Profits of Pleasing the Lord (Proverbs 16:7)
Proverbs 16:7, When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
A pair of Canada geese set up housekeeping on an island in a farm pond in New Jersey. Year after year these two returned to raise their young. One summer, only one of seven eggs hatched, and the hatchling died the next day. The parents moped for days only to be faced with a new problem. From the woods by the lake another pair of Canadian geese emerged with eight brand-new babies. For some reason, this new pair had chosen the farm pond, and woefully, the island itself, as their brood site. As they arrived on the scene, they went straight to the island ready to do battle for the rights to the location. Of course, the residents fought hard to keep what they thought was their own territory, but they could not drive the newcomers away. As night approached, the resident pair still occupied the island, except for a corner where the new pair huddled with their young, having been granted sleeping privileges. The farmer and his wife went to bed that evening wondering what the outcome of the battle would be the next day. Imagine the farmer's surprise the next morning when he looked out on the lake and saw eight baby geese swimming peacefully with not one but two parents in the lead, and two bringing up the rear. By making peace, the adult geese had not only provided double protection for the goslings, but had also provided the resident pair with babies to care for to replace the ones they had lost.
In the same manner as the geese, the Lord gives us insight on what we can do to get along with people, especially our enemies. He tells us to please the Lord by the way we live. When we honor God with our lives, when we love others, including our rivals, He will make our enemies to be at peace with us. People have tried such things as flattery or bribery to appease enemies, but have failed. A genuine Christian is the most lovable personality in human life. God has a way of raising up friends for those who serve Him and do His will. God however, can change the heart of an enemy when our ways please the Saviour. Though there are many enemies of the righteous, when our lives truly please the Lord, in due season, God will cause them to be at peace with us. God does not promise freedom from enemies. The world’s crowd never likes God’s people, but deep down in their heart, they respect those who are truly godly. Though they might persecute and mock the righteous, God will cause them, in due season, to respect His people. The greater principle is that God blesses the righteous. He takes care of them. Pleasing God produces peace. No effort of the United Nations can ever produce the peace that pleasing God does, yet how disinterested the nations of the world are to please the Almighty.
During the Civil War, Stanton treated Lincoln with utter contempt. He called him a "low cunning clown" and "the original gorilla." He said there was no need to go to Africa to capture a gorilla when one was available in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln, however, never retaliated. Instead, he made Stanton his war minister, believing that he was the best qualified for the office. Years later when Lincoln was killed by an assassin's bullet, Stanton looked down on his rugged face and said tearfully, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." Even if our life doesn't please our enemies, we haven't lost anything. We are still pleasing God, the only One who truly matters.
A righteous life disarms opposition. Albert Barnes put it this way, "Goodness has power to charm, and win, even enemies to itself." Our effort to live for God and be peacemakers will usually make us more attractive to those around us, even our enemies. They may not believe what we believe, but many of them acknowledge that we are standing for something that is good or we have something that is special. Our patience, wisdom, diligence, kindness, and love also make a big impression on those who oppose us. When we look at the lives of Joseph in Egypt, David in Gath, or Daniel in Babylon, we find that these dedicated men reaped peace with their enemies because their ways pleased the Lord. God knew what was in the hearts of these men and He knew they were determined to please Him.
Peace is created when God’s ways become man’s ways. If God does allow some persecution by our enemies, it is for our good, (II Timothy 2:12) and for His glory (I Peter 4:14). God will deal with those who oppose His followers. Believers who focus on pleasing God in all of their ways can leave the fate of their enemies in the Lord’s hands. When a person strives to please the Lord, enemies find it more difficult to find fault with or to criticize him or her. One who is trying to uphold the great commandment to love others as oneself will be much more likely to win over an enemy than someone who is being rebellious or argumentative. It is the believer’s role to please the Lord, and it is God’s role to convert or convict the enemy.
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
PRAYER: Father, my greatest desire is to please You in all things. Help me to resist pleasing the world rather than pleasing you. Help me to always stay close to You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.