Mark 8February 19, 2014
Mark 9February 20, 2014
“Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.” (Psalm 58:6)
If you read through the Psalms you will see many times when the psalmist will pray what seems like hateful prayers. These are called precatory prayers. The dictionary describes precatory as expressing a wish. How do we handle them? The verse above is just one of those examples.
First, the psalmist is not seeking personal revenge. “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30) This was a quote from Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
The psalmist was not seeking vengeance but justice. We see God throughout the Old Testament judging the sins of nations. At the time of Noah, God judged the world. Only one person was found righteous. When the nation of Israel went into the Promised Land they were told to kill everything. God was judging these nations.
Israel had enemies that threatened to wipe them out. God intervened many times and Israel won the battles. God judged sin according to the law. The psalmist often in graphic language requests God to have mercy on Israel and show harsh judgment on their enemies.
Jesus had a slightly different view of enemies. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) This is the message of grace. Though our nations may have enemies and we have to defend our families, we aren’t to hate these people. They are under the control of Satan.
“In light of the Cross, we offer to God’s enemies a message of reconciliation if they will repent, but of awful judgment if they will not.” We don’t pray precatory prayers today. We rest in Jesus and let Him handle the situation. In fact, Jesus has called us to pray for the lost whether they are our enemies or not.
Love is the answer. Everything revolves around love. Grace was born by love. Faith works by love. We are to love enemies. We love because He first loved us. God so loved the world that He gave.