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Live at peace
Andrea Delwiche
by Andrea Delwiche
January 12, 2024

Here are some words to hold in tension. In Psalm 58, David proclaims, “The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked” (verse 10). 

Contrast David’s words with the words of Jesus: “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44,45).

What are we to make of David’s words? This psalm is honest. Doesn’t this cry of anguish resonate? Haven’t you and I felt something similar in the face of intentional brutality? When terrible things happen, we cry out! We can ask for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done to stop evil and bring just consequences to the perpetrators. But sometimes we are bitterly angry, caught in something that can end up destroying us. 

Our loving and gracious God knows us so well. He knows that when we enact vengeance upon one another, it harms our souls. Far better for us to live the words of Jesus, echoed by the apostle Paul: “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Paul’s counsel on this subject continues for several verses. Perhaps spending some time meditating on Paul’s words could help us figure out how to cope with our anger and grief. God’s peace be with you.