Psalms 140 and 141 are our readings today. Both have to do with the same subject: what to do when ungodly people want to harm you. We don't know exactly who these ungodly people were who wanted to harm the psalmist. But it was real for the writer. What did he do? Let's examine solely Psalm 140 for the answer (Psalm 141 essentially says the same thing). 1. First, the psalmist prays for God's protection and deliverance for those who are planning evil in their hearts (vss 1-5). Evidently, they had planned traps and snares in which to hurt him.
2. Next, he placed his utter trust in God. I love the faith declarations here. He begs for mercy (vs 6), begging in prayer for God's ear. He believes God will answer his prayers, thwart the enemy and be exalted in victor (vss 7,8).
3. Finally, he prays for the defeat of his enemies (vss 9-11). He prays that they would be ensnared in the traps they set for him! He asks God to hunt them down and bring justice to them.
Question: Is this a right attitude for a follower of Jesus? Yes, I think, in two ways: first, we pray against the real enemies behind the enemy, the evil one and all his demons. We can pray for his schemes to be defeated, for all of these evil creatures to fail! Also, for the people themselves to be held accountable to God for their evil choices. We can pray for God's justice to come against them. But here's the key: it must be in God's way and timing. We release all bitterness, knowing how deadly it is. We realize holding onto bitterness is like drinking arsenic and expecting someone else to die! We know it's God's job to bring justice. We trust him with it.
While waiting, we pray for our persecutors, mostly, that they'd come to their senses and repent before God.