Saturday, October 9, 2010

On Revenge: A Letter To A Psalmist

O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs—
         O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
         Render punishment to the proud.
 LORD, how long will the wicked,
         How long will the wicked triumph? – Psalm 94: 1-3

Dear Psalmist,

Hello good sir. I’ve been reading the words of you and your cohorts and I have noticed many themes; but the one that currently intrigues me is revenge.

Through your words I see that you have experienced much injustice. You have seen bad people win and good people lose and wondered aloud what that is all about. How could God allow this to happen? What did the good do to deserve to lose out to the wicked? What does the future hold for both? There are times where you have doubted and blasted out words of fury and frustration.

But you always have a way of coming back around. In the end you choose to believe.

That is something that I am working on. It is a struggle for me to believe what I cannot see or to ignore that which I do see.

I look around at the news and society and I see much of what you complain about. At times I feel frustrated when I see the little guy made to be a scapegoat for the actions or incompetence of others who are more powerful. I wonder why and how this is allowed to continue sometimes.

But then there are those other times…

There are the times when I see folks get their comeuppance. On occasion I have seen the mighty fall under the burden of their actions. This seemed good and right to me and I must admit that I have definitely relished in that revelation in the past.

But I am starting to see that God does not wish for me to feel this way either. He wants me to operate in a place of love that feels the same sadness and remorse for all who fall; big or small, rich or poor. It is this universal love that I see as a constant struggle. It is an impossible goal to attain but a worthwhile endeavor to pursue.

We are challenged to shoot for the stars so that we may hit the moon. Either way we will have traveled out of this world.

Thank you sir for reminding me that it is ok to feel what I feel but also that it is not ok to stop there. I must constantly search for new ways to love, knowing that God will help me get there.

And in the process I can leave all of those other frustrations in God’s hands, where they belong. 


  1. Wicked lies in the eyes of the beholder.

    In oneself we may not see or believe we are wicked, our fellow neighbor though, might.

    Punishment for the wicked could mean punishment to me, to you.

    Agreed, it is best left to God to clarify the distinctions of wicked. We lack the level of knowledge, humility, and forgiveness required to make such determinations.

  2. @Alegria "Wicked lies in the eyes of the beholder." You think so? Are there not any universal things that qualify folks as wicked? I don't find it to be my place to label an individual as wicked, but I do believe that this good book identifies certain actions, qualities and characteristics as wicked.

    That's just my take on it tho.

    I totally agree that punishment for the wicked can mean punishment to me and you. I know that there are times where I have acted wickedly and been punished for it. Not a good look at all.


Creative Commons License
A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at