My community cracks me up. When we studied the REST of Psalm 139 – the part you’re about to read, the audience asked, “Hey, what about forgiveness?”
To which Scott, our associate pastor replied, “Oh, that was last month’s series.” Read the next series of verses and see if this doesn’t jar us all a bit from the previous verses that had us all remembering God’s care, concern, and ever-present help in times of trouble.
If only, God, you would kill the wicked!
If only murderers would get away from me—
the people who talk about you, but only for wicked schemes;
the people who are your enemies,
who use your name as if it were of no significance.
Don’t I hate everyone who hates you?
Don’t I despise those who attack you?
Yes, I hate them—through and through!
They’ve become my enemies too.
Examine me, God! Look at my heart!
Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts!
Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me,
then lead me on the eternal path! Psalm 139:18-24 CEB
I must admit, I appreciate a good God smiting of enemies…so long as he and I can agree on who the enemy is, right? But what do we do with all those stories of people who have decided what God does and does not hate? People who have used their loyalty to God as an excuse for violence, oppression, and hatred?
We’ll continue this discussion tomorrow, but just for today, can you take a few minutes to consider who your enemies are (from your perspective) and then ask God to examine you, look at your heart, put you to the test and see if, perhaps, you might need a course correction when it comes to how to define and deal with an enemy?