They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. … When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! … For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death. He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones! May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day! May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, of those who speak evil against my life!
Psalms 109:3, 7-7, 16-20 ESV
This imprecatory psalm is both a challenge to my tendency toward anger and an encouragement that God is with me whenever I’m wronged. I’ve wrongfully assumed that if I’m attacked by someone because of my belief in Jesus then God will take up my cause and be on my side, but if I’m attacked “without cause” then it’s just an amoral dispute between two people, both of whom are sinful, and therefore God leaves me to fend for myself in the matter. But David calls out to God in Psalm 109:3 because his enemies “attack me without cause”. He goes on to ask God to strip them of their blessings, to turn even their prayers into sins, and that their own cursing behavior sinks like a curse into their own bones.
God fights against wrongdoing, even to vindicate sinful people. He’s a righteous judge in all circumstances, and when I’m wrongfully attacked because of his name, or for any other reason, he will seek to make things right. I’m not left to myself to deal with it.
Also, fighting for my own justice will eventually lead to a habit of cursing and bitterness that will slowly marinate curses into my own bones. Over time I will fall victim to the very weapons I try to wield.
God, help me to trust you with my vindication against people who try to hurt me without a cause. It’s so easy to want to pick up weapons of hurtful words and fire back at them. I know from my own sin that I’m not worthy for you to fight for me, so sometimes I doubt you will be there for me in those circumstances. But you do fight for the cause of the needy, even the sinful needy. Thank you for your unadulterated justice that I can trust more than my own sense of justice. Help me to always desire to put down my weapons and trust your justice.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.