The Psalms that call for the vengeance of God upon our oppressors seem antiquated and contrary to the peace we hope to create. We are embarrassed by them. For example, Psalm 94 reads:
This Psalm not only seems irrelevant but even counterproductive, dividing the world into the good guys and the bad guys, the righteous and the unrighteous, those who require protection and those who require punishment. Instead of conflict, should we not be pursuing mutual understanding? Instead of erecting barriers between the peoples, should we not be endeavoring to tear them down by seeking common ground?
Although this strategy can prove fruitful, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, and many other Islamic groups finding their inspiration from the holy texts of Islam have proved that the strategy of seeking common ground has its obvious limitations - that reason and gentle persuasion must sometimes surrender to the influence of the stronger remedy. Perhaps this kind of evil requires nothing short of the wrath of God:
I pray for ISIS, Boko Haram, and the many other forces of evil – that they would see the light and repent, receive the same mercy that I have received. However, I also pray that if they do not come to repentance, that our righteous Lord would destroy these oppressors.
The Psalms teach us the limits of reasonable persuasion and the need for punitive action – justice. When we leave justice out of our equation, we fail to appreciate God in His wise and glorious fullness. Perhaps Islam has helped us to regain an appreciation for the fullness of His counsel and the Psalms.