Daily Devotional: Psalms 140:7-13
7 O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle--8 do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their plans succeed, or they will become proud. Selah 9 Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused. 10 Let burning coals fall upon them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise. 11 Let slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down men of violence. 12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. 13 Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you.
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.
Did you ever hear someone say they did not get mad, they just got even or that they did unto others before they had a chance to do to them? I once knew a man who said he practiced “IRM”. I asked him what that meant and he said it was the “Israeli retribution multiplier” and went on to explain that if you step on his foot, he cut off your head. None of us likes to be abused or have someone take unfair advantage of us. We often react with almost reflex reaction in retaliation.
But a soft answer turns away wrath. Instead of taking out our anger on someone, we should show them mercy and forgiveness, even if they did it on purpose. One of the widely held but unbiblical ideas is that someone must express regret and ask for forgiveness before we can or should forgive them. This is wrong.
Stephen was being stoned to death and he prayed that the Lord would not hold it against the ones who were throwing the rocks. As Jesus hung on the cross, he asked the Father to forgive the ones who were killing him because they did not understand what they were doing. Our attitude and action should be forgiving and then we leave room for the wrath of God to do what is right.
Heavenly Father give me a heart like the heart of Jesus, full of compassion, mercy, love and forgiveness toward everyone with whom I come in contact. I know that when I do what is right, there will be some who will not like it. Help me remember that being humble in spirit is not being weak but is relying on you. Help me do good to everyone, especially those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Use me to do your will, in your place and in your time. I pray in Jesus name.