1Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
One of the reason we are told to love our enemies is because we are going to have some. David had more than his share. His life was marked from a very young man, by opposition, strife, and warfare.
The Psalms that call upon God to destroy enemies are called the imprecatory Psalms. Many people have a problem with them. They are considered to be less than Christian. Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies?
In this Psalm, and in all the imprecatory Psalms, we have the Psalmist calling upon God to destroy his enemies. As a man of war, David was expected to lead his armies into battle. Some of the Psalms that call for the destruction of enemies is nothing more than a prayer for victory in battle.
At other times it would be the simple fulfilling of his duties as king. He was chief of the supreme court and was required by law to levy the justice of the land. The prayer is a call for him to do it properly.
But the really important thing to see in these requests is that David is not plotting evil against his enemies. He is asking God to take care of them. He is not afraid to ask for their destruction, but we know that David left the carrying out of such requests to God Himself.
When David was being hunted down as a common criminal by King Saul, David had the opportunity to kill Saul but he refused to do it because Saul was the Lord’s anointed king. Then how could he pray for God to destroy him?
David wanted his enemies to be eradicated. But he did not take matters into his own hands and take life. He left things up to God to do as He saw fit.
This is real prayer. Pray the true desires of your heart but always leave the answer up to God and never take matters into your own hands.
You may pray for justice, but you can never take justice into your own hands. Leave that to God. Believers simply do not take revenge.
And this final thought. The way to really destroy your enemies is to make them your friends. Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Give them the Gospel. When they become a believer they will be your brother or sister in Christ. That will be the answer to your prayer in a way far beyond your greatest longings.
We all deserve the wrath of God. Some will endure that in all its horror. Pray that others will know the great joy of knowing that Jesus endured it for them. This is how to destroy your enemies.