Psalms 94 reads in part:
“How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat? How long will they speak with arrogance? How long will these evil people boast? They crush your people, Lord, hurting those you claim as your own.”
“The Lord will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession.”
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side— leaders whose decrees permit injustice? They gang up against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
“God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The Lord our God will destroy them.“
As I read these words, I thought of the people who have hurt me and caused damage in my life. Yeah, God! Get them! And then the Lord nudged me and reminded me of words I have used often when speaking to others.
“That person in front of you is NOT your real enemy. They are also a victim of your common enemy.”
Our real enemy is the ancient adversary who stalked the first man and woman as told in the book of Genesis. It is never the person we see. It is always the cursed one. The one who always stands in opposition to God, and seeks to steal from, kill and destroy us, simply because we are made by God in His image.
Understanding that changed how I look at these words. Yes, the psalm speaks of people, including unjust leaders, but we must understand who is guiding those humans.
Hint: It is not God.
What the people are doing makes our God incredibly angry. Think about it. As a parent, if someone comes against my kids, I am ready and willing to do battle — and my boys are full-grown men! If I, a fallible human parent, feel this way, how much more so does God feel this way when His kids are mistreated, lied about, and abused? I’ve gotten in the faces of teachers, principals, school boards, and others for my kids, and I’d do it again today.
God takes on the real enemy for us.
While we would love to see vengeance wrought on that person who
lied to us…
lied about us…
…we must realize that that enemy will be dealt with, but our real enemy will be dealt an eternal death blow.
God tells us in Romans 12:19 that we are not to seek revenge, that God will, and His vengeance is so much bigger and much more effective.
So what should we do when we experience injustice or see it brought against someone else? We get angry. Then, we let that righteous anger propel us to focus on God and His will for the oppressed more than ever before. We share the Good News with those oppressed, because being left to the hands of the enemy for eternity is not acceptable. We offer help where possible and prayer in every situation. We help them know the fortress that is our God, taking them to the Strong Tower that He is. We want to rescue them from the grip of the ungodly enemy.
For those being used by the enemy to try to stop God’s Kingdom, we must pray. We must share the Good News. While our broken heart and spirit might wish them in hell, when we consider with Christ’s mind, we realize that we don’t really want another human to have to endure that, only the enemy for whom it was created. That’s right. Hell was not created for humans. Jesus declared that in Matthew 24:41. The humans who end up there have never renounced the enemy and chosen Jesus. If it’s at all possible, we must tell them what’s coming for them and hope to see them turned to God.
For ourselves, we must learn to forgive quickly and fully. We must renounce and break all soul ties with the human that brought the pain. And we focus on our Savior, asking Him to guard us and protect us from turning away to this side or that when the enemy launches an attack — and he will launch an attack. Several of them, in fact. We must be prepared with the appropriate response.
Sometimes — most times — that’s not easy. And it’s surely not what we want to do. I’ve talked a lot about forgiveness, and I’ll continue to do so, because I know that is where true freedom from that past is found. See the links for those below.
Revenge or Forgiveness. You have an important choice to make.
Forgiveness: Characteristics of a Great YOU
Separation from God, Changing People, and Forgiveness
When They Don’t Ask for Forgiveness
Forgive that person, because YOU are worth it!
It’s vitally important to keep your eye on the prize of the high calling of Jesus on your life. You have a purpose and He has a plan. You will be faced with attacks from the ancient enemy, but he will not win. The cool thing is, while you are winning, you can rescue others and help them grow to the place where they rescue others. This is building the Kingdom of God.