Let ‘Em Have It!
Ok, maybe this title is a little too far but Psalm 35 contains words that all of us, I think, have uttered at one time or another, and are perhaps thinking right now. David is asking God to take care of his enemies. He asks God to fight against those who fight against him, to let their way be “dark and slippery”, and to have destruction come upon them unexpectedly. That’s what I wish for most Eagles and Steelers fans…in a Christian way of course. We don’t know for sure but I suspect that David has on his mind either King Saul and his minions who were out to take David’s life or perhaps those who were loyal to David’s son, Absalom, during the period of time when Absalom led a coup to take over the throne. I think we’ve all felt this way from time to time, perhaps not to the extent that David feels, but in some ways, perhaps that way as you have been hurt deeply by someone else. What do we do? Can we authentically mix a cry for justice and judgment with a cry for mercy and grace?
There’s not much grace here in David’s words. But I believe there was grace in David’s heart. He demonstrated grace as he ran from Saul and as he dealt with the coup of his son Absalom. If you read those stories you will see that David did not seek revenge or vengeance against his enemies. How do you manage the two “competing” emotions? I would hope that we would err on the side of grace. Seeing someone “get theirs” doesn’t really do much to help us does it? I’m a firm believer in justice and judgment but I know that I’m not very good at meting it out. Rather, I need to trust God to bring judgment to those who have wronged me or others. I say, “Let ‘em have it” but I hope that what they “have” is judgment and grace.