Sunday, 18 June 2023
“Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me” -Psalm 35:1
In the Psalm, David asks for God’s intervention to deal with those who are against him. He wants the just judgments of God to come upon his enemies for their great wickedness. He begins by bringing his battle before the Lord in prayer and trusting God to fight the battle for him. He entrusted himself and the situation fully to God. Instead of seeking his own vengeance on those who falsely accused and mistreated him, David entrusts his desire for justice to God who he knows is the perfect and just Judge. The Psalm also helps us look forward to the downfall of the enemies of God and His kingdom.
There are times in our lives that we react to situations or people when we feel offended but it says in James 1:19-20 – “…let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” How many of us really submit every move and step of our lives into the hands of God? How do we respond to people who do not agree with us? Anger is the sign of trying to fight our own battles. The root cause of that sin is the desire to control, instead of entrusting justice and vengeance to our Creator.
Evaluating our prayer life is a good tool to measure whether we are trusting in God or in ourselves. If we don’t pray much or pray at all, then we are almost certainly trusting in our own strength or resources! But if we are always bringing our needs before the throne of God, it shows that we are committing our battles to Him! We can see David asking God to be his protection in his battles. The good news for us is that God will fight our battles for us. (Refer: Isaiah 49:25) We were not made to live apart from our Creator, rather we were created to rely upon Him for everything in our lives. 1 Peter 5:7says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” When the Lord cares for us, He will take care of our battles too, provided we turn them over to Him.
If we have received God’s salvation through Christ, then we have access to God in prayer. Our encouragement to persevere during the tough battles in our lives, is knowing that ours is the victory through Christ Jesus. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor.15:57)
Seeking justice on our own is an unholy desire. Remember what Christ said: “But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Matt.5:44 NIRV). We must not desire or pray for the ruin of our enemies, except those enemies of our flesh- lusts that would lead to our destruction. Are we rejoicing at the downfall of those who do not listen to us? We shouldn’t have a prideful attitude of seeking the destruction of those who don’t agree with us, don’t accept our views or live like us. Rather, knowing that the only reason we are any different is because of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus, we can extend our forgiveness and love and desire that God shows them His grace, just as He has done to us.
Think on ‘Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.’ (Proverbs 20:22)