Prayer Focus: Equatorial Guinea

Bible Reading: Psalm 108-109

Scripture

26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

Psalm 109:26-27

Observation

In this psalm David wants vengeance on his enemies.  He has the regular enemies that a king has, those from other lands who want to conquer, but then he also has people he considered friends to now be his enemies.  David is getting hit from all sides.  But in the end we see that while he wants his enemies to be defeated and even humiliated he wants it to be by God’s hand, so they will know that it is the Lord who defends David.

Application

David knew the law found in Leviticus 19:18; “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”  So, he probably knew he was stepping over a line with this Psalm.

Jesus said, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  (Matthew 5:39).  But Jesus also said, “He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)  There’s a context here.  There’s a time to stand down and a a time to stand up.

And Paul reminded the Roman Christians, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”  (Romans 12:19)

And James noted, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1)

There’s a time to fight, but the reality is we fight too much.  There’s a time for peace, but the reality we often lay down when we should rise up.  At all times, as David noted, we must put it in God’s hands. God will not strike us down for expressing to Him what’s on our hearts, but still we must put it in God’s hands.

Side bar: Unpacking what was going through David’s mind throughout his life could fill libraries.  A poor shepherd boy, the youngest of his siblings, he probably expected to be poor and unknown his entire life.  Then when he’s 16 Samuel tells him that God, yes God, has called him to be King.  That can mess with your head and it did.  David drifted back and forth between humility and pride, righteousness and immorality, vengeance and peace.  This psalm was probably one of those moments where he just had to let it out.  Now, consider for a moment, what if the President of the United States wrote and published something like this today?  Can you imagine the backlash?

Prayer

Lord, I don’t believe that I have enemies the way David had enemies, but there are those that attack me to make themselves feel better.  And as much as I would like to see them embarrassed I would rather they were saved.  If they are to be embarrassed let their shame lead them to You.  And Lord, if (“if,” that’s funny) I have been the thorn in the side of someone else that they would consider me their enemy than reveal that sin to me so that I can repent.  Amen.

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