May 12, Revenge

Today’s reading: Psalms 56-60

“Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions! Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short” - Psalm 58:6-7.

The psalmists were not hesitant to cry out for vengeance against those who had done them wrong. This may seem “un-Christian” or vindictive, but that’s probably not the case. The psalmists were not carrying out vengeance on their own behalf, but were crying out to God. They were being brutally honest in the midst of situations where the wicked were triumphing and prospering at their expense. The writers were looking to God for answers and for deliverance. If you notice, almost each psalm of lament ends in words of hope, reiterating God is in control. Paul came to the same conclusion that the Old Testament writers did when he wrote the Roman church: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Do you seek your own revenge, even if it’s a quick comeback to a verbal insult? Do your prayers contain the same honesty as the psalmists? Have you settled the fact that God is the avenger and not you?