December 09, 2014

The Problem of Enemies

Luke 1:57-58, 67-79

“He has raised up a horn of salvation … from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us …”
—Luke 1:69-71


It does not take a great number of people to make life miserable. If you are in a school with 1,000 other students and three of them go out of their way to ridicule, mock, embarrass, and hurt you, you will have a miserable educational experience. Even though more than 990 people may treat you decently, the awful treatment of a few, especially if it’s ongoing, will leave wounds that cannot heal.

If we are honest, we have to admit that our own poor decision making can sometimes bring misery on ourselves. We can get caught telling lies or lashing out in anger. We can decide to do something we know is wrong, and we will suffer consequences. When we suffer from our own poor decisions, we realize that sin is alive and well in our hearts.

But it is not fair to say that all our problems are a result of our own decisions. If others mistreat us, we can suffer even though we have not done anything wrong.

Zechariah rejoiced because the God who was breaking into creation was powerful enough to end the oppression of enemies. Jesus came to set all things right, and that means bringing an end to injustices and oppression, even if they are perpetrated by a small minority.

Still today, this is a message of comfort for people who suffer injustice. God is in control!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for standing against evil in order to redeem us from oppression and injustice. We rejoice in your precious name. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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