Daily Devotional: Psalms 58:6-11
6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; tear out, O LORD, the fangs of the lions! 7 Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows be blunted. 8 Like a slug melting away as it moves along, like a stillborn child, may they not see the sun. 9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns--whether they be green or dry--the wicked will be swept away. 10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 Then men will say, "Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth."
1 Cor 13:4-7, 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
In these two passages is found a great contrast. In the Psalm we see hatred and bitterness and a cry for the destruction of the writer’s enemies. In the latter we see love, even a love for those who do us wrong. How can the Bible be from God and still have these seemingly contrasting views? Which is right for us?
The truth is that both are right, even for us today. The Psalm is a cry against those who oppose God and those who persecute believers. It is more a hatred of sin than it is for the person involved in the sin. Since the enemy of David was also an enemy of God, it was right for him to want their destruction. To win the physical battles against the enemies of God would honor and glorify him to the whole world. Israel was his nation and when victorious, God was glorified.
We, as the children of God, as His people and His nation, are to be like the Father and we are to be identified as loving, kind, patient, compassionate and forgiving. We are to be gracious and we are to extend grace to all. At the same time, we are to have a real hatred for sin and for evil. Not the person who is held captive to it but for the sin itself. We are to kill their wicked heart with love as we show them that Jesus is the way of escape from their bondage to Satan and sin.
Heavenly Father I want to love you more than anything else in my entire life and I want to consistently show that love to you as I submit to your will and serve you with all I have and all I am. I also want to love others, even as you love me. Give me greater faith to make this happen in my life as you grow the fruit of your Spirit in me and mold me into your image. Forgive me when I fail. Give your peace to those who are hurting and struggling in life today. I pray in Jesus name.