Psalms – Prayers of Honest and Praise
It is a bad place to be when we are judged harshly for something we did not do. I’ve been there. Many who stand for what is right will experience a backlash of accusations by those who want life as is. Our first thought is anger. We are indignant and want to fight back or run from the injustice. Our righteous anger then turns to fright as we consider the possible outcomes of the punishment that may come as the accuser builds his/her case on lies. Do we just take it even though we did nothing wrong? Or do we stand and defend ourselves, going over every detail of the alleged “crime”?
David goes to God. He tells God ALL that his accusers and mockers are saying to him and about him. He is gut honest with his words. He does not hold anything back. He even tells God what God can do to bring justice to his situation. He also tells God how to punish his accusers.
Mm…is David going too far? Do we go too far in our talk with God? Have we stopped to consider just WHO we are talking to? God is God and we are not. Can we talk to God honestly? Yes. But do we tell God what to do? I think God knows what to do. David talks all things over with God. He is the kind of person (like me) who figures out a problem by talking it out, laying it all out and then coming to a conclusion about what he should do. God is the best Someone to go to, not humans. God knows Him. David knows God.
So before we judge David’s harsh prayer, like our crying out at times, let’s read this next psalm of prayer for injustice knowing the intimate relationship between God and David.
Another thought…Compare this prayer to what Jesus prayed on the cross…”Forgive them for they know not what they do”. David was human with human reactions. Jesus was God in human form who came to put us right with God. Jesus never did anything wrong in the sight of God. He was perfect so therefore made the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He was mocked and accused with lies and false witness statements. He was beaten, mocked and beaten repeatedly. Jesus went silent for he knew is mission to save us trumped his comfort and defense.
Now, let’s read and see what God puts in our hearts…
Psalm 109, The Message
A David Prayer
1-5 My God, don’t turn a deaf ear to my hallelujah prayer.
Liars are pouring out invective on me;
Their lying tongues are like a pack of dogs out to get me,
barking their hate, nipping my heels—and for no reason!
I loved them and now they slander me—yes, me!—
and treat my prayer like a crime;
They return my good with evil,
they return my love with hate.
6-20 Send the Evil One to accuse my accusing judge;
dispatch Satan to prosecute him.
When he’s judged, let the verdict be “Guilty,”
and when he prays, let his prayer turn to sin.
Give him a short life,
and give his job to somebody else.
Make orphans of his children,
dress his wife in widow’s weeds;
Turn his children into begging street urchins,
evicted from their homes—homeless.
May the bank foreclose and wipe him out,
and strangers, like vultures, pick him clean.
May there be no one around to help him out,
no one willing to give his orphans a break.
Chop down his family tree
so that nobody even remembers his name.
But erect a memorial to the sin of his father,
and make sure his mother’s name is there, too—
Their sins recorded forever before God,
but they themselves sunk in oblivion.
That’s all he deserves since he was never once kind,
hounded the afflicted and heartbroken to their graves.
Since he loved cursing so much,
let curses rain down;
Since he had no taste for blessing,
let blessings flee far from him.
He dressed up in curses like a fine suit of clothes;
he drank curses, took his baths in curses.
So give him a gift—a costume of curses;
he can wear curses every day of the week!
That’s what they’ll get, those out to get me—
an avalanche of just deserts from God.
21-25 Oh, God, my Lord, step in;
work a miracle for me—you can do it!
Get me out of here—your love is so great!—
I’m at the end of my rope, my life in ruins.
I’m fading away to nothing, passing away,
my youth gone, old before my time.
I’m weak from hunger and can hardly stand up,
my body a rack of skin and bones.
I’m a joke in poor taste to those who see me;
they take one look and shake their heads.
26-29 Help me, oh help me, God, my God,
save me through your wonderful love;
Then they’ll know that your hand is in this,
that you, God, have been at work.
Let them curse all they want;
you do the blessing.
Let them be jeered by the crowd when they stand up,
followed by cheers for me, your servant.
Dress my accusers in clothes dirty with shame,
discarded and humiliating old ragbag clothes.
30-31 My mouth’s full of great praise for God,
I’m singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,
For he’s always at hand to take the side of the needy,
to rescue a life from the unjust judge.
THINK ABOUT IT…
David praises God in the end of his rant because he knows God knows. He knows God is with him. David knows God will “rescue a life from the unjust judge”. Life gets hard when we are accused unjustly but let God take care of it. He will rescue you, pull you out, or change the hearts of the accusers in the situation. God might even use us in His work of turning the lives of the unjust back to Him! Yes, this happens!
Don’t underestimate the God of all and who is in all. Let’s remember Who we are talking to. He knows what He is doing. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray for our accusers and “those who persecute us” for we shall receive mercy and peace for doing so, leaving ourselves out of the court of judgement. God is the only judge. Leave judgement to Him. He is also our Defender and help in times of injustice.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” –Jesus
When you are accused of wrong you did not do, what is your first response?
Who do you pour out your heart to in situations beyond your control?
Spiritual maturity can be measured by our first response to injustice.
(Deuteronomy 32:35 NIV)
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them.”
Romans 12:17-19 NIV)
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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.
My dad used to say, “You can be right and still be wrong.” This meant you might have done all the right things but to fight back with evil thoughts, words and actions of revenge will be an injustice, too.
Leave it all to God. He knows what He is doing. Talk it over with Him. Be honest, like David, as you bear your soul, but then look up to hear what HE wants you to do next…then do it.
Jesus also prayed for “this cup” to be removed, but when God did not, Jesus carried out His mission to save us. Aren’t you glad Jesus followed God to the completion of His purpose?
Can I get an amen and hallelujah?? Come on, now!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Only by your power and strength can I “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with You”. You are our hope and peace. May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts in all situations we will face today. Thank you for rescuing me in the past. I know You know what You are doing. All my trust is in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen