REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor David Kwon who heads Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, was first posted on November 20, 2013. He is a graduate of Drexel University (BS) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“A Brutally Honest Psalm of David”
 Be not silent, O God of my praise!
 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.
 They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.
 In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.
 So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
 Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.
 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!
 May his days be few; may another take his office!
 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!
 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!
 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
 For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
 He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him!
 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones!
 May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day!
 May this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, of those who speak evil against my life!
 But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.
 I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.
 My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat.
 I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads.
 Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!
 Let them know that this is your hand; you, O LORD, have done it!
 Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
 May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!
 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.
Some psalms are soothing, such as Psalm 23 and others, like Psalm 91, are comforting. And then there are soul-stirring psalms, which inspire us to worship and praise, such as Psalm 103. But Psalm 109, composed by David, is very troubling to most because it is perhaps the strongest imprecatory psalm in the psalter. (Imprecatory is praying for or calling down curse on one’s enemies.) Here, David calls upon God to destroy his enemies in the most horrible ways; he not only seeks the punishment of his enemy but also the painful consequences brought on his family (9-10): “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!”
Suffice it to say, this is a brutally honest psalm composed by a very upset David.
The problem we face in Psalm 109 is not restricted to this psalm, however. Other Psalms contain similar prayers for the punishment of evildoers (27-28): “Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous” (Psalm 69:27-28).
So what can we learn from this Psalm? Here are a few lessons that we can meditate on this morning:
- God is the one who deals on our behalf (v.21) – David is saying, “Save me so that you may be known as a God who is on the side of the righteous and against evildoers.” Remember that for all the wrongs and evil in this world (and those who have wronged you), it is up to the Lord to deal with them, not us.
- We are weak but God is strong (v.22) – In appealing to God for help, we are confessing our utterly weak and helpless condition.
- God’s steadfast love (vv.26-29) –The final grounds for appeal is God’s love; that He is both willing and able to do to help the psalmist. David’s enemies may curse, but God who loves to bless His people, will surely bless them and put their accusers to shame (vv.28-29).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to love my enemies. In the meantime, let Your justice be meted out against the wicked according to Your righteousness. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 33
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 4:25-32: Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  and give no opportunity to the devil.  Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Questions for Thought
- What does Paul say about anger?
- What should make us angry?
- How does anger play in your daily life? Does it cause you not to forgive others? If so, why?
- Jesus’ perfect example proves that being angry, in and of itself, is not sinful (John 2:13–17). Even though it may be difficult for fallen people to remain righteous in our anger, it is possible to be angry without transgressing God’s law. In fact, the New Testament tells us not only that it is possible to be angry without sinning, but that we must get angry at times.
- The exploitation of the weak and helpless should arouse our outrage, for the Lord’s anger is directed at the oppressors (Ex. 22:21–24). Since Jesus’ wrath was directed at hypocrites, we must also be angry with ourselves and with others when it is clear that our words do not match our deeds. This is Paul’s point in Ephesians 4:25–32.
- Due to our fallenness, we are prone to sin when we are angry, so we must always check our hearts to make sure our anger is an expression of righteousness. If we are angry without a just cause, we give Satan an opportunity to destroy lives and reputations (v. 27). Human beings can abuse any legitimate emotion, especially anger, so we must also set it aside as soon as we can (v. 31). Our anger may be godly and righteous at the start, but it can be easily warped into a grudge and malicious designs instead of hoping for the offender to repent.
How are you doing with anger these days? Is there any unrighteous anger in your life? Ask the Lord that anger would be put away and you would be able to freely forgive others in your life.
Joshua 19: The meditation for today focuses on our horizontal relationship with others. As you think about the relationships in your life, ask yourself:
- Are there people I need to forgive?
- Am I harboring anger or bitterness toward others?
- Have I not been as loving as I ought to a particular person?
Take some time and lift up those people in your circle of relationships. Ask the Lord for forgiveness or greater love for the people in your life.