171. DEAR PENINNAH…
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)
This Article is dedicated to all who have aligned themselves against others wickedly, even as Peninnah in the Bible did to Hannah, when she realized that Hannah was barren. That mocking spirit found entertainment and rejoiced in that poor lady’s sorrow…until God silenced it.
I don’t know what it is but I’ve been realizing that many people seem to feel that they have a right to attack me, lash out at me, laugh at me, ridicule me, be downright nasty to me, tell me whatever they see fit, treat me like dirt or scum, view my problems as entertainment and to push me further, when they think I’m down.
There are some decent people around, thankfully but there are many people who feel that they have a licence to abuse me, emotionally and psychologically and that God will not intervene because after all, it is me, a nobody.
At the end of a function I attended tonight, someone was there, seemingly, ready to pounce on my situation or what she thought was my situation (based on gossip she had obviously participated in about me) with jeering words, to try, it seems, to make me feel insecure, frustrated and to lose my faith in God.
It was not the first time. That person did it twice before.
When I considered the extent of the wickedness it would take to attack me not once, not twice but thrice therefore and for something in which I had said not a word and complained to no man, I was amazed. For, I know that sometimes in the moment, as imperfect human beings and especially when provoked or we have been hurt, we say and act wickedly, intending to hurt the recipient with our words.
However, what amazed me is that I had done nothing against this person to bring on the attack, yet, the person said what she said wickedly, then left, returned at another time and did it again and then left and returned at a different time… and did it again. The person had therefore resolved in her heart, unrepentantly and over a two-week window, to throw God out of her thoughts so that she could injure me with her words and as if that was not enough, on that third occasion, she repeated them to me thrice (yes, three times!), so that it could pierce as deeply as it could in me. Wow!
All I have to say is this: To the lady who, like Peninnah in the Bible, seemingly chose to make fun of my plight tonight for the THIRD time, go tell the one who sent you to try to make me feel bad: THE LORD’S NOT FINISHED WITH ME YET!
Did you hear me? Go declare it from the housetops. YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET!
No. My PAIN, my PROBLEM is not the end. It is the PREVIEW, the PRELIMINARY, to the PRECIOUSNESS of the beauty of what’s to come.
“…as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV)
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in HIM. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:24-25 KJV)
If you truly sought to injure my feelings tonight (and on the other two occasions in which you said something similar), unprovoked and without all the facts, I am very disappointed in you. I thought that we had grown and matured beyond such pettiness but I guess I was mistaken.
For the record, you should know, that I took the issue to God in prayer tonight. He knows your heart, so he is able to handle it. Maybe you meant nothing and I am just sensitive in light of my problem but God knows. That is why I went to the altar.
If you did it maliciously, God ponders the hearts and his Word states: “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Colossians 3:25)
I can tell you that God means business. Whenever I have done wrong, I received for the wrong that I did and the good Lord had no regard for who I was or how much he loved me. He still whipped me painfully, so as to bring me back into line and I am so grateful.
I pray to God that you are there to see when he intervenes majorly and in a positive way in my life. I know that Peninnah was there when Hannah conceived (Praise God!) and birthed Samuel. Oh how I wish, that I was a fly on that wall, when she found out that Hannah was pregnant! Can you imagine how her wicked, competitive, spiteful and unmerciful demeanour would have fallen?
Only Jesus can make the difference in my life and in his divine timing, he will. I will therefore hold fast to my faith, like a flint and I KNOW, that despite what you or the devil’s minions do (and there are many of them), I SHALL NOT be ashamed.
“For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I NOT be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I KNOW that I shall NOT be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7 KJV)
His Word tells me:
“…they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake…NO weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and EVERY tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:15,17)
Despite your wicked attacks, I will therefore:
“REST in the LORD, and WAIT patiently for him…” For His Word also says: “…fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” (Psalms 37:7-8 KJV)
Having been bullied as a child and abused emotionally, psychologically, physically and even in other ways, I have realized that the enemy has grown used to using people to attack me and they come from every quarter.
GONE are the days though, of me just sitting in a corner and weeping from the wounds inflicted by such attacks. I may still shed tears yes but I have learned to FIGHT BACK in the Spirit. God has given me spiritual weapons and over the years, he has been teaching me how to use them. Indeed, “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is BROKEN by mine arms.”
I have learned particularly that the Word of God is one of my most powerful weapons, in addition to prayer and when I unleash it in faith, if I myself am not stirring up trouble but am conducting myself in a manner that pleases God, no diabolical work of the enemy can stand.
As I cling to God’s Word and wield it against the lies of the enemy, the Lord reminds me: “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that BREAKETH the rock in pieces?”
I am no WIMP. I am a WARRIOR and when through the enablement and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I unleash the spiritual weapons that he has provided for me to use, the enemy MUST be scattered, MUST be ashamed, MUST be brought down, MUST be defeated.
If after everything that I have been through from childhood to date, people still think that they can come wickedly to try to disturb my God-given peace, they are deluded. EVERY TIME they attack (whether subtly or otherwise), once I know that I did not instigate the trouble, I am going to God and taking my complaint before him. EVERY TIME they choose to attack me therefore, all they are doing is digging a pit for themselves and heaping up punishment upon their own heads. For, God judges righteous judgment and whatever a person sows, that is what he or she will reap (Galatians 6:7-9 KJV).
Of a truth, sometimes we sow the wind and reap a whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).
Hannah got her victory and by the grace of almighty God, I shall have mine.
As I wrote previously on 28th August, 2019:
“There are people that EXPECT me to fail, THINK I will fail, HOPE I will fail, WANT me to fail, WILL me to fail, CONSIDER me as having already failed or are WAITING in anticipation for entertainment purposes, for news that I have failed. Then there are those who are neutral and care not whether I succeed or fail. BUT GOD. Defeat their expectations God. Overthrow the will of man in relation to my life, where it is founded in either wickedness or faithlessness. Keep me from failing even as you did for Jabez. Uphold me with the right hand of your righteousness, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”
(Written on 06th January, 2021)
On 27th January, 2021, I also wrote:
There are some people who have set themselves eagerly for word that you have failed or word of a ‘perception’ that you have failed. Inquisitively, while keeping their business under wraps, they want to know about yours and are keenly invested in trying to find out, not to sincerely help you or pray for you but so as to laugh at you, make fun of you, badmouth you, discuss you, look down at you, jump to conclusions about you, feel good inside about your situation and what they ‘deem’ to be your predicament, enjoy what they ‘think’ is your misfortune and some even go out of their way to approach you, just so they can harass you about what they ‘think’ you are going through or the pain they ‘think’ you must be feeling, based on whatever they ‘heard’ and the conclusions they ‘drew’ from their session or sessions of gossip and gladly received. Sadly, this occurs not just in the world but also in families and in Churches.
The Lord knows the heart of EVERY man and the heart of the problem has always been the problem of the heart. Maliciousness and wickedness are issues of the heart, so is envy, jealousy, hatred, pride, non-forgiveness, a competitive spirit, self-importance, cliquishness, the desire to suppress others and undermine their accomplishments, while exalting one’s self and the members of one’s family.
God sees it. He knows it and I pray to God that every wicked expectation as it relates to my life will be defeated, overthrown and annihilated in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
When God intervenes as he always does, may naysayers be silenced and their wickedness brought to a perpetual end. May they however, find mercy with God, who is always willing to forgive when a person humbles himself under his mighty hand, considers his wicked way and genuinely repents.
On 31st March, 2021, it dawned on me, that the person who sought seemingly, to hurt me with her words above, has throughout the years, every now and then, not very regularly but whenever the right opportunity presented itself, stepped out of her seemingly quiet and peaceful demeanor (which I have come to the conclusion is a façade) and hurl insults at me suddenly, some subtle, the intention being to belittle me, make me feel bad, as if I am a failure and to hurt me.
Truth be told, I chose not to make a big deal of those statements filled with vitriol back then, forgot about them, forgave the person and dismissed them from my mind. However, this latest incident made me really spend some time thinking and I have realized that this person, though giving a show of peace and leading me to believe that all that had transpired in the past was in the past and that we had both moved on to that place of spiritual maturity, peace and love, which is what is pleasing to God was still harbouring deep-seated resentment, dislike, venom, non-forgiveness, a competitive spirit and animosity toward me. There was something in her that wanted to see me hurt, that enjoyed it when I was down or it looked like I was down, that was eager to believe the worst about me and every now and then, she would step out of character to deliver a comment or statement, intended to make me hurt.
In short, her actions exposed the true state of her heart, to the point where I honestly feel embarrassed for her. I now see her in a different light and unless she repents and God allows me to see that she has had a genuine change of heart, no amount of niceties on her part or words of peace, feigning concern, would ever make me believe again, that she genuinely loves and cares about me and is well-meaning to my welfare.
When someone truly loves you and cares about you, this is what the Bible states of the characteristics they would have and display:
- “Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
I see that dear lady for how she truly feels about me and it is unfortunate, as she is someone that has professed to know the Lord Jesus Christ and is supposed to therefore be a sister in the Lord. I don’t intend to harbour bitterness or whatever she has obviously been harbouring in her heart throughout the years, as that is counterproductive to my goal of spiritual maturity and pleasing the Lord.
I am firmly of the view that as time progresses in life, I must not remain the same but must grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. I am therefore determined to put off pettiness, drama, conflict and all of the nonsense of which I have been guilty in the past and by the grace of God, I refuse to allow anyone, including that dear lady, to pull me into that childishness again. If people refuse to grow spiritually through submission to the Holy Spirit and choose instead to spend all their years holding on to unforgiveness, drama and spitefulness and to go to their graves having issues with Peter, Paul and Princess, that is their choice, not mine. I want to be peaceable with all men in so far as is possible and will therefore even treat those who have positioned themselves as my enemies with dignity and respect.
I have therefore resolved to forgive again, as I am mandated by the scriptures to do but I will remain guarded and watchful from now on. I have also resolved to pray for that sister as the Bible instructs me to do, that God will lead her to a place of humility and repentance, so that she will put away pettiness and her wicked way.
On 20th January, 2020 (a year before I had written the above Article and Addendums), I felt the need, in response to attacks, to write the following on my Facebook Page. A year later, people are still at it but by the grace of almighty God, every wicked expectation will be defeated and I SHALL overcome!
PENINNAH was against HANNAH… but God was for her.
HAMAN was against MORDECAI…but God was for him.
SAUL was against DAVID… but God was for him.
JOSEPH’S BROTHERS were against JOSEPH… but God was for him.
AARON AND MIRIAM were against MOSES… but God was for him.
SENNECHARIB THE KING OF ASSYRIA was against HEZEKIAH …but God was for him.
THE MOABITES, AMMONITES AND OTHER NATIONS were against JEHOSHAPHAT…but God was for him.
Even when they combine forces, they are bound to lose and miserably. For, when God has selected you, He considers the battle against you to be HIS, once you keep trusting in Him. When He is in the picture, it is always an unfair fight.
Dear Reader, if you found the above Note to be interesting, informative or edifying, I recommend that you also read the following:
- Note 15 – ‘Why The Enemy’s Attack Is My Cue To Sing’
- Note 47 – ‘Silencing The Naysayers’
- Note 55 – ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds?’
- Note 59 – ‘I Will Trust God With My Enemies’
- Note 61 – ‘Are You Putting Yourself In The Line Of Fire?’
- Note 63 – ‘After They’ve Done Their Worst, Yet Still I Rise’
- Note 67 – What The Enemy Is After’
- Note 79 – ‘The Woman Who Wanted A Baby – Key Points From Hannah’s Story’
- Note 103 – ‘Fifteen Things I Love About God’s Character’
- Note 161 – ‘Overcoming Oppression – Spiritual Warfare’
- Note 174 – ‘Grace & Glory – The Lord Will Help Me’