Vengeance never solves anything and only makes the matter worse. That is true every single time. However, when we have been wronged, even if we don’t get revenge, that still doesn’t mean that we do not feel a sense that we would like to get even with the person. What are we to do with these feelings that we have towards those who have wronged us? In Psalm 140, David is pleading with God to save him because he is surrounded by enemies and is powerless. His enemies seem to have the upper hand and look to overwhelm him, but David turns to God who is all powerful and is his true salvation. God has always been his savior in the past and David believes that He will be his savior in the present. However, in verse 10, we see just how angry David is because he proclaims something that seems shocking to Christian ears. He states, “Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise!” It sounds shocking to us that someone who follows God should even utter such a thing, yet let’s look at something in the Psalm for the moment. Throughout the entire Psalm, David looks to God to fulfill his salvation and to provide him with justice. David is looking for God to do justice, not for himself to take vengeance. He leaves it in God’s hands.
So what can we learn from the Bible about David’s Psalm about these feelings that we have towards others when they have wronged us? The first thing is to tell God how we feel and hold nothing back from Him. The Bible shows us that David had an intimate prayer life and worship life with God that did not shy away from what he was feeling or going through. I believe God desires that same intimacy with us also and wants us to share how we truly feel. (By the way, I believe if we started to be this blunt with God in prayer instead of “praying” these things to Facebook and Twitter that we would actually see God’s hand at work fixing relationships). The second point is that as we share with God how we truly feel, we ultimately entrust the situation to God and his faithful direction and not to our emotional reaction. There were times when David could have killed Saul, but he did not act on that impulse, but entrusted himself to God. In the end, God dealt with Saul in His time and David became king. When we entrust the situation to God and wait upon Him, we find out that He will give us the wisdom to act, but more importantly we see how He is already at work in the situation. The third point is found in the words of Jesus when He tells us to love and pray for our enemies. Jesus said, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Why should we love and pray for our enemies? Because the Bible tells us that at one time we were enemies of God, but instead of destroying us, He sent Jesus who willingly came to die for us. His death and resurrection brought about our forgiveness for those who place faith in Jesus and we are no longer considered enemies, but children of the Most High God. We love our enemies because Christ loved us first, and we pray for our enemies because no one is beyond the power of God’s redemptive change. If you are harboring feelings of vengeance and unforgiveness towards those who have wronged you, lay that at Jesus’ feet today.