RESIST BEING RESENTFUL
The pain of Absalom’s deceit, and anger against those who joined him to drive him from the throne still burned in King David’s mind. But he decided to take it to God in prayer and seek His guidance on how to avoid becoming resentful. He knew that such resentment could develop into hatred, and hatred could result in doing something so evil that he would regret it later. So he penned this prayer in the morning to pour out his heart before the LORD to get divine guidance and strength. The wisdom of David’s prayer involves his looking for ways to deal with himself to find his areas of needed change. He believed that such modifications might produce a more significant impact on his adversaries than just criticizing them for being vain and destructive.
“O LORD Eternal, would You take time to listen to what I’m trying to say so that You can better understand what I am thinking. Since You are my King and my One True God, I want to convince You that I am serious when I cry out to You. I ask You to listen to my prayer this morning as I lay my request before You at daybreak to await Your answer. I know that You are not the type of Sovereign King who wants to see wickedness, for evil ideas, do not meet with Your approval. That’s why conceited people don’t last long in Your presence because You detest those who operate with wicked intent. You also condemn those who mislead others with lies, and You, O LORD Eternal, especially despise those who try to ruin other people’s lives with deceit. But because of Your abundant grace, I plan to go to Your house and reverently bow down at Your altar. I will ask You, O LORD Eternal, to treat me fairly and guide me because those who oppose me watch my every move, that’s why I want to do things Your way. A person cannot believe anything these people say because their hearts are so filled with spite that they will eat you alive; they really know how to mislead people. Deal with them, O One True God; and because they are so openly defiant in their rebellion against You, let them fall into their own trap and lose their influence. But let those who really believe in You live positive lives; yes, let them continue with joy in their hearts because they know You are ever with them; for loving You for who You are is enough to make anyone dance for joy. For You will see to it that the faithful get what is rightfully theirs, O LORD Eternal, by wrapping them up in Your favor like a blanket.” Psalm 5:1-12
Reflection: After less than four months in office, on Saturday, July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot in the back with a revolver by assassin Charles J. Guiteau. At a hospital in New York City, a doctor unsuccessfully probed the wound with his little finger trying to locate the bullet. When that didn’t work, Garfield was then transported back to Washington D.C., where teams of doctors tried but failed to retrieve the bullet. Even Alexander Graham Bell was called in to try and locate the slug with a metal detector. But forty-eight days later on Monday, September 19, 1881, President Garfield died – not from the bullet, but from the infection caused by repeated probing of the wound. What the physicians tried to do to save him ended up killing him. So it is with people who continually probe their wounds caused by others instead of releasing it to God. There is no need to educate God on the character of such miserable people, He already knows who and what they are. But we should admit to Him how it affects us because He wants us to confess our hurt and embarrassment. This will show our trust in Him to help us survive such pressure and conflict. In the words of the song by Dr. Charles Hayes: “Are you carrying heavy burdens, and you don’t know what to do? Are you sad and despondent, wondering how you’ll make it through? Is your heart laden with many, many cares? Why not do like many others, oh, take it to the Lord in prayer.” – Dr. Robert R Seyda