As you know I have been going through the Psalms, and to be quite frank there are some tough passages sometimes. We mostly think of King David with what is called imprecatory prayer. This is a prayer to invoke judgment, calamity, or curses upon an enemy. I did a little searching trying to understand how we deal with these passages. My immediate thought was these verses are proving that God hates evil. God is holy. God is just. God is righteous. God is sovereign. God is in control. Evil will not win. These verses can be viewed as prophetic as well to what was to come.
While I do think its ok to pray for God’s judgment such as in the case of ISIS and the like, imprecatory prayers should be taken with caution. It’s ok to ask God to bring justice. There is a fine line though between asking God to have his way and will and quite another when we are praying from a feeling of revenge and elevating ourselves above God. Prayers of asking God to pour out his wrath on evil is a prayer not against a certain person, but on the spiritual enemy, and this is an appropriate prayer.When we are dealing with our personal enemies, Jesus was quite clear on how we should deal with them, He said to love our enemies and we should pray for them. This, I know is not easy, and we can ask for God to give us the strength and help we need.
One thing for sure David is very raw and honest about his enemies. He speaks the truth about them and the evil they are doing and how it is affecting David emotionally and mentally. I think we should be real and honest with God. He understands. We can express our emotional anguish and our mental state. It’s ok to express what we are feeling to God, and then ask for his help in being Christ like, and ultimately pray for his will to be done.
Jesus shows us how we are to act towards our enemies. This doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings of hate, hate for evil, and injustice. It is not flesh and blood that we are in battle with, and when we recognize that our little feelings of revenge towards our enemies are directed in the wrong place, we can then shift our focus to elevating God and submitting to his will and trusting that He has it all under control and HE DOES! God knows exactly what he is doing!
Blessings to you all! Let not your heart be troubled!
P.S. To keep me writing, and not letting it go by the wayside by busy schedules, I have decided to pick a day out of the week designated to blog- so Thursday it is.
When I was a toddler, I recited Psalm 1 to my Sunday School teacher. I could barely talk but I was able to memorize the words by watching my dad’s mouth when he preached. I didn’t understand what I said at the time, but that scripture has resonated with me all my life. It was a seed planted that truly has grown.
I am making an effort to go through the Psalms and praying through them. I was delighted of course to start with the familiar Psalm 1. Even though I know this scripture so well, I still get refreshed by it every time.
In todays culture the line is getting blurred more and more as to what is righteous and what is sinful. If you read through Psalm 1 how can you be confused?
The righteous WILL stand. No matter what, this is a promise. The righteous WILL overcome. This doesn’t mean we won’t go through rough seasons and suffering, but in the final analysis the righteous WILL stand. Prospering doesn’t necessarily mean our health and wealth but something much greater than that. We have God on our side, so who could be against us. It’s all being worked out for His good. No power can defeat us ultimately even when by the world’s standards sometimes it might seem like we are being defeated. There is a bigger plan and God has it under control. His ways are higher than our ways. Lean not to your own understanding, but instead acknowledge Him and his ways. When we do this our thinking becomes much clearer.
So who is righteous?
- Doesn’t walk with the wicked. We are to be set apart from the worlds ways. Seek after holiness.
- Delights in the law of the Lord day and night. Christ is our first love.
- Bears fruit. Our lives should be bearing fruit for the world to see that we are different so in turn God can be glorified.
Footnote – Its our righteousness through Jesus that is our firm foundation not on our own merit. Our good doing apart from Christ is not good enough.
In contrast who is the wicked? They will be none of the things above and the Psalmist describes the wicked like this; they are driven away by the wind and they will ultimately perish. There is no firm foundation in anything they say or do, they do whatever the wind drives them to do at the time. We all know that winds come and they go. There is no stability and when there is no firm foundation when the wind comes the house falls down.
In our nation we elect leaders in public office, we are either going to elect leaders with a firm foundation or those that get driven by the winds. Depending on who we elect will depend on whether our nation falls when the winds come or stands strong no matter what comes our way. We can’t elect the right leaders though unless the people who are doing the voting, seek righteousness. It really does start with you and me, the people.
Lord, help me to walk in your ways and not to stumble. You are my delight. Keep the fire burning day and night. Help me to bear the fruit of your Son Jesus so that all that I come in contact with will see you. In everything I do may I prosper for your name’s sake.
In Jesus name
What do you picture when you think of gentleness? I think of words like, delicate, meek, humility. What’s the opposite of gentle? Careless, reckless, prideful, harsh. Gentleness is definitely a Christian characteristic. If you are a Christian, how does this fruit of the spirit fit into your daily life? Are you doing a good job of representing Jesus by being gentle? Is there a sense of calm and humility that you show towards God and to others? Are you worried about equality or are you like Jesus, coming as a servant?
When I am sick, God is good. When I am well, God is good. When I am rich, God is good. When I am poor, God is good When I am alone, God is good. When I am not alone, God is good. When I am happy, God is good. When I am sad, God is good. I could name a million circumstances and feelings and God will always be good. God will always be perfectly righteous and holy making everything right no matter what my circumstance or feeling. “God works all things together for good of those who love him, to him that are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Feelings and circumstances come and go, but God is always good. I rejoice in this because in this upside down, fleeting world with so many changes, I can rest in knowing that God is the same yesterday today and forever. There could be nothing good without Him. He is the creator of everything good. Every good gift is from the Father above. Goodness displayed in us would be wanting what is right, honorable, and true, for God and others. Goodness can be demonstrated in all kinds of ways, but it always is up-right, true and honorable. Does your life show the goodness that comes through God alone?
We need Jesus everyday to display gentleness and goodness. It’s easy to fall into wanting our rights, equality first above everything else. Seek Jesus and when you do ask him for more of his gentleness and goodness so that more people would see Jesus and come to repentance.
Jesus, Give me more gentleness and goodness.