I've been reading through the Psalms, I confess not as regularly as I should, but yesterday morning as I was reading Psalm 28 and looking at notes I had written from a previous read-thru verse 4 struck me and I noted that I had written "it's ok to pray this!" next to it. David wrote:
"Give them according to their evil deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve."
What they deserve? Ouch! I wonder if David wrote this before or after he slept with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed? And I'm not sure how this jives with Christ's words of praying for your enemies and those "who despitefully use you".
There have been times in my life when I wonder why God doesn't punish those who are just plain bad seeds, particularly those who put on the Christian name but are not discernible from the bad company they keep. And maybe especially those whose wrong-doings have affected me, my wife or my family. Many times I wanted to pray what David prayed "give them what they deserve!"
But I don't. Never have. Sure, there have been a very few times when I see consequences from wrong-doings, but I try not to find any comfort in that. I think this is why......I know what I deserve. In many ways I'm not any better. The difference is I KNOW better.
So do we pray hell fire or blessings on our enemies? I've written plenty on this blog about trying to be like David. I wonder though, on this issue, if David had it wrong. I guess when in doubt, and always, be like Christ.