March 2011
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Keep Me From Wrath

I have a friend whose note cards are imprinted with a picture of Rodin’s The Thinker, the famous sculpture depicting a man in sober reflection. Below the picture is this inscription: “Life is not fair.”

Indeed, it is not. And any theory that insists that this life is fair is illusory and deceptive.

Despite the overwhelming unfairness of life, however, David in Psalm 37 prays that he will not retaliate but will instead rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him to bring justice to the earth in due time (v.7). “For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (v.9).

Our wrath tends to be vindictive and punitive. God’s wrath is untainted by self-interest and tempered by mercy. His wrath can even be His relentless love that brings our antagonists to repentance and faith. We must not then avenge ourselves, “for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord . . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:19,21).

This must begin in the heart, the wellspring from which the issues of our lives flow. May we cease from anger, forsake wrath, and wait patiently for the Lord.

Lord, help me not retaliate When someone wants to pick a fight; Instead, give me the strength and faith To show Your love and do what’s right. —Sper
Revenge restrained is a victory gained.