Friend or Foe
In times of war it is often hard to determine who is a friend and who is a foe. Neither one is always wearing the uniform of their country and may even be in disguise. That makes it difficult to trust anyone who you encounter. And the question is usually asked, "Are you friend or foe?"
You and I have friends and foes. It may not be easy to recognize which is which without some further investigation. That seems sad to say but sometimes a friend in appearance and words is really a foe. In fact, internally we can be a friend or a foe to ourselves. Have you ever done something that caused you pain? You were certainly not being a friend to yourself at that point.
David's storied life allowed him to come across many friends and foes. His first wife, Michal the daughter of Saul, was a good friend at the beginning. She loved David and covered for him against Saul's guards who came to get him at their home. But later on she became a foe, ridiculing him for dancing in the streets when the Ark of the Covenant was carried into Jerusalem.
Absalom, David's son, who you think would be a friend, became a foe and tried to take the kingdom from him. He killed his half-brother, Amnon, who had raped his sister, Tamar and fled to his grandfather's home where he stayed for three years. Then he was forgiven by his father and allowed to come back to Jerusalem, but there he "stole the hearts of all the people of Israel"(2 Samuel 15:6).
David identified truths concerning those who would be enemies. He said they:
- "cannot speak a truthful word"
- "deepest desire is to destroy others"
- "talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave"
- "tongues are filled with flattery" (Psalm 5:9)
David went on to identify those who are friends. He said they:
- "take refuge in" God
- "sing joyful praises"
- "love your [Lord's] name"
- "filled with joy" (5:11-12)