Psalm 109:3, 4 “With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.”
This psalm is written by David and many commentators feel it is not only about his own situation but also prophetic of Jesus. In fact Peter quotes Psalm 109:8 “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership” in Acts 1 when they were praying about replacing Judas.
Christ came offering his friendship and his life for the people of Israel and they rejected him. He was surrounded with words of hatred. For example in Matthew 9 he delivered a man of demons. The people were amazed but the Pharisees said: "It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons."
Friends of a paralytic man lowered him through the roof of a house so that Jesus can heal him and Jesus is confronted with more Pharisaical judgments. In Matthew 9 he said to them, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?” Luke 6 Jesus heals a man’s withered arm on the Sabbath. What does he get from the Pharisees? “But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.” (Verse 11) At his mock trial arranged by the Pharisees both Herod and Pilate found Jesus to be an innocent man. Yet in verse 23 of Luke chapter 23 the Pharisees prevailed with words of hatred. “But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.” (Verse 23)
It is hard to believe that religion can so completely blind people from the truth of God. The temptation to retaliate must have been huge. Why didn’t Jesus call for the legion of angels to extract vengeance upon these persecutors? Well, Romans 12:19 says: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.” It was no longer an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Jesus taught in Matthew 5:39 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
These scriptures tell us not to extract revenge upon others. But it doesn’t say we can’t pray for vindication. The Lord’s vindication may be well different from what pours out of our heart for it is His choice. Paul explained that he was the worst of sinners persecuting the church and dragging believers out of their home throwing them in prison. But the Lord showed him “mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”. (1 Timothy 1:13,14)
The most important thing is to pray. Prayer reveals the heart and allows the Lord to touch it. If we give it all over to Him He will deal with them as He sees fit. If He saved us, can He not save others?
Prayer: “Lord, I give you those who have spoken evil of me. I ask that you vindicate me and that you avenge your servants, as you desire in Jesus’ name."