Daily Devotional: Psalms 149:6-9
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The people of God in the Old Testament were both a spiritual and a physical nation with laws from God that governed both. It was the responsibility of the king and his army to defend their nation, their city and the honor of God. Of course this was to be done by putting their trust in God and then carrying out his battle plans against his enemies. God was praised and his name glorified with every victory over the nations around them. Praise the Lord.
Today, the kingdom of God is made up of people from all nations, all ethnic groups and all classes of people. We are all one in Jesus Christ and in him we all trust to overcome his enemy, the devil. The strongest weapon we have is the one given by God, the sword of the Spirit. Along with the sword, he also gives us the armor we need to defend ourselves, including the shield of faith.
We also overcome the enemy by the example of Christ that we show in our lives, including our attitude toward those who profess to be our enemies and enemies of Christ. God is glorified when we dwell in peace with others, when we refuse to retaliate against wrongs done to us and when we show love and kindness to those who mistreat us. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the Lord!
O Lord God, giver of life and all good things, I am thankful for the many blessings I enjoy every day. Thank you for this wonderful country in which I live and for the freedoms that have been handed down to me to worship you and teach your word without being persecuted or even threatened. Should there ever come a time when I have to face persecution, give me faith to be faithful to you. I ask your blessings and your protection on those who live in other places where they do face persecution for serving you. I pray in the name of Jesus your Son.