PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Psalm 83
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“May they be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.” (Psalm 83:17)
This psalm becomes a problem for us as followers of Jesus.
Asaph wants God to punish their enemies, to make them suffer and die.
On the one hand, I understand and appreciate the cry of the oppressed.
God will judge us all for the things that need to be judged, with justice!
But if justice is the only response, then will I pass God’s test?
My insisting that sinners be punished will come back to haunt me too.
“Cover their faces with shame, so that they will seek your name.” (Psalm 83:16)
This is what we all need, to face our own shame so we can seek God’s help.
Without denying the wicked out there, I have to face my own ‘wicked’ in me.
Jesus came to lovingly expose our shame with God’s undeserved grace and mercy.
And Jesus sends us to continue his work, to bless our enemies to repentance.
Sadly, too often the church has joined Satan in his work of condemnation.
But I can’t judge Asaph or the church for this; I’ve got to look at my own heart.
May I not be a person of judgment, but a person of radical mercy, like God has shown me.
Lord, help me to face my own shame for being judgmental and critical. And help me to learn what it means to bless – not curse – sinners!