Shaming Our Enemies

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause. Psalm 25:2-3

David is continuing to cry out to God so that God would defend him and his name against the enemies who want to destroy him. He knows he has exactly one hope. One. He’s not trusting in his military or his power or his political savvy.

Thirty years ago when I was in language school, the auditorium was filled with Russian language students and a few native Russian teachers to see a rare film in the Russian language. There wasn’t enough room in the auditorium for both students and teachers, so the Commandant was forced to make a decision between the students and the teachers. The government was paying for the students to be there to see a language film. When the Commandant made the announcement that the teachers had to go to make room for the students, one teacher pierced the silence with something we all had learned in Russian: “you should be ashamed of yourself!” The teachers promptly exited the auditorium. The teacher had publicly shamed the Commandant because of a perceived slight directed at the teachers.

Similarly, David wanted God to shame his enemies and those who would mistreat others. Shame has a way of making people think hard about their actions because quite honestly, nobody likes to be shamed. Our Commandant did not like the decision he had to make but it was necessary.

What David prayed is certainly an interesting prayer to pray over those who come against us.

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