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When People Turn Against You
Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Intro: The Bible is filled with story after story detailing relationships that revolved around rejection and separation. The Bible covers the entire spectrum. Everyone in here has had people turn on them or experienced the pain of rejection.
JOKE: The preacher’s Sunday sermon was Forgive Your Enemies. Toward the end of the service, He asked his congregation, “How many of you have forgiven their enemies?” All responded, except one small elderly lady. “Mrs. Jones?” inquired the preacher, “Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?” “I don’t have any.” she replied smiling sweetly. “Mrs. Jones, That is very unusual. How old are you?” “Ninety-three,” she replied. “Oh Mrs. Jones, what a blessing and a lesson to us all you are! Would you please stand and tell us all how a person can live ninety-three years and not have an enemy in the world.” The little sweetheart of a lady faced the congregation, and said “I outlived the old hags.”
There is no relationship problem that you or I could encounter that is not dealt with somewhere in the Bible.
- Cain and Abel – brother against brother
- Moses and Miriam – sister against brother
- Joseph – whole family against son/brother
- Jacob/Laban – employer against employee
- David/Saul – leader against his subject
- David/Absalom – son against his father
- Jesus/Judas – disciple against his Lord
- Paul/Barnabas – two preachers
I. Rest in the Faithfulness of God – vs. 1-3
A common problem during times of conflict is to begin to question God and His character.
Just because God allows something bad to happen doesn’t mean that He caused it. (Job)
Getting bitter at God and accusing God will only compound the problem.
God is not against you.
- God is a God of Deliverance – vs. 1 the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble
- God is a God of Preservation – vs. 2 The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive…
- God is a God of Blessing – vs. 2 and he shall be blessed upon the earth…
- God is a God of Strength – vs. 3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed
- God is a God of Restoration – vs. 3 thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness
No matter who turns against you, or what they do – God will NEVER turn His back on you.
- Hebrews 13:5 …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
II. Repent of your Faults and Failures– vs. 4 Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my souls; for I have sinned…
Sometimes even though someone else has done you wrong, you may have done something and not known it.
- Job 42:6 Job said, I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes.
When you are hurting, that is a good time to re-examine your own heart and motives.
- Was your spirit right?
- Was your tone right?
- Was your motives right?
- Were you honorable?
- Were you ethical?
- Were you biblical?
- Were you kind?
III. Realize you will have Foes – vs. 5 – not everybody is going to love you!
- David was an amazing man. He was a man after God’s own heart.
- David was a man of war; fearless in battle; brave and not intimidated by opposition
- David was a poet; a singer; a cunning musician; a writer of songs.
- David was forgiving (I Sam. 24) patient; (II Sam. 16) honorable (II Sam. 1)
- David was anointed by God; not once, but twice! – I Sam. 16:13; II Sam. 5:3
YET: people hated him. Not everybody appreciated him or loved him.
ILLUSTRATION: Paul the Apostle was greeted with this fact in Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
- They are going to want to see you fail.
- They are going to lie to your face – vs. 5 he speaketh vanity
- They are going be looking for something to use against you – gathereth iniquity
- They are going to tell everybody they come in contact with – he telleth it
- They love to hate you; they have no life without you to hate – all they that hate me…
- Their number one objective is to make you hurt. (your bad news is their good news
NOTE: There is no way to win if you are dealing with these people.
They will use weapons that you are not allowed to use. (lies, deceit, fabrications, etc.)
If you choose to maintain your integrity, you will immediately be put at a disadvantage
If you fight back, you’re carnal. If you don’t fight back, it means they are right. You can’t win.
NOTE: I am not getting down in the mud and playing their game! (Nehemiah on the wall)
Once you realize that there will always be people that don’t like you – NO MATTER what you do, the better off you will be.
IV. Recognize that Friends and Family may Forsake you – vs. 9
David is hurting in verse 9. Why? He has experienced the pain of a ruined relationship.
- It was a Friend
- It was a Friend he was Familiar with –Familiar: Hebrew: Shalom (peace, contentment, safety, quiet,)
- It was a Friend he had Faith in – in whom I trusted
- It was a Friend he had Fellowshipped with – which did eat of my bread
NOTE: Job 19:13-19 Notice the pain of having family turn against you.
All my life I’ve heard that “Blood is thicker than water.”
However, Jesus didn’t preach that! My Bible doesn’t teach that!
Notice Jesus’ attitude toward his natural family
- Matt. 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
- Matt. 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
V. Refrain from Fleshly Retribution – vs. 10-12
- 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.
- Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
- 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
- 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
- 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
- 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
- 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.