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A Devo From Scot - Psalm 7

Dear Church,

I’m not quite sure what a “wild passionate song” looks like in Old Testament times, but that’s where we are. I invite you to Psalm 7 today. The first word, in Hebrew, is “Shiggaion.” Although this term is difficult to translate because of its limited usage, a great option is “wild passionate song.” I’m guessing this involved a lot of tamborining.

Whatever the style or volume of the original, I invite you to read Psalm 7 right now, but in a specific way. I would like you to read it through and skip a few verses; yes, that’s right, skip verses 3, 4 and 5. Read it through twice, skipping verses 3-5, then go back and read what you skipped. I know it’s weird but trust me. Go ahead.

Did you notice the “feel” of the Psalm without verses 3-5?  Did you notice the difference those verses make? The whole of the rest of the wild, passionate song is a prayer for God’s protection from an enemy or enemies. It is a request for vindication. However, verses 3-5, properly at the very beginning of this song-prayer, set a very different starting tone - introspection, humility and repentance. There is even a welcoming of consequence. Do you see it? “If I have done this… if there is injustice in my hands… if I have plundered him…” This part of the prayer precedes the cry for judgement.

This order and pattern should instruct us, especially in the difficult times we are in. Far too often we hear, or author ourselves, a cry for judgment that does not include the humble starting point of repentance and introspection. Yet it is this step - this heart attitude - that safely guides our prayer for God’s intervention, which is obviously welcomed by Him.

Consider this today before you enter the ring. Yes, the “unrepentant” and “wicked” man “digs a pit, hollows it out, and falls into the hole which he made,” but we must first ensure we are not, ourselves, also holding a shovel. My friend, in your walk with Jesus… in the spiritual battle that is discipleship and witness… do not skip verses 3 through 5. Passionate prayers for justice properly begin with heartfelt repentance.

I love you church,
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