Saturday, April 5, 2014
April 5: God, strike him down!
Rise up, Lord! O God, strike him down! Do not forget the oppressed! Why does the wicked man reject God? He says to himself, “You will not hold me accountable.” You have taken notice, for you always see one who inflicts pain and suffering. The unfortunate victim entrusts his cause to you; you deliver the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evil man! Hold him accountable for his wicked deeds, which he thought you would not discover. The Lord rules forever! The nations are driven out of his land. Lord, you have heard the request of the oppressed; you make them feel secure because you listen to their prayer. You defend the fatherless and oppressed, so that mere mortals may no longer terrorize them. (Psalm 10:12-18 NET)
Being a good Christian is not synonymous with being patient, loving, and kind ALL the time. Following God also demands that we get angry at certain situations and people, that we feel frustrated at the state of the world along with the majority of its population. Being a good Christian means that we fight evil and injustice, especially spiritual injustice, and that we have faith to change ourselves and the world.
If King David’s attitude in this psalm is foreign to you, if you never feel like this, or pray this way—you should reassess your faith and relationship with God. David was a man after God’s own heart for a number of reasons, one being his readiness to fight against evil and the enemies of God. David hated to lose, and rarely did. But he didn’t just fight against other people, he fought against sinful thoughts in his heart, he fought doubt and fear, he fought the thought that God forgets the oppressed, or that evil people will win in the end.
Two times in this passage David describes what many of us feel, that evil people think they can get away with anything, that no one will punish or stop them, that they are invincible. This is an old trick of the devil that was used over 3000 years ago with David, and is still being used today with you and me—and it’s effective if we are not careful. But David quickly recovers every time these words come out of his mouth, and declares about God: “you have taken notice…” “you deliver the fatherless…” “the Lord rules forever…” “you have heard the request of the oppressed.” Even though he had not yet been rescued by God, even though the situation was exactly the same, David spoke by faith and declared that the victory was already his; he was certain of what he could not yet see… he was walking in faith.
When David asks God to “break the arm of the wicked” or to “strike him down”, David is not asking for the spiritual destruction of his enemies—their damnation—but rather to show the world that He was alive and that evil cannot win against God and His people. David wanted God to be glorified through his life on earth; he wasn’t concerned about his glory, but about God’s, and God’s glory was a very personal, dear thing for him. Whenever we adopt this attitude ourselves—that our mission in life is to glorify God through our life—we reveal a level of spirituality and understanding that pleases God deeply.