The Wrong Made Right
Whether it’s Hans being banished to the Southern Isles to face the penalty for his murderous plot in the fiction of Frozen or Bernie Madoff sentenced in real life to lifelong imprisonment for the millions he stole, we all know that sense of vindication when the “bad guys” finally get what they deserve. The tension comes when we try to reconcile Jesus commanding “Forgive your enemies,” and King David in Psalm 109: 6-9 initiating a cry for God to wipe out his enemy.
“Appoint someone evil against my enemy—an accuser to stand at his right hand in court. When he is tried, let him come out guilty, and his prayer be treated as sin.”
King David’s enemy had pretended to be his ally, his friend, his companion. Behind closed doors this man plotted insurrection against his king. David gave this friend nothing but kindness, but this wicked leader repaid David by plotting to murder God’s Anointed. So David prays that this opponent would face the destruction that he planned to put into effect against David. David even exposes his enemy’s prayer for mercy as sin.
This Psalm forces me to face the reality that I live in a world where there are evil individuals who have hardened themselves in murderous schemes and will stop at nothing to get what they desire. This Psalm confronts me with this sociopath and David cautions me not to believe all the “prayers” for mercy that flow from his lips when the guilty verdict is read.
David will go on in this Psalm to ask God for even stronger punishment against his opponent, and in Monday’s devo we will wrestle with the difference between David, God’s anointed King under the Old Covenant, crying out to God for vindication, and my personal cries for vengeance when I feel someone has wronged me. Over the weekend see if you can find some New Testament accounts where God's children asked Him to deal with their enemies like David did.
Lord, use the realism of David’s struggle against wickedness to cause me to face this reality of evil in the human heart. Help me not to be so surprised when people pretend friendship to my face but then plot to take me out behind my back. Help me to pour out the intense emotions to you when I feel betrayed, and not take justice into my own hands. Teach me what it means to leave room for your righteous anger.
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