Psalm 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
Our previous study explored godly courage. Yet, the Bible also teaches that courage can be used for ungodly purposes. David described the fear he endured because of his enemies. His testimony provides insight as to the dangerous nature of his enemies. David goes on to confess that his enemies “encouraged themselves in an evil matter.” Christians are to encourage themselves in the work of God. Unfortunately, those determined to work iniquity frequently are encouraged by their friends and associates to behave even more wickedly. Even David failed in this manner when he told a messenger to “encourage” Joab following the murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:25). Godly courage is a righteous act blessed of the Lord. Ungodly courage, on the other hand, can many times be used to hinder the work of God.
- (For children): Some people have courage that does not please God. Can you name someone who is brave to do wrong? A bank robber, a bully, or someone who breaks into your home may be brave, but God doesn’t want us to be brave doing wicked things that go against His word.
- (For everyone): Is it easy for you to do evil or bad things? Are you more consistent at obeying or disobeying God’s word? What does that tell you about your courage of heart?
- Many times, crowds encourage themselves to act wickedly. Do you find it easier to go along with a crowd or stand alone no matter the pressure? What kind of encouragement are you receiving? Are you following the crowd or the word of God?
- Ask God to reveal to you the kind of courage you are receiving.
- Ask the Lord to identify any rebellion in your heart.
SONG: How Firm a Foundation