David wrote Psalm 35 concerning God being the avenger of his people. He starts by asking God to contend with those who contended with him and to fight against those who fought against him. David used analogies of war to pray the prayer of vengeance. He asked God to take hold of the shield and buckler and rise up to help him. David asked God to draw the spear and javelin against those who were pursuing him. David used the context of weapons used on the battlefield during his time in battle. We can imagine modern day weapons of war such as guns, missiles or other ballistic weapons of mass destruction.
David asked God to cause his enemies to be put to shame and dishonour who sought after his life. He prayed for them to be turned back and disappointed who devised evil against him. David asked for them to be like the chaff in the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away. “Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them” (Psalm 35:6)! David’s contention was that they had set traps for him without a reason. Without a just cause they had dug a pit to destroy his life. David asked for destruction to come upon his enemies unaware. He prayed for them to be caught in their own traps and for the enemies to fall in the pit that they had dug.
This last verse reminded me of Haman being hung on the same gallows that he built for Mordecai (Esther 7:10). God is a God of justice and people will reap of the seeds that they sow. Our enemies will fall in the same traps that they have set for us. David declared that his soul would rejoice in the Lord when he had seen the destruction of his enemies. “Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause” (Psalm 35:19). David asked the Lord to arise and vindicate him. He asked God to vindicate him according to his righteousness, so that his enemies would not rejoice over him.
As we pray the prayer of vengeance, remember that this is not about revenge. Vengeance is God’s punishment for the wrongs done by others against his people. Vengeance belongs to God, so we ensure that we don’t hold any bitterness or harbour any resentment towards anyone. If we regard iniquity, the Lord will not hear our prayers. The battle that we fight is not against flesh and blood and it’s not against people. We fight against principalities and powers, the rulers of darkness of this world. The devil uses people as demonic hosts, but our attacks are against his spirits and demonic hosts of darkness. God wants every sinner to repent so that they can live in him. If they remain in sin, this leads to death.