A Word from the Word
The Fifth Column
Do not I hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. NIV
Do you think it’s right for you and me to use those words today? Those words were spoken by David, but I want to remind you of what he said next because there’s a tremendous lesson there.
He goes on, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. See if there is any offensive way in me.” You see, the enemies of God that will do us the greatest harm are not those that attack us from without, but those that are within.
In 1936 there was a civil war in Spain and out of that war emerged the phrase, “the fifth column.” This was the origin of it. One Spanish general was attacking a city and another general asked him, “What is your plan to take that city?”
He replied, “I’ve got four columns against the city – one from the north, one from the south, one from the east, one from the west.” He paused and then he added, “But it’s my fifth column that I’m expecting to take the city for me.”
“Where is that fifth column?” the second general asked.
The first general replied, “My fifth column is inside the city.”
And that’s the only way that Christians can ever be defeated. We are never defeated from without, but if there’s a fifth column of God’s enemies in our heart then that spells defeat.
So we have the right to make the same determination as David: that we will hate God’s enemies with unreserved hatred. But the enemies that we need to hate most are those that may be within our own hearts and lives. We have to turn them out regardless of the cost.