If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
Awareness of evil.
David acknowledges that evil exists; wicked people spoil God’s beauty. Only the Lord judges the sins of man. The Psalmist sees no purpose for those who defy the Creator and live in rebellion. “Bloodthirsty” people care little for life, justice, or righteousness, only desiring their ways and doing what they want.
In truth, we all rebel against God at some point or another. As much as I love the Lord and desire His ways, I falter, and so did David. Walking on the roof of his home, David saw Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, bathing. Desiring her, the king sent for the woman to sleep with her, resulting in a pregnancy. To cover his sin, David sent for Uriah, a leader in his army, out battling the Ammonites, calling him in from the battlefield so he would sleep with Bathsheba. But Uriah refused to take pleasure in his wife while men suffered in battle.
And so, David had Uriah killed. The king wrote a letter to Joab, commander of the army, and sent it back to the battlefield with Uriah. Bathsheba’s husband carried his death sentence in his hand. How could David do such a thing? And in today’s passage, we find David wanting God to take the wicked away from him. Well, David, maybe look in the mirror. Read the complete account in 2 Samuel 11.
Recently, I heard a message from a pastor at our church, which gave me a new perspective on the familiar story. In my mind, I always thought Bathsheba came willingly to the king. But she had no choice; as a subject of David’s, she had to go. What the king wanted, he got. Who even knows if Bathsheba liked David? She had no choice but to obey him and do the king’s will.
Once Uriah died, Bathsheba became David’s wife. The baby conceived out of wedlock died, and eventually, she gave birth to Solomon, David’s heir to the throne. Considered a man of wisdom, Solomon wrote most of Proverbs and all Ecclesiastes. In Proverbs 31, Solomon, also known as King Lemuel, shares the knowledge he received from his mother about a woman of noble character. Bathsheba accepted her lot, trusting God and living a noble life. David’s wickedness didn’t deter Bathsheba’s faith.
And so, wickedness exists in us. Confessing our evil desires slays the sin in our lives, submitting it to God and allowing Him to transform our lives. In the words of Michael Jackson:
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways.
And no message could’ve been any clearer.
If they wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change.”
Man in the Mirror[i]
God called David a “man after his own heart” (Acts 13:22). David repented for his actions with Bathsheba, and the Lord forgave him. When we confess our sins and submit to the Lord, God slays our wickedness, helping us change our ways and transform our lives.
God slays wickedness.
To slay the wicked from my life, I must first look at myself. Owning my imperfections and confessing them helps me cleanse my heart and have grace and mercy for others. Before I pull the splinter out of someone else’s eye, I must remove the log from mine. But sometimes, I can’t see the plank in my eye.
Nothing shows me my deficiencies more than marriage. Ron does things that pet my peeves. My husband doesn’t turn off lights and loves leaving dishes in the sink. But guess what? I pet Ron’s peeves, too. Leaving doors open and my impulsive actions drive him crazy. Before I start nagging my better half, I must stop and look at my actions in the mirror. Once I do, I become grateful for Ron’s grace with me and much more capable of having grace for him.
Grace from above slays evil and transforms lives.
- What do you think of David’s request for God to slay the wicked?
- How does wickedness show itself in your life?
- What do you need to confess to God today?
Lord, forgive us for our wickedness. Before You slay the wickedness in anyone else, slay it in us first. Help us become people after Your heart as we confess our sins and receive Your saving grace. All glory to You as we become more like Christ each day. IJNIP. Amen