20He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.
21The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
Heart of War
David again returns to ponder his friend who had broken his covenant with him and displayed a heart of war. As we think of David's words, it is helpful for us to understand that God does not want Christians to be naive. While it is true that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44), we must understand the true nature of the heart of the wicked.
First we must remember that there are only two classes of people in the eyes of God: the saved and the unsaved, or the righteous and the wicked. In saying that, we also must understand that the difference between the two groups has everything to do with the heart attitude of the individual and not their worthiness or outward appearance.
Christians are not righteous because they are better than the wicked, but are, in actuality, redeemed wicked. Once we were lost, but now we are found--found by the Lord Jesus Christ. In His great love He reached down and plucked us from the burning embers of wickedness that is so affluent in this world in which we live.
Second, we must understand that the wicked are classed as wicked because they are enemies of God, not because they are our enemies. No matter how loving they may appear on the outside, their inner heart is a heart of war against God Almighty. Our goal in this life should always be to present Christ to the wicked, and pray that God will pardon them just as He has pardoned us.
Having said all of that, we must return to the theme of these two verses. The difficulty for us is that we are not able to see a person's heart. A person can appear to us to be one of the righteous. When we have befriended that person, perhaps for years, we are truly shaken if we find that they never have been a child of God. When grievous sin appears, or they become our enemy we must understand that their great sin is not what they have done to us, but rather that they have sinned against God.
Even in their sin, because we do not know their heart of hearts, we do not always know whether they are a Christian who have fallen into sin, or whether they have been "wolves in sheep's clothing," never having possessed Christ.
How then, do we respond if we find ourselves in circumstances similar to those in which David found himself? Whatever the true state of their heart, which only God knows, these words from Matthew still apply.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44, King James Version)
There is a reason that God does not allow us to see into people's hearts. Whether our former friends are Christians who are temporarily entering into a time of great sin, or whether they truly possess a heart of war against God, we must pray that God will graciously save them just as He has saved us. We do not deserve God's great mercy and love any more than His enemies around us seem to deserve it. We must remember that our life is all about serving God, not about serving ourselves!
What an amazing God we serve!
God Bless You,