Non-Candidates for the Book of Life

22 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. Psalm 69:22-28

David continues his rant and complaint against his enemies. He’s fairly graphic about what should be done to them for their actions.

The last “wish” in this list adds finality. It’s the ultimate and most serious punishment, being “blotted out of the book of life.” Not surprisingly, I find it a very selfish wish. I say selfish because only God is the ultimate arbiter and judge in eternal matters. While we are certainly free to express our hatred and disgust at the way people have treated us – which is what I think David was doing here – it’s an entirely different matter to hope for eternal damnation for someone. Again, I fully knowledge that in this very sinful world, very bad people do very bad things to other people, and they will get their punishment. It’s just not healthy for us.

Who are you praying for that falls into this category? Is there anyone in your “sphere of influence” (whether past or present) that fits this bill? As difficult and as counterintuitive as it seems,

Continue to pray for that enemy of yours, the one who you probably shouldn’t despise but do.

Continue also to give God the hurt and bitterness from those past relationships that have not gone well. You will be glad you did.

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