Our approach is simple enough – read the selected Bible book or passage, study it in whatever depth one has time for, consider personal applications of the text, and then post a few of one's own reflections on an email thread. Thus, everyone in the group (there have been 8-12 of us invited to that thread) can benefit. Using this method we have so far explored the Book of Esther, then Habakkuk, and now we're looking at three successive Psalms: 139, 140, and 141.
The invitation still stands for others who might want to join in. And with that introduction to the exercise, here's my latest on Psalm 140.
While awaiting further responses to Psalm 139, Claire and I are also moving on to Psalm 140, one of those imprecatory psalms that unbelievers find so scandalous. “How can a spiritual person pray for harsh judgment against others?” they ask. And thus, standing in judgment of the Holy Scriptures, they defend unbelief and spiritual pride. They assume that these imprecatory psalms and the Bible teachings on judgement, hell, etc., prove that they themselves are more compassionate and just and loving than is God Himself. And then, having dismissed conviction, they conveniently dismiss all biblical matters and go their own way. Too bad.
Anyway, I’ll make my response to this spiritual exercise by doing two things. First of all, to share a perspective on praying against the wicked, I post a link to a brief essay I originally wrote 2 years ago for the blog. It’s entitled “Praying God’s Arrows Will Fly.”
And secondly, stemming from this morning’s reading of Psalm 140, I give you 4 quick prayers that are applications for my life today.
1) Lord, as we take our stand against abortion outside Planned Parenthood today, please deliver us from “violent men who devise evil things in their heart.” Rescue us from abortion zealots who hate us for our winsome witness for You -- whether they are employees, escorts, counter demonstrators, angry passersby, and so on.
2) Father, please protect me from those traps and nets and snares the enemy has set for me. Guard me and guide my every step. Keep me in humble dependence upon Your Holy Spirit so that I do only Your will and keep myself pure in heart, firm in the Faith, and obedient to Your every teaching. Don't let the devil steal my confidence, focus, joy, purity, focus, or any other blessing.
3) Father, defeat the schemes of the devil and his minions in our nation. Let them not succeed but, in fact, let frustration, shame, and scandal be the outcome of their actions against You and Your anointed.
4) Keep ever in my mind, Lord, that You are righteous and just and all-powerful. You WILL judge the wicked in holiness. You WILL “maintain the cause” of Your people and reward them in due season. Let me hold fast to Your promises, Your character, and Your enabling power to live always for You.