A Season of Psalms - Psalm 70
“Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! Let them turn back because of their shame who say, ‘Aha, Aha!’ May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’ But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!”
English Standard Version (ESV)
What do you do when you’re wronged? Psychologist and bestselling author Rick Hanson says it’s normal to be hurt, wounded, angry, or sad, and our first impulse is to lash out and strike back in retaliation. Hanson doesn’t encourage fighting back, because “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Rather, he suggests that all of us should act with unilateral virtue, living by your own code even if others do not. This may lead those who have wronged you to respect you, and it also creates the best chance that the person who wronged you will treat you better in the future. If this fails, Hanson encourages us to move on and find peace in our hearts, not as the world offers, but the peace that keeps our eyes and our heart open and lets go of past hurts along the way.
David has been wounded deeply in Psalm 70. The wound hurts, and he calls on God to deliver him from its pain in haste. David’s first response is to strike back against his enemies, calling on God to “let them be put to shame and confusion…let them be turned back and brought to dishonor…let them turn back because of their shame…” It’s David’s hope that the measure which his enemies used in tormenting David will be measured back to them. But as much pain as they have caused, David finds great delight in the deliverance of the Lord. He seeks God and rejoices; he loves the Lord’s salvation, that He is David’s help and deliverer and He will not delay to answer.
What should we do when we are wronged? Be blessed! Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…” Two choices: we can return fire by criticizing, complaining or castigating...or we can endure wrongs against us with patience and love, knowing that the crown of life is our eternal reward, promised by God to those who love Him. Believe me, the reward will be worth the wait!
Further Reading: James 5:7-11; Romans 12;14-21
Pray with me: Father, in this world we will have trouble. By Your matchless grace, may we respond with endurance and patience, integrity and love. Help us to follow daily the example of Christ our Savior. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.