Tuesday, January 17, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 17

Our natural reaction to someone attacking us - especially if without cause - is to strike back. We celebrate the guys in the movies who get even with their enemies and then take a little more.

David knew that this is not the way Godly people live. He could honestly say to God
"You have tested my heart;
You have examined me at night.
You have tried me and found nothing evil;
I have determined that my mouth will not sin."

Your first thought might be, "Well then you're just asking to get smacked around (literally and figuratively) if you don't fight back." But David knew that he could call on God and that God would answer him.
"I call on You, God, because You will answer me."

Paul worded it this way in Romans 12
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone's eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. 19 Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. 21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

It seems like the key to this is to determine before something happens that "your mouth will not sin." Once you are in the midst of an attack it may be too difficult to make that conscious choice to not sin.

Instead choose David's words
"Protect me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who treat me violently."

1 comment:

Phyllis Hobson said...

I love your "shadow of the wings" photo. That phrase, which is also in Psalm 91, makes me realize that to be in someone's shadow, you've got to be real close to them. Going through a difficult time many years ago, I came upon Psalm 91, and just prayed to God that I would be so close to Him that I would constantly be in His shadow.

I also loved the thought "I have determined that my mouth will not sin." I have been working on thinking about what I say before I open my mouth (especially with those close to me, we/I tend to just blurt out whatever, not thinking about how it can cause pain).

A good Psalm!