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Bible Reading: Psalm 109

Psalm 109
O God of my praise, do not be silent! For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. Thus they have repaid me evil for good and hatred for my love. Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the creditor seize all that he has, and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be before the Lord continually, that He may cut off their memory from the earth; Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy man, and the despondent in heart, to put them to death. He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him. But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, and it entered into his body like water and like oil into his bones. Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, and for a belt with which he constantly girds himself. Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, and of those who speak evil against my soul. But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name's sake; because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; For I am afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust. My knees are weak from fasting, and my flesh has grown lean, without fatness. I also have become a reproach to them; when they see me, they wag their head. Help me, O Lord my God; save me according to Your lovingkindness. And let them know that this is Your hand; You, Lord, have done it. Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, they shall be ashamed, but Your servant shall be glad. Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; and in the midst of many I will praise Him. For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul.

This Psalm was written by Kind David during a time of personal persecution. I can close my eyes and almost picture him as a modern day King or President, sitting in the war room with his advisors and generals. The military person that carries the nuclear codes around is there too, probably waiting with hated anticipation that this was to be the big moment when “the button” gets pushed.

Sometimes when someone has wronged us, our rational human-ness seems to take over, and our spiritual capacity for dispensing grace gets diminished. In this passage, grace has gone out of the window! The one positive that stands out for me here is that David is not ready to take personal initiative here … he wants God to do it. Even in his seeming anger and hurt, David still recognizes that God is still in control. The apostle Paul also reminds us of this principle in Romans 12.19, telling us that vengeance belongs to the Lord; it is His right and authority to repay.

When we harbor anger in our hearts towards another, even if that person has wronged us, we do ourselves no good. We usurp God’s position and authority for dealing with issues and problems.

The solution? No matter what the circumstances seem to be, do not hang on to your anger, but instead allow grace to continue to rule in your heart. Be Jesus to the world, even to those who wrong you.

Weekly Memory Verse: Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.  Psalm 105.1-3