Legacy of Enemies

Psalm 35:11–28, Exodus 35:1–29, Acts 10:9–23

Sometimes the greatest evidence that we are doing well is those that oppose us. Another way of perhaps saying that is that the measure of one’s is the quality of one’s enemies. Some scholars have claimed that part of the reason why David had so many struggles was the jealousy of others that we don’t read about.

Whether it was the counselors of Saul or (later) David’s son Absalom, some scholars believe that there must have been more than Saul and Absalom in the picture. Many times there are those that we are no looking at that are truly the ones guiding things…the behind the throne, so to speak. We could think of such people positively, as there were and are many counselors who believe their greatest is the ful leader. On the other hand, there are those who hide behind the leader, using the leader as a distraction from themselves, so as to hide their deeds in the shadows.

These last ones are in the same spirit as those about whom David laments. David has cared for them. Lamented for them. Prayed for them. How did they repay the care? By piling on when David was down. Not only did they mock him, but they also made it worse by saying bad things about him. They celebrated his misery and misfortune, they who had benefitted from his and care. As David looked forward, he relied on to see him through it all. David’s was at stake, and his response was to turn to . David, like all people, wanted personal , yet understood that his true relied upon the fulness of .

Moses understood that everything relied upon . While in the desert, called upon the Israelites to to something greater than themselves. Through Moses, called upon the Israelites to from their ts so as to make a temple to their , a symbolic reminder that their was among them. If you’ve ever read the list of items required to make the tabernacle, it’s easy to see how monumental that list was. It also speaks to where the ts of the Israelites were at that moment. They had escaped slavery with much of the Egyptian wealth. For the most part (there are always exceptions) they freely gave of this newfound wealth to the of this temple, rather than hoarding it. Instead of holding on to what would make them individually rich, they gave to something that made them collectively richer than material goods. Yet, if they had just piled all of that stuff at Moses’ feet, nothing would have happened. Instead, people of skill (particular skills of varying types) were required. just so happened to have blessed some people with those very skills. Out of the collective goodwill, in addition to skills of certain people, and through the ful leadership of Moses, something greater than they could have imagined came into being. How could a bunch of slaves tasked only to make bricks make something as intricate and amazing as the tabernacle? Through .

This amazing event that helped to define a people for generations also captured the ts of the people, and not in a good way. They had become so ingrained with the outward appearance that when did a new thing, they were still blind. People important to the seemingly inificant were so blinded by the wrong that they could not see the that was never hidden by . It had been wrapped so tightly and so much by human will and tradition, that ’s could not be seen through it all. When Peter had his vision, he too was still captured by the traditions passed down. It was not that ’s law was wrong or ever invalid it was just that the deeper (and Truer) could not be seen. is . Peter had to have an experience that challenged the he had been handed that was a of (rigid) Law. Peter had to have an experience that showed meant what he said to Abraham, “you will be a father to the nations.”

1) Legacy is important and must be part of how we frame our lives. However, we must be careful to hand off a good . How can we work to make sure we leave a good ?

2) What makes a good or bad? What makes a live-giving or not?

3) What are your thoughts about what you will leave behind?

FD) What family traditions were (or are being) passed down to you?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.