It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done because my natural response was undoubtedly to seek justice, but I reluctantly resisted the temptation to fight. Instead, I prayerfully opened my hands and delivered the situation to God.
One year — that’s how long it took for justice to be served. And when I heard about it, I instinctively knew that this justice surpassed the reach of the courts of men. The mighty judge of the universe had honored his word to me. As the verse in Psalm 91 promised, I “only observed with my eyes and (indeed saw) the punishment of the wicked.”
All I had to do was stand back and wait, nothing else.
In the Old Testament, instead of taking justice into his own hands, we read about young David's response while being unjustly persecuted by King Saul and his kinsman. He knew his natural resources could not stand a chance against the armies of Israel's first king. And so, he cried out to God as we read it on Psalm 7:
"Arise, O Lord, in anger! Stand up against the fury of my enemies! Wake up, my God, and bring justice!"
"The Lord judges the nations. Declare me righteous, O Lord, for I am innocent, O Most High!"
David had no high court to plead his innocence to; after all, the king was his enemy. The very person who could have righted the situation was seeking to destroy him. But David had the court of heaven to appeal to and a mighty and righteous judge, whom David trusted to defend him.
As we read Israel's shepherd king's history, we realize that God honored David's solemn trust time and again.
Later, as the established and victorious king of Israel, David writes numerous praise songs to the One who fought his battles for him. Among them, Psalm 21 stands out as a solemn reminder that all our efforts to obtain justice are meaningless unless God is on our side:
"No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord."
It is a concept as comforting as it is challenging these days. It is a comfort to those who feel helpless in their struggles, but it is also a warning to those who blindly seek to take matters into their own hands.
Patricia Holbrook is a columnist, author, blogger and international speaker. Her newly published Bible Study – Twelve Inches – is now available on her website www.soaringwithHim.com. For speaking engagements and comments, email pholbrook@soaringwithHim.com