How the Psalms get beyond Anger Management. . .

March 8, 2014

Psalm 43

O vindicate and plead my cause, O God, against the foe;
Come rescue me from wicked men, a nation vile and low.

You are my stronghold and my God; Why do You reject me?
Why must I mourn all day oppressed by the vile enemy?

Send forth Your light, Lord, and Your truth, and let them guide me well.
O let them bring me to Your mount, the place where You do dwell.

Then I’ll go to Your altar, Lord; to God, my true delight;
And I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God of right.


Jesus instructs us to “love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us,” which sounds good, until I actually have an enemy. Then it’s a pretty big stretch. Song #43 models a more doable strategy. At least it’s a starting place. The singer decides to take the battle not to the throat of the enemy but to the heart of God. Though he wrote these words in another context, John Calvin’s words ring true throughout the Psalms: “It is God with whom we have to deal.” Whether our situation is for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health the Psalms always redirect our attention, affections, angst and emotions to God alone.

Are you facing an irreconcilable injustice somewhere in your life today? Are your enemies seeming to prevail? Do you need to be vindicated in some situation? Is there a painful divorce afoot in your marriage or a divisive feud in your community? How about an incomprehensible tragedy? In the face of well-intentioned people (often pastors) who console with words like, “God has a reason for this,” or “God is  allowing this to happen for his glory,” today’s song and many more like it teach a different set of rules for divine engagement. And there’s really only one rule: It is God with whom we have to deal. Don’t hold back. Cry out for vindication. Sing out your angst to God against  your enemies. Not only is this a healthy way of dealing with our problems but it is a holy way. Frankly, it is the only way if we are ever to arrive at the “real” place of loving our enemies.

It is God with whom we have to deal.

There’s something about singing these words (over time) that takes them to a whole new level. It’s like going from black and white to full technicolor. Sing this one now:  CLICK HERE

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