Maker and Ruler of all, govern my life by Your wisdom and counsel. Release Your Holy Spirit within me.
Read PSALM 28:1-9
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Sometimes we feel better (or superior) when others “get what they deserve.” How does God want us to respond?
First things first. You can cry out to the Lord for help and for justice today. You can be so sure that the Lord will hear your cry that you can praise him even before the help has arrived or justice has been demonstrated. You can take your encouraging personal testimony and exhort others with it.
But vs. 4 and 5 nag us. We could simply ignore them or we could dismiss them as being pre-Christian. After all, the psalmist hadn’t heard Jesus’ command to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). But we don’t want to fall into the trap of having two different Gods, one for the Old Testament and a nicer one for the New Testament.
We can let them challenge us, however. First, are all such passages (“imprecatory,” as they are sometimes called) to be taken as literal descriptions? No. It’s poetry. We are quite used to reading other verses in the psalms non-literally: Lebanon skipping like a calf, for instance (Psa. 29:6). Second, if something reads oddly it’s more likely to be me than Scripture that’s out of sync with God. It is, after all, his Word. Third, I know that I am prone to being too lenient. I prefer a God who doesn’t do judgment and therefore won’t judge me. I do not feel the abhorrence towards sin that God does: ultimately, all sin is against him. (That’s what defines sin and differentiates it from mere bad manners.) I am not as close to God as David was: I need David to challenge me about God’s holiness lest I live a complacent, unrepentant life and think that I can judge God. I cannot ignore God’s uncomfortable verses. I must let God be God and make me uncomfortable.
It is difficult to bless or bring prosperity to those who have hurt us. Think of someone who has hurt you and pray God’s blessing on their life.
Lord of might, You are truly my strength and shield. With all my being I trust in You. I ask that in my relationships I will bring honor to Your name.
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