For My Love They Are My Adversaries
...But I Give Myself Unto Prayer!

By David J. Stewart | January 2014

For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” —Psalms 109:4-5

       I was searching through my Bible at church the other day for a passage and ran across our text Scripture above, “For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” What a truth! Any mature Christian who has expressed God's unconditional love toward others, while that individual(s) instead returned evil for your good, and hatred for your love, can immediately identify with this Bible passage. The heathen world returns evil for evil, and oftentimes evil for good. As Christians we are forbidden from rendering evil for evil to any person. 1st Thessalonians 5:15, “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”

A lot of unsaved people are spiteful toward born-again Christians, hating them without cause because of the goodness of Christ present in that believer's life (John 15:19). 2nd Timothy 3:1-3, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD.”

The world doesn't know God's love, nor can they comprehend the sacrificial, selfless and unconditional love of a Christian. The heathen world always looks for one's angle, that is, a selfish reason for the good that God's children do. When we return good for their evil, it demonstrates God's unconditional love toward all mankind. After the Lord had been crucified, He prayed forgiveness for the men who did so. It is Christlike to bless those who curse us, do good to those who hurt us, and pray for those who despitefully use us.

Luke 6:27-33, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”

The two greatest commandments in the Bible are really just one... TO LOVE (love God and love thy neighbour, Matthew 22:36-40).

We cannot control the way others behave. If someone wants to harm us, they will likely get their chance one way or another. Joseph's envious half-brothers sought to do evil against him and got their chance. So also did Daniel's enemies succeed in having him cast into the lion's den, but God protected him.

We cannot control the way other people think or behave; however, we can control ourselves. If you hurt me, I'm not going to hurt you back. I'm going to place the matter into God's hands for judgment in eternity. Some people will hurt you deliberately, wanting you to retaliate, just to get a desired negative reaction out of you. It is in such situations that it's best to obey God and do nothing, showing kindness and love instead, returning good for their evil, heaping coals of fire upon their head for judgment day. Romans 12:20, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” The Biblical way to respond to the mean, rotten and hurtful things which people do to us is to PRAY FOR THEM. This is the great truth presented in Psalms 109:4.

Let's take a closer look at our text passage of Scripture from Psalms 109:1-5...

Psalms 109:1-5, “Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.  And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”

Notice that David specifically mentions the hurtful words which his enemies have attacked him with. One of the easiest and most effective ways to destroy a person's name and life is by spreading bad things about them. We are all held accountable by God for the things we say publicly about other people. In fact, for every word that we speak or type on the internet God will hold us accountable (Matthew 12:36). David's enemies hated him, yet David had done absolutely nothing to them except love them as a friend. David said, FOR MY LOVE THEY ARE MY ENEMIES... BUT I WILL GIVE MYSELF UNTO PRAYER!!! What a powerful truth! God wants us to PRAY when people do us wrong. When people return evil for your good, pray for them.

David Turned To Prayer When People Hurt Him

The most beautiful part of our text verse is when David says “BUT I GIVE MYSELF UNTO PRAYER.” Luke 6:27, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” It is a Biblical principle that we ought to pray for those who despiteful use us. “Spite” is feeling the need to see someone suffer. There are a lot of spiteful individuals in today's world, who enjoy hurting others just because they can. Spite is showing malicious ill will and a desire to hurt others. So many people are spiteful toward others. Spite is malevolence by virtue of being malicious or nasty. Some people just like to be mean and rotten.

The apostle Paul makes a remarkable statement in 2nd Corinthians 12:15, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” The more that Paul loved, the less he was loved. In other words, the greater Paul's capacity became to love OTHERS, the less capacity others had to reciprocate (return) Paul's love. If I'm growing closer to the Lord day-by-day, walking with Jesus in prayer, fasting and searching the Scriptures; but you're not, then you're not going to be able to love me unconditionally the way I love you. The Bible teaches for Christians to set their affections on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), instead of minding earthly things (Philippians 3:19).

Psalms 35:11-13, “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”

The Christian life is a life of prayer, which mostly includes praying for OTHERS. The idea of selfish prayer is worldly, not Biblical. God already KNOWS what we have need of. Matthew 6:7-8, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Yet we are taught in Luke 11:5-9 and Luke 18:1-8 the wonderful truth of IMPORTUNITY in prayer, that is, insistently begging God for the needs of OTHERS. Job 16:21, “O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!” Philippians 2:4-5 teach us to have THE MINDSET OF CHRIST and reveals what that mindset is... “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of OTHERS. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The Lord lived His earthly life thinking about the needs of OTHERS. This is our example to emulate.

Christ Liveth In Me

Remember, we don't live the Christian life; but rather, Jesus through His Spirit (Romans 8:9) lives the Christian life through us day-by-day as we yield to the Spirit's leading in the Words of God. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

The Lord promises to avenge (recompense) all men for their evil deeds (Romans 12:19; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Acts 17:32; Romans 2:1; James 4:12).

I know that the Lord is doing a great work through me on the internet. It's the Lord's Spirit working in me, both to will and to do of His good pleasures (Philippians 2:13). As such I have made many enemies, but it is Jesus Who they really hate. John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”

God has given to humanity so many GOOD blessings, but men have sought out evil inventions (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Psalms 145:9, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.“ Psalms 38:20, “They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.” Proverbs 17:13, “Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.”

For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” —Psalms 109:4-5

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