By Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


Psalms‬ ‭55:12-14‬ (‭GNB)‬‬

“If it were an enemy that mocked me, I could endure it; if it were an opponent boasting over me, I could hide myself from him. But it is you, my companion, my colleague and close friend. We had intimate talks with each other and worshipped together in the Temple.”


One of my favorite things to talk about is love and the power it has to change lives. Love has been known to change the course of history, right wrongs, and correct injustices. Love has dried tear stained eyes and mended broken hearts. Love is the only thing that can make your enemy your footstool and drive the “hell” out of people’s hearts.  


But how effective is love when the enemy is your friend? How effective is love when those closest to you betray, lie, steal, abandon, or even plot to take your very life? That’s what David was facing when he penned this psalm. His own flesh and blood, his son Absalom, whose name ironically means “my father is peace,” rebelled against him, while David’s consellor, Ahithophel, Bathsheba’s grandfather (the woman that David had an illicit affair with and had her husband killed), plotted with his son to overthrow the kingdom and to take his life. There was an enemy in his house. David’s anger was targeted towards Ahithophel.


The enemy wasn’t an old antagonist, the enemy was his longtime friend and confidant. What do you do when the enemy is your friend? David prayed to the Lord. He was in great distress when he prayed this prayer.

He tells the Lord about his troubled thoughts, his agony, his anxiety, his fear, and his terror; about his desire to escape from a city full of trouble, evil, corruption, troublemakers and liars. He wants to escape, to find shelter, to confuse his enemy, and to upset his plans. By the time he mentions Ahithophel and identifies him as his enemy (v. 12), David is in a rage.

He tells the Lord that the two of them had enjoyed being together and visiting the house of the Lord. But now, those days are past and his friend has turned against him. He says that Ahithophel’s words were “smoother than butter and softer than olive oil, but hatred filled his heart” (v. 21). If you read this entire Psalm, you will find David asking the Lord for some pretty serious retaliation against his enemy. What’s interesting is that he did not seek to take retaliation himself. He’s not happy, but he trusts the Lord to repay; ”But you, O God, will bring those murderers and liars to their graves before half their life is over. As for me, I will trust in you” (v. 23).


Moses instruction to the children of Israel as they prepared to enter the Promised Land captures the heart of David; “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people” (Deut. 32:43).


When your enemy is your friend, know that it is the Lord who repays. When your enemy is your friend, the solution is to give them love; agape love. When your enemy is your friend, don’t take matters into your own hands. Know that the battle is not yours. The Lord will fight your battles. When your enemy is your friend, it may break your heart, but how you respond will build your character. When your enemy is your friend, be who God created you to be, and He will reward you!


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches i is n the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448.  

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