“May his blood fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house! May Joab’s house never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.” (2nd Samuel 3:29)
God is Judge. Biblical curses acknowledge His rights and human limitations. David uttered this curse in view of the seriousness of Joab’s crime. Murder was punishable by death (Exodus 21:12), and even the cities of refuge provided no protection for a murderer (Numbers 35:16). Joab had murdered Abner. Joab sent messengers ahead to find Abner and to bring him to David at the well of Sirah, but David knew nothing of it. Joab took Abner aside as if to speak with him and he stabbed him to death. On the day Abner was buried, the anointed king, David said: “May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize not receiving the gift of judgment. It is not our place to judge anyone; yet the world does so every day. We are to simply take David’s words and say: “May the Lord repay the evildoers according to their evil deeds.” Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“There is no reward from God, to those who seek it from men.”
“Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight., for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.” (Nehemiah 4:4-5)
This prayer must be seen in the light of Nehemiah’s other prayers. He had so totally identified himself with God and His will that he knew his enemies were God’s enemies. God had promised Abraham that those who cursed him would be cursed (Genesis 12:3). This prayer still allows vengeance to be the Lord’s (Deut. 32:35), for Nehemiah did not take revenge.
“Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.” (Psalm 5:10)
What is imprecatory prayer, you might ask. The definition to “imprecate” means to “invoke evil upon or curse one’s enemies.” Let me first ask you, does this sound like something you should ask God to do? If you said no, I agree with you. However, when praying to God when enemies had hurt or taken advantage of you, it is appropriate to lay out everything thing your enemy has done and what you personally have responded to their deeds. It is not ok or our right to ask God to curse them or to afflict them in any way, as that is solely His responsibility, not ours. God already knows what we will say and how we will say it, so it is important to confirm to Him how we reacted to being wronged. It is an affirmation that we understand clearly that Judgment comes from Him alone and the punishment will be a measure equal to the actions taken.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter, I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, ‘Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.’ But, O Lord Almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says about the men in Anathogh who are seeking your life and saying. Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands—-therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.’” (Jeremiah 11:18-23)
Jeremiah courageously took his case against his enemies to God in five monumental confessions. In life’s hopeless situations prayer is the only avenue of hope. Here God agreed to Jeremiah’s request, though this was not always the case.
Beloved, the God we serve is righteous in all that He does. When other people treat us unjustly, we can turn to God for righteous intervention. What is right in the case is His decision, not ours. People expect to be able to trust neighbors. When that trust is betrayed, we are overwhelmed. Such betrayal invites divine action. God refused to leave even a remnant of such people. His responsibility, His choice, His action, His time. If you are physically being attacked, it I most certainly appropriate to fight back to defend yourself. Seeking to attack your enemy before they can attack you, it not right. It is always right to pray to God of any planned attacks on yourself for protection, but once you have told God everything, it is then His responsibility to deal with said enemies in a fitting manner, to keep them from going forward with their plans. Clear?