Weekend Wrap up (Sermon After Thoughts) 10/8
Can we really Give God our hate?
As our church finished our sermon series on the Prayers of the Psalms we finished with what I felt to be the most difficult of, the Imprecatory Psalms that deal with Justice. Namely, the psalms and prayers that God's people lift up that deals with the injustice we encounter.
Psalm 137, though graphic and raw, has the reader beg the question, "Can one really give God their hate in prayer form?"
It is important to look at the sheer tormenting place the author was sitting in when they produced this prayer to God. They were right in the middle of their grief, their captivity, and their loss.
When we find ourselves in such a place we are invited to the depths of our pain and at times our hatred.
Hatred now can either point us into two directions;
a) Into the dependency of God's power, holiness, and love
b) Or into a codependence of bitterness and rage, and acts that ruin our relationship with the Father.
("Why didn't you say independence?")
Good question ;)
We seldom are independent in our thinking and the hope is that we mature into interdependency with God and our own selves as whole people, redeemed by the love of Christ.
In the meantime, we see to only be able to be co-dependent on these areas that hatred produce. They become for us "life sucking" sources that start to drive our thinking and erode our joy, our hope, and our sense of identity in God's ability to deal with what we have encountered.
We become hyper-vigilant to ensure the hate subsided by our control or our acts to remove pain and frustration. This leave us in a place where we can't trust God enough to deal not only with others or outcomes, but with our deep woundedness.
Can God receive your woundedness so that you are free to move through grief?
If we can't then we can't do what the Jewish Nation was not able to accomplish as well in psalm 137:2 "We hung our harps on the poplars"
In essence, evil had removed their ability to worship God.
Injustice had won, the enemy had victory over the purpose of the creation of God...to worship him!
Today, how can you move from a place of guardedness to openness with God when it comes to the hate, rage, bitterness you have built up?
Do you not see it is poisoning your praise?
Then let's put time into what we say we believe and be not only hearers of the word but doers as well! (James 1:22)
Be partners with Justice, learn to have your heart break for what breaks his, and remember that behind every injustice, evil is the cause.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Do you dare bring God all your fears, your hopes, and your hates? The hope is you are moving from a place of rage, hate, and disgust for others. That Jesus' love is teaching you to pray like a child and to demonstrate the need for a faith that is more simple than complex.
May you be encouraged by the Psalms to give it all to him in trust and obedience.
Keep Looking Up!
1) How freely can you be honest with God like in Psalm 137?
2) Where do you need to offer forgiveness rather than a desire to see others brought low?
3) How can you take what injustice has been done to you and turn it into a testimony that God redeems and uses our brokenness for newness?