After Being Robbed At Gunpoint
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Many years ago, I (John) was robbed of my wallet at gunpoint.  Needless to say, I experienced a range of reactions, including outrage and anger.  Thankfully, God graciously led me within the hour to Psalm 37.  There I found wonderful counsel on how to handle being dealt with unjustly.

The psalm begins:  "Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers" (Psalm 37:1 NAS).  "To fret" means "to glow or grow warm, figuratively to blaze up into anger, zeal, jealousy" (All definitions are from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance or Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament) or "to heat oneself up in vexation."  "Evildoers" are those who "do evil or wickedly, who cause an injury or hurt, or who do mischief."  "Workers of iniquity" are those who do "unrighteousness, wrong, and violent deeds of injustice."  Clearly, this first verse identifies so many of the kinds of incidents that can provoke in us consternation, anger, and defeat.

God's instruction to us in such situations is as follows:

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it (Psalm 37:3-5 NAS).

"Trust" means to "be bold, secure, and have confidence in" the Lord.  Don't return evil for evil done to you, but instead, do what is good.  Namely, settle down and abide in your own spheres of stewardship (your "land"), and tend to it faithfully.  To "delight yourself" in the Lord means to "be happy about" Him, which necessitates thinking, with a "soft, pliable heart," about the Lord and His goodness, versus thinking, with a hard, agitated heart of retribution, about the injustice done to you.  To "commit" your way to Him means "to roll onto" or "roll away to" the Lord all the path or course of your life, including this pothole of injustice.

When we trust the Lord, delight ourselves in Him, and roll over onto Him all that has happened, then He promises to "give you the desires ("request, petition, desire" ) of your heart."  "He will do it."  He promises to "bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgement as the noonday" (vs. 6 NAS).

Psalm 37 continues by saying:  "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (vs. 7 NAS). To "rest" means "to be silent" but also "to be struck dumb and astonished."  To "wait patiently" means "to wait longingly" but also "to writhe, twist, whirl, travail, be in anguish, be pained."  Thus God recognizes that obeying these commands is not necessarily easily accomplished.  We may have to labor and pray through to bring our agitated hearts into subjection to God's word.

But doing so is the way that pleases God and frees Him to work out His good will for us.  If however we abide in anger, wrath, and vexation, we will become like the very people who did wrong to us, and ourselves become evildoers.  For anger, wrath, and fretting "leads only to evildoing" (vs. 8 NAS).  And if we choose to be like our enemies in how we respond to them, then we have also chosen to partake of their fate:  "Evildoers will be cut off (cut down, destroyed, taken away, perish)" (vs. 9 NAS).

May we all learn and remember to humble ourselves in time of mistreatment, so as to practice Godly counsel.  For God promises that "the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity" (vs11 NAS).

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