of what we experience when we follow Jesus, but our Lord will be with us and he will carry us through all the way, so be at peace.

Psalms 59:6-10 ESV

“Each evening they come back,
howling like dogs
and prowling about the city.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths
with swords in their lips—
for ‘Who,’ they think, ‘will hear us?’

“But you, O Lord, laugh at them;
you hold all the nations in derision.
O my Strength, I will watch for you,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”

Now, this gives us a little bit more of a description of our enemies. They are those who will oppose us, sometimes to our face, but sometimes behind our backs, in the dark, where they think no one can see or hear, and that no one can know what they are really up to. And what they say to us to our face may be one thing while they may say the opposite to others. For many of these enemies are two-faced, professing one thing while living another, being one way with one group of people while being the opposite with another. And their mouths are like sharp swords wounding people’s hearts.

But let me say something here about this. We who follow Jesus Christ with our lives, and who speak the truth of the gospel, and who oppose the lies, may be accused of what this is saying above. For if you speak the truth of the gospel, which comes from God, and according to what the Scriptures teach, many are going to think you may be too harsh or negative or judgmental. But if we are speaking the teachings of Jesus Christ, and of Paul and the other apostles (still God’s words), they aren’t all feel good messages. Some or most of them are very hard teachings, but necessary.

But why are they necessary? Because the truth saves lives. Lies do not save people’s lives. We tell people the truth because the truth is what sets people free from their slavery to sin, and it is what gives them eternal life in Christ, our Lord. But the lies keep people still bound in their slavery to sin, still without hope, but while giving them false hopes of heaven when they die based on a lie. So true love exposes those lies which keep people trapped in sin and it tells the truth of how to be free, because true love wants to see people delivered from their sin and bound for heaven, in truth.

Psalms 59:16-17 ESV

“But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.”

So, regardless of how we are treated by our enemies – the enemies of God and of the cross of Christ – we can still sing of the strength of the Lord in our lives. And we can give thanks to the Lord for all that he has done for us, and for all that he has provided. And we can thank him for his grace and mercy and for his salvation, and for the blessings he brings into our lives. And we can thank him for the strength to look in triumph on our enemies – a triumph because we did not let their treatment of us deter us from following the Lord Jesus with our lives. So, they didn’t win. God won! Hallelujah!

Hated and Persecuted for Christ Jesus: [Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]


By Hillsong

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

The Solid Rock

Hymn Lyrics by Edward Mote, 1834
Music by William Bradbury, 1863

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

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3 thoughts on “Bellowing with their Mouths

  1. Amazing
    Thank you for this reflection on Psalm 59 and how it speaks to the reality of persecution and opposition that Christians may face. I appreciate your emphasis on the importance of speaking the truth of the gospel, even if it may not always be well-received. My question is, how do you find the balance between speaking truth and showing love and grace to those who may not agree with us?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anette, that is an excellent question. Let me pray about how to answer that, and I will get back with you. Thank you for your encouragement. Glory to God.


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