One aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is patience. I confess that I don’t do well in that department. I’m impatient when I’m stuck in traffic or in a queue, or when I’m kept waiting on the line until an operator is available to take my call. I doubt that I’m the only person who feels this way. We want instant answers and instant satisfaction. In Psalm 70, David has grown tired of waiting.
Psalm 70 is a song of lament. The psalm begins and ends with a plea by David for God to hurry. He prays, “Hasten, O God to save me; come quickly . . . do not delay” (vv. 1, 5).
David is being attacked by enemies who want to kill him (v. 2) and is the object of their scorn and mockery (v. 3). His prayer is for justice. He wants God to treat his enemies in the same way that they have treated him. It’s good to pray for justice and we are assured that one day God “will repay each person according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6).
But let’s not forget that God has not treated us as we have deserved. When we were His enemies, He saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:5). The Lord Jesus when facing mockery on the cross, prayed that His enemies might be forgiven (Luke 23:34). We should emulate the Lord’s example. Before seeking justice, we should first of all pray like this, “Lord, as You were merciful to us, when we were Your enemies, please show mercy to those who oppress us.”
Christians are a group of people who are waiting for justice. Jesus warned us that we would have to endure suffering and persecution (see Mark 10:29-30) and that has been the experience of many believers. At such times, we echo the last prayer recorded in the Bible, “Amen, come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
It has been a long wait, as the Lord Jesus told us (Matthew 25:5, 19), but He will come and save us and bring justice. In the meantime, we must be patient and, like David, keep praying, “LORD, do not delay” (v. 5). Then we who long for God’s saving help will always say, “The LORD is great” (v. 4).
Extracted from Journey Through Psalms Vol. 2 by Mike Raiter.