One thing I love about the Bible is how real the people inside it are. They’re not airbrushed models of morality, only showing their good side. We see them struggle with anger, sin, and frustration in sharp detail. As they do, we can learn valuable lessons from Bible verses about fathers’ responsibilities to set a godly example for our children.
Read through Psalm 109. In this passage, King David rants about his adversaries. He’s angry. He’s so eager to see them repaid for their treachery, he’d make The Count of Monte Cristo look benevolent and forgiving.
As he pours out his heart to God, he mentions a group of adversaries. He uses “them” and “they” several times. Then, he transitions to the singular and more personal, “him.”
There’s a group of opponents who have “repaid evil for good.” But, there’s also that one guy in particular. Probably the ringleader. Maybe he’d formerly been David’s ally?
He’s blunt about what he wants God to do with this guy.
Here are a few of David’s “suggestions”:
- Appoint a wicked man over him
- Let his days be few
- His children be fatherless…and his wife a widow
- Let his children wander about and beg
- And the creditor seize all that he has
Whoo-boy. There’s no love lost here. But, we can get the wrong message. We might conclude, “Yeah baby! Finally! Biblical proof that I can call down fire and brimstone on that (boss, colleague, mother-in-law…) I really hate!” Not so fast there, Captain Vengeance.
Much as I might like that takeaway, I don’t think it’s the right one. David’s mental state is not the ideal setting for a follower of God. But, that’s a key point.
God doesn’t require his people to have life all figured out before they come to Him. He can handle our raw, unedited prayers. He prefers them! We don’t need to bottle them up or polish them off, just hand them over. We really can come as we are.