“My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation…The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven.”—1 Samuel 2:1,10
Surprisingly, this prayer actually was offered to God in response to domestic rivalry. Hannah was bitterly treated by her husband’s “other wife,” who bore children, but Hannah herself was barren. Yes, in those days bigamy and even polygamy were permitted by God. Of course this was never the ideal, God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman as the creation account indicates. Indeed, the greatest argument for God’s ideal arrangement is that in all the stories in the Old Testament where men had multiple wives, the arrangement ended with incredible domestic conflict!
Because being barren was a disgrace, Hannah felt the taunts of her rival very keenly. So when Hannah’s prayer was answered and she gave birth to Samuel, she felt vindicated and asked God that her rival be judged for her disgraceful outbursts which had been aimed at her heart.
Today, think of someone who has purposefully wronged you or wronged someone you love. It is biblical to pray that God would reward them with just punishment. Often this means that their sin is exposed or that the evil they have done is returned on their own head. David prayed many such prayers against his enemies (see Psalms 35 and 109).
Of course, we do not seek vengeance; that belongs to the Lord; we do not take matters into our own hands, we simply look to God to vindicate us in His own time and in His own way. But praying this way affirms our confidence in God’s ultimate justice. Whether now or later, the truth will win out and hidden evils will be exposed.
Let Us Pray
Father, I pray for ______ that You might expose the evil done against _____ and that the perpetrator might be brought to repentance or else experience the pain he/she inflicted on others. Let them be unable to sleep; awaken them with the painful reality of what they’ve done and judge them accordingly. If granting them blessings will lead them to repentance, then we pray for their blessing. If it must be tragedy that awakens them to the trail of evil they have left behind, then do whatever is necessary to bring to their senses.
Meanwhile give us the sure confidence that You will do what is right and good; let us entrust the evil done against us into Your sovereign hand, and with that, let us be content.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.