Devotion in war time – 22 October 2023


“Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; What I did not steal, I then have to restore…. They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. May their table before them become a snare; And when they are in peace, may it become a trap. May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, and make their loins shake continually. Pour out Your indignation on them, and may Your burning anger overtake them. May their camp be desolate; May none dwell in their tents” (Ps 69:4, 21-25). Many followers of Yeshua don’t know what to do with the imprecatory psalms (psalms that call forth divine wrath upon the enemy). They say to themselves, “Well yes, this is the word of God, but for a different period of time with a sub-Christian morality. For this reason, it is not appropriate to voice them as my own prayers!” Psalm 69 is, however, a psalm frequently quoted and applied to Jesus in the New Testament. Like it or not, this imprecatory psalm of David is simultaneously the prayer of David’s greatest son. What can we learn from this imprecatory psalm? We learn from our Messiah to be outraged at evil, and to long for its total eradication from this world. With the world’s mixed up morality, however, misguided people love to vent their rage at the victims of evil (Israel) rather than its perpetrators (Hamas). I recently heard an American politician calling for the world to be outraged at Israel for the terrible suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza. No doubt the current situation in Gaza is a cause for justified outrage! Outrage at a Satanic organization holding two million Palestinians and two hundred Israelis hostage. Outrage at the death and destruction this organization is bringing upon a people whom God loves, for whom he sent his beloved Son. We long for the eradication of the wicked, for a Middle East where the gospel may be proclaimed freely, where the source of all evil is finally crushed under our Messiah’s feet. We long for that day when hostile nations will never learn war again. And we also long for evildoers to wake up and repent before it is too late. “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with violence! Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts that peoples toil for fire, and nations grow weary for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:12-14).

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