SERIES: Praying the Psalms
TEXT: Psalm 7
MESSAGE: “How to be angry”
TEXT: Psalm 7
As we look through today’s text, we see how we can take our anger to the Lord and to trust him for wisdom, clarity and justice.
Question for today: What do I do with my anger?
Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.
Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister, will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
- Anger can be a bad thing.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.
“When you are venting your anger, things are happening inside your body that are taking hours, days, years off your life,” he explained. “The research is unequivocal in this. It shows that people who vent or get angry a lot… are more likely to die by age 50.” – Dr. Redford Williams, Duke University Medical Center
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
- Anger can be a good thing.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
“He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.” – John Chrysostom
- God is worthy of our primary response to anger so take it to him first.
Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands— if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe— then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.
Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high. Let the Lord judge the peoples. Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day. If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.
Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
“While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community…To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory.’” – Martin Luther King Jr.
TAKEAWAYS: What can we apply to our lives?
- Go to God first with your anger.
- Leave vengeance to God, be angry, but do no sin.
- Be angry about what Jesus is angry about according to His word and respond with prayer, wisdom and love in action.