vv 21-24 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
This is a psalm attributed to David; in it he expresses his feelings about the way he was being treated by his enemies. It seems he was going through a pretty bad time, doesn’t it! The first 4 lines quoted, taken on their own, reveal deep distress and even bitterness. But then it seems that David was having second thoughts about what he was writing – he might even have felt a bit ashamed of himself I guess. The next three lines seem to me to be saying ‘Hey – I’m not sure that was the right thing to say’ so he adds ‘Point out anything in me that offends you,’ Quite right David, your thoughts were not of the best! You too must learn the idea of forgiving your enemies and praying for them.
If even David can fall into the pit of hating his enemies so might we. It is very easy to entertain thoughts of hateful revenge and then do something hurtful. So keep David’s next prayer in mind -‘Point out anything in me that offends you.’ It is good to be open to God and willing to listen to what the Holy Spirit might say about both our thoughts and actions. That is the way we learn to keep our thoughts in check and walk the God-path of forgiving any who might hurt us.