There are many nations but only two kingdoms in this world! The Bible calls them the “kingdom of darkness” and the “kingdom of light” or as Paul calls them in Colossians 1:13, “the dominion of darkness and … the kingdom of the Son…” Both kingdoms have leaders and followers. They are the antitheses of each other. The origins of one is evil and the other is good. Again, in Paul’s words, the kingdom of darkness is where such deeds as “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” originate from. (Galations 5:19-21). The other’s “fruit of the Spirit” are “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galations 5:22). One leads to bondage the other to freedom. One’s ultimate destination is hell and the other heaven.
And, whether we like it or not, we all belong to one or the other. I did belong to the former until the age of 19, but by the grace of God, He “rescued [me] from the dominion of darkness and brought [me] into the kingdom of the Son he loves”. (Colossians 1:13). I trust this too is your experience.
In Psalm 35 we see this contrast of the servants of these two kingdoms clearly. David prays:
26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
So far, we have considered three of the six suggestions made by Michael Wilcock on how to make sense and then make use of Psalm 35. His fourth goes like this:
“We need…to recognize that whenever we pray ‘Your kingdom come’ [as in the Lord’s prayer – Luke 11:2], we are praying as David prayed [in Psalm 35], for the destruction of the existing kingdom. Quite literally, his reign could not begin until Saul was removed. Do we want the triumph of good? Then we want the defeat of evil. There will be much pain in the process, and we ourselves (like David) will not be exempt from it: ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God’ [Acts 14:22]. But by the same token we have to recognize that asking for the downfall of any wicked system is (to be realistic) asking for the downfall of those who persist in identifying with it. If our prayer is to be answered, they too are bound to suffer, for they too cannot be exempt from the implications of their choices.”
In 2018, according to the International Justice Mission (IJM), “there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Millions of children and adults are beaten, raped and starved as slaves in homes, brothels, boats and factories. Slavery is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Driven by greed and often overlooked by their local legal system, slave owners traffic and steal human beings for profit.” The aim of the IJM is to not only set these slaves free but to “shut down the slave business – for good.” For this reason, they have been able to help “local authorities arrest more than 3500 suspected slave owners and other criminals” as well as enable with the enforcement of new laws to discourage slavery. For further information go to https://www.ijm.org
I think that such people would have no problem praying Psalm 35 and Jesus’ words in Luke 11:2 as they seek for the downfall of this evil activity, and this has to include justice for the victims and appropriate punishment for the perpetrators in order to bring an end to the “slave business – for good”.
All this fitting into the mandate of Jesus ministry on earth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18-19 quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2)
Father, thank you that, although we live in the midst of much evil and injustice, you call us to be light in the darkness, to pray and to work with you for justice and for that which is good and right. Thank you for the good news that you are able to “rescue us from the dominion of darkness and bring us into the kingdom of the Son you love”. Amen.