Summary: This messages focuses on our desire to have revenge when we suffer a wrong.
Sacrifices: When Making Sacrifices Grows Old
Part II: Revenge After Kindness Is Repaid With Evil
I shared with you previously from Psalms 73 focusing on the writer’s frustration with the wicked prospering. In that passage of Scripture we learned that we cannot always interpret someone’s prosperity as their having God’s favor. In Psalms 73 the writer examined the question “Why does the wicked prosper and the righteous do not?” This question comes as we consider how God could allow the wicked to prosper while those who serve Him go through life with trials and tribulations. As I pointed out in that message it can become a very slippery slope when we begin to question the validity of serving God. This morning in part two of this series we will examine another Psalm pertaining to the treatment of the righteous.
This Psalm covey the deep emotions that all of us face when we have been wronged and that great desire we have to have that wrong revenged. Even though we understand that revenge is not the best choice for how Christ taught us to live as Christians, there are many times when we just want our justice. There are times when someone has hurt us so bad that we really want them to go through what they have put us through; to hurt as bad as we have been hurt. There are times when someone has betrayed us to the point that if we could, we would expose them for what they are. If we could we would choose to put all of their secrets out there just to prove the point that “what goes around, comes around.” We pride ourselves on proving the saying “don’t throw stones at someone else house if you too live in a glass house.” These sayings are often about revenge and that will be the focus of the message this morning.
When we have experienced betrayal in any form, from friends talking behind our backs to friends or strangers returning evil when we have done them good, it hurts. We go through the range of emotions thinking about how we could have ever trusted them. Those feelings of betrayal and hurt cut deep to the point that we do not want to trust others again. When we have the feelings for revenge, even though we are ashamed that they exist (sometimes anyway) we want our justice; to strike back; to get even. This is what we will witness with David this morning as he goes through a range of emotions after being betrayed and receiving evil for the good that he did. Turn to Psalm 109 and we will get started with David crying out to God.
I. I Stand Accused
“O God of my praise, do not be silent! For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. Thus they have repaid me evil for good and hatred for my love.” (Psalm 109:1-5)
In these first five verses, David pleads his case to God. He makes it clear that he wants God to do something for he has been wronged. Not only is he crying out to God, he is really demanding God to do something. Why would David feel this comfortable making this request of God? David understood that it was God who looked out for His people. When Moses brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt he wrote a song before his death. In that song which is found in Deuteronomy 32:35-36 David said this of God: “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution….For the Lord will vindicate His people.” There are three words in these verses that David was very familiar with. The first word is vengeance. Vengeance is defined as “the return of an injury for an injury.” The second word was retribution which is defined as “punishment for evil done or reward for good done.” The third word from these verses that David was very familiar with as part of God’s response to His people was vindicate. Vindicate is defined as “to clear from criticism, blame, etc; to justify.” David understood God and based on his own interactions with Him understood that God would come to his aid and render to his accusers just as they had rendered to him. This would be the same as “an eye for an eye.” He expected God to come to his aid and give to those people what they had given to him – to punish them for their wrongs towards him. He wanted God to punish those people for their evil, especially after he had done good to them. Finally he expected God to vindicate him. He expected God to prove to everyone that he did not deserve the treatment that he had been given. David has a three-fold expectation of God as it pertained to how he was treated. He expected God to revenge him, punished those that came against him and to clear his name. So this is what we find in the opening verses of Psalm 109 as David begins to plead his case.