By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Friend or foe is a question that is often masked over by one's demeanor; whether it be the leader of a country, or individual encounters with others. There are leaders today; who are seeking to enlarge territorial gain, along with the Czar type status of yesteryear.
A Czar was an emperor with unlimited power. The term is little used today but there are some who seek such a status. We often assume that if one is not hostile; they are not an enemy. However, we live in a world in which many are seeking their own gain; in whatever manner they can, with their real intentions being masked over. (Comment)
In the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the friend or foe concept played into the picture. Representatives of Japan were speaking of peace in Washington, DC to circumvent any suspicion of what was about to take place. There are other instances in history of trickery and deception having taken place as well.
Biblical times were not excluded; in that there were instances of deception for gain. Jacob's deception towards his father, and brother, to gain his brother's inheritance and blessing, is documented in God's Word (Genesis 27:36); to name one such instance.
Friend or foe is sometimes not easily detected. Scripture reveals that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1) and that evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
We are seeing hideous crimes being executed with those who knew the responsible individuals never suspecting they were of such a nature. Others mannerisms and motives were quite evident; but not dealt with until the fuse had been ignited, the act committed, affecting many innocent lives.
We are seeing an escalation of such in these latter days; having surfaced more rapidly with modern day technology; enhancing one's ability to set such actions into motion.
Jesus gave a warning; Beware of those which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15). He indicated that one may appear as mere lambs but are in reality as wolves waiting to devour their prey.
There are those who mince their words; until they are ready to pounce, to become victorious in their desired goal. Jesus readily identified the friend or foe concept, in the action of one of His disciples, Judas; who became a foe, rather than a friend, for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).
Abraham Lincoln stated: We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
Are we, as a nation, actively seeking God as before? Has our permissive society rejected God for pleasure-seeking activities which His Word condemns? Has the abundance of evil made God one's foe? Will it not necessitate a return to God, rather than reject Him, to see one's former peace and prosperity rise as before?
There is a cesspool of wickedness that is being consumed by our society; with many churches having compromised there stand. Many have allowed the ungodly traits of the world to dominate the scene rather seeking the closeness that Christ demands of His disciples. One's inability to totally dedicate their lives; brings up the issue of a friend or foe relationship.
Scripture reveals that the friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore makes himself a friend of the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4). One cannot be both a lover of God and lover of the world (1 John 2:15-16). One cannot straddle the fence; as Jesus so amply revealed in describing the requirement for bearing one's cross as His disciple (Luke 14:27).
One needs to be careful as to who they identify with; in the friend or foe concept, ready to embrace but careful to be not deceived into accepting those who appear as a lamb; but in reality are a ravening wolf, as illustrated by our Lord (Matthew 7:15).
Scripture reveals that a friend sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Such speaks of genuine friendship having an unbreakable relationship. A biblical example of such was the relationship between David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1), who were of one heart and soul, whose continuation as friends to the end is well known. Such friendships are valuable which one should be thankful for!
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