When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Do you know how to appease enemies? Solomon taught a valuable lesson by this proverb. You can calm, pacify, and soothe enemies by this knowledge. Will you consider his inspired wisdom? Dealing with enemies is an important part of life, and for you to maximize your success, you need this lesson. Bring supernatural power to your defense.
God will bless your most difficult relationships, if you live righteously and wisely. Living a godly life includes treating others right, which generally brings the natural consequence of peace. But the proverb teaches more than that. The LORD Himself will calm agitated enemies and protect you from violent ones for your obedience. There is a dual blessing in living a wise life – you grow in favor with both God and men (Pr 3:3-4; Luke 2:52).
This is a general rule with exceptions. Jesus Christ always pleased God, yet the Jews unjustly hated Him and used the Romans to crucify Him. Jehovah’s higher purpose of bruising Jesus to save the elect superseded the proverb here. Saints were persecuted and martyrs executed for God’s greater glory and the soul profit of both. But all other things being equal, the proverb is true – righteousness will bring peace and protection.
A man’s ways please the LORD, when he lives by faith (Heb 11:6). Living by faith has two fundamental axioms – God exists, and God rewards diligent obedience. It is applied to daily life by zealously trusting and following the Bible on every matter, which is living by God’s commandments and the rules of wisdom (Ps 34:12-16; 111:10; Eccl 12:13). Your greatest danger is God’s wrath, not your enemies’ anger. Please Him to avoid both!
An enemy is a person hating you. It might be as mild as a family member envying you. It might be as extreme as a psychopath intending to kill you. Nations have other nations as enemies. In every case and at all times – God controls the hearts of all men, including your enemies (Pr 21:1). He can loose or restrain their wrath (Josh 11:20; Ps 76:10). Even the devil had to beg God to touch Job or pigs (Job 1:9-12; Mark 8:31). There are created beings far greater than man at your service (Ps 34:7; Heb 1:14). Put your trust in Him.
Consider some examples. God changed Laban from a pursuing enemy to an agreeable father-in-law (Gen 31:22-55), and He melted Esau’s murderous heart for Jacob’s trust in the Lord (Gen 27:41; 33:1-4). No nation desired the property of Israel, when the men worshipped God three times a year (Ex 34:23-24). God let Solomon have a great reign of peace, so he could pursue his philosophical studies (I Kings 4:21-25; Eccl 1:12-18).
Joseph had peace with his master, his jailor, and Pharaoh (Gen 39:1-6,19-23; 41:38-45). Even the Philistines learned to love David, when hiding from Saul (I Sam 21:10-15; 27:5-7; 29:1-11). Daniel prospered under both Babylonian and Persian kings (Dan 1:21; 6:28). Esther and Mordecai were promoted to the highest levels of Persia (Esther 2:15-18; 10:1-3). And the Romans allowed Paul a rental house and preaching liberty (Acts 28:30-31).
When God is for His people, who can possibly be against them (Rom 8:31)? He promised Israel’s captors would treat the Jews well (Is 49:23; Jer 15:11), which was even further fulfilled in the kind support of the gospel by other kings since the apostles. Give God the glory for King James I of England in seeking and endorsing the word of God in English. And be thankful for the IRS code of America that subsidizes “ministers of the gospel”!
The way for peace with enemies is by righteousness and wisdom, never by compromise or revenge. Godly living will please both God and men, but compromise or revenge will bring the wrath of God and the resulting anger of enemies. Put your trust in Him this day, faithfully obey His Scriptures, and fear no man (Ro 12:17-21; II Tim 4:16-18; Heb 13:6).