“Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength” (Judges 5.31).
Imprecatory prayer is a strange animal. The Scriptures clearly forbid personal, vindictive prayer. It would be as difficult to pray an imprecatory prayer as it is to be righteously indignant or jealous with a godly jealousy. Rare is the individual that could pull it off. Perhaps Paul prayed this way in 1 Corinthians 16.22: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”
Judges 5 contains the Song of Deborah. She is insightful when it comes to the connection of rebellion with retribution. She understands the need for justice. She recognizes the judgment of God as something which is holy, just, and good. If sin goes unpunished, then God’s promise are compromised. Therefore, the wicked do not go unpunished.
The verse above is found at the end of Deborah’s song. It is addressed not to those who hate the LORD, but to those who love Him. She prays that they would be like the sun when it reaches is zenith or full strength in the sky. Three aspects of this image are instructive:
- The Strength of the Sun – Believers ought to be as the sun when it comes out in full strength. Proverbs 4.18 speaks of the path of the just and how it is like the shining sun. It shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The sun is most powerful when it shines brightest. Our striving pursuit for godliness and purity must increase in its intensity. This lends itself to true power in ministry.
- The Benefits of the Sun – Believers benefit this dark world with life-giving light. Nothing lives apart from the sun. Even so, the LORD is the fountain of life. In His light we see light (Psalm 36.9). It is necessary that we turn men from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God. The most beneficial believer is the one who is blameless and harmless. They are without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We must be as those who shine as lights in the world, “holding fast the word of life, so that [we] may rejoice in the day of Christ that [we] have not run in vain or labored in vain” (Philippians 2.16).
- The Reflection of the Sun – Believers have no shining righteousness of their own. They reflect the radiant glory of God’s gifted righteousness for God’s glory. If the heavens declare the glory of God, then so should we. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2.10). Jesus taught us to let our lights shine before men, that they might see their good works and glorify your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5.16). But those works are not our works. They stem from abiding in Him and He in us for without Him we can do nothing.