Background: The book of Psalms was written by at least 7 authors. It expresses a range of human emotions from praise to God in good times, fear of enemies in bad times, guilt, anger and an overriding confidence in God’s goodness, majesty and power. Often we think of the christian life as being lived by those who are passive and won’t stand up against evil. In Psalm 35 we learn how David prayed that his enemies would be disgraced and destroyed by the Lord.
Ask the children…
What did David pray would happen to his enemies?
“Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my [c]life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.” (Psalm 35:4)
In addition to emotional distress, what else did David pray would happen to his enemies?
“Let destruction come upon him unawares,
And let the net which he hid catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.” (Psalm 35:8 )
The Bible is full of statements that if studied without context appear to be inconsistent with one another. For example here we have David praying destruction on his enemies but Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them.
In David’s case, David had been told my God to cleanse the Promised Land of idol worshippers and those who sought to destroy God’s people.
In Jesus’ case, Jesus wanted His followers to demonstrate unconditional love so the world could see what a transformed life looks like. There were other instances however where Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple. In that situation He was protecting the unsuspecting from those who did evil in the name of being spiritual. Jesus had no time for hyporcrites.
Ask your children if can understand how praying for protection from their enemies and that their enemies experience the consequences of their actions can be a loving thing to do? Explain how when people get caught for doing wrong it can wake them up to sin and give them the opportunity to repent.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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