Monday, January 2, 2017

Pray for Your Enemies...Not Like That Though!

Psalm 5 is a fairly classic Psalm of David in structure and theme. He starts out praying to the LORD, groaning and crying to God:

Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God,  for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 
You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 

Then in verse 7 David takes this posture of humility before God and says:

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. 
I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. 
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; 
make your way straight before me. 


Then from this same humble and contrite spirit (do you hear my sarcasm?) David begins to pray for his enemies:

For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; 
their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 
Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; 
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. 

Well then! You sorta get a picture of David standing there with his hands on his hips, frowning toward heaven as he complains to God of how his enemies are such beasts. Seriously, David? I combat this attitude in my 8-year-old daily, when his brother breaks his Lego creation *again*. Seriously, David?

Now, we do know that Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies. But something tells me that David's type of prayer here is NOT a great example for us in that! Ha! But what I love about David's psalms is that he's really good at laying out his frustration before God, and then stepping back, and raising his eyes to heaven, and giving the results of his trials to God, and choosing to praise Him in all things. Listen how he ends this Psalm:

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, 
and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 
For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. 

Let us ever rejoice, sing for joy, and exult in the Name above all names. Even when our friend, co-worker or sibling is being a brat. Amen!

1 comment:

  1. I really like where you said: "he's really good at laying out his frustration before God, and then stepping back, and raising his eyes to heaven, and giving the results of his trials to God, and choosing to praise Him in all things." Thanks, Pastor's wife! :-)

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