At first read, I was stunned by David's prayer to God in this psalm. Venomous, vindictive cursing words spewing from the "man after God's own heart?" Set to music to boot! Wow! Is it alright to pray as such?
What a contrast to Paul's good, gracious, Godly prayer for the Ephesian Christians. Everyone would be encouraged to pray this kind of 'beautiful, calming prayer of blessing’.
David's prayer raised my blood pressure, caused confusion. I would never pray like this, I tell myself. That is until I learnt the story behind. That David had been immeasurably hurt (and incensed) by the betrayal and treachery of Ahithophel, a best friend and most trusted advisor. Ahithophel was David's Judas Iscariot. My ire with David turned to understanding.
How then should one pray in such painful times? I have no idea. Except to be comforted by the fact that our Heavenly Father understands our confusion and wounds, hears ALL our prayers. That David went to his Yahweh, his Heavenly Father, for help in both the best and worst of times is encouragement and example enough for me.
Then comes Isaiah, prophesying of Israelites in Babylonian exile. A lifetime of exile for many was forthcoming. One would not blame that generation if they lived in fear, despair and bitterness. This made me think about our current pandemic. Did we heed warnings when they were told? Or did we go on our merry way, thinking it would not happen in our lifetime? Are we now living in fear, despair, and even bitterness?
Thankfully, Isaiah’s warning came with hope. Great Hope! There would be rescue. However, God's salvation was not to come like Superman. Instead he would be someone with no beauty or majesty. He would be afflicted, despised, rejected, sorrowing. He would be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, pouring out his life for our sins. Sinful we who had become our Father's Judas Iscariot would be rescued by God's Righteous One who will not retaliate in vindictive revenge. Instead, Jesus will show us love His Father's way, a merciful love that is everlasting.
So pray as if your life depends on it. It does. And leave the results to God. Just never stop praying, for our hope is not in a vaccine, but in Jesus, our salvation!
A gifted wife and mother who loves Jesus and also helps edit our 2020 devotionals.