When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
In reading the words of another, it is important to understand what that person meant as they wrote. In order to understand writing, a basic knowledge of the sentence structure is helpful. In this sentence we find that the subject of the first phrase is ‘man’ and the subject of the second phrase is ‘He.’ Since ‘he’ is a pronoun we need to know who the pronoun refers to in order to understand the meaning. This is especially important since the second phrase has three pronouns all referring to someone in the first phrase. In order to help understanding, let’s replace the pronouns with the proper noun: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, the Lord makes even the man’s enemies to be at peace with the man.”
This verse is often used in counselling to discuss a husband or a wife or a fellow church member that someone is not getting along with. The instruction is not that we try harder to get along with one another for that often ends in frustration and failure. No, the instruction is that we seek to please the Lord. In counselling, the person asking is usually looking for something they can do differently or for the counsellor to talk to the other person and to tell them to get along better. But that is not what the Scriptures teach.
Pleasing the Lord with our lives is our first and our highest calling. In order to please the Lord, we need to learn from His word that which He loves and that which He hates. We then learn to love those things that God loves and to strive to avoid those things that God hates. Our life goal, because we have been saved by God’s grace, is to live to please the Lord who saved us. Galatians 2:20, Romans 12:1-2, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 speak to living this life for the Lord.
Solomon then is telling us that when pleasing God is our goal, God will make even our enemies to be at peace with us. Here is the picture: imagine a scale of 1-10 with 1 being your enemies and 10 being those you love. When you live to please the Lord, God will make even those at the 1 level, even your enemies, and all others also, to be at peace with you. God takes the responsibility of making those around you to live at peace with you when you make pleasing God your priority.
Today and tomorrow I have two appointments to talk with people about the Lord. Pray for the Lord to open these conversations to bring about His love, conviction of sin, repentance and justification by faith. These are people I have come to know, have met with before, and am looking forward to pointing them to the Savior.
I went to see Ryiha’s father last night. He is pretty banged up but is not hospitalized. He is a brother in Christ. Pray with him for quick healing from the Lord.
Have a great day in the Lord,