1 O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, 2 for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. 3 With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. (Psalm 109:1-3 NIV)
There are many reasons I love to spend so much time in the Psalms. One of the reasons is because they are so raw, so real, so unfiltered. David’s pen was full of “it-ain’t-pretty-Lord-but-here-I-am” emotion that all of us feel from time-to-time. David isn’t preparing a speech to be delivered at the Jerusalem Rotary Club, he is sharing the most intimate details of his heart and soul with God.
In Psalm 109, David has been done wrong. He has been repaid evil for good, hatred for his friendship. Now, I know, and I am sure David knew, that we are to bless those who curse us, we are to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:28). I know that I am to consider myself “blessed” when others say all kinds of evil things about me (Matthew 5:11), but that is not my initial reaction when I am done wrong. I can’t speak for others, but when somebody does me wrong my immediate reaction is not to bow in prayer for the “poor soul” who has unleashed evil in my direction. I want an “eye for an eye”, a “tooth for a tooth.” Heck, if I was to be totally honest, a want a whole set of teeth for a tooth.
In Psalm 109, David seems to be sharing the same sentiments that I sometimes feel. He prays that God will cut his accuser’s life short, that his accuser’s kids would be wandering beggars, and that the man’s momma would never have her sins forgiven. I’d say that is pretty raw.
I can identify with the explosion of emotion from David’s pen, but I am so glad that God will not allow me to be content with those feelings. He reminds me that vengeance is His and not mine. He shows me that I am just as messed up and reckless as my enemy. He convicts me that though I am filled with bitter emotions, I desperately need them to be replaced with grace, prayer, and the forgiveness that only comes from Him. I am thankful that the Lord has His way of showing me how dangerous and deadly my vengeful emotions can be, not only for my relationship with others, but also for my own soul.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will never allow me to be content, to feel that I am justified, when my desire is to see the demise of those who hurt me in any way. Move me from bitterness to grace, from vengeance to mercy.