Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 10 : Love Your Enemies | Day 70

Classify Your Enemies!

An ugly civil war had erupted in the nation. An arrogant son had set himself against his famous father, King David. As David fled the capital city with his little army, an angry, vocal, and vitriolic enemy cursed David and threw stones at him. His actions angered David's generals, who said, "Why should this dog curse you? You are still the king! Give me the word and I will go over and take off his head.” (See II Samuel 16:9.)

David's answer was profound. It clearly explains the first classification of enemies—the ones we make because of our own failures. David replied, "... Let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David” (II Samuel 16:10). David knew that this enemy's actions and the rebellion of his son were part of God's punishment for his sin with Bathsheba. However, God has given us a promise regarding our enemies:

“When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

There is a second classification of enemies—those who are against God and His purposes. These enemies attack us because of our relationship with the Lord and our potential of damaging Satan's kingdom.

David certainly had more than his share of this type of enemy, beginning with his older brothers, who despised him for visiting the battlefront; Goliath, who defied the armies of the living God; and King Saul, who feared David's sudden rise to fame.

David's response to these enemies is described in many Psalms. "Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalm 56:2-5). Then he uses his powerful weapon:

“When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).

When we cry out,1 we are saying to God, "I unconditionally surrender to You and Your will for my life, and I desperately need Your intervention at this moment." With this spirit of humility, trust, and dependence, God is able not only to deal with our enemies, but also to work marvelously in our own lives, in ways we could not have imagined. (See I Peter 5:6-7.)

On this day of journaling, let's make a list of all of our enemies and classify each one by writing "mine" or "God's" after each name. We should then thank God for the benefits He has in mind for us in allowing them to oppose us. Then, we can take the appropriate steps in responding to each enemy.


1. Read more about the power of crying out

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you ...” (Matthew 5:44).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard