Is the Christian life irrational? Certainly it is unnatural. It is often not simple, but is it irrational. If we look at the Psalms of David when he was on the run, it seems that David fully recognized the injustice of his situation. We are told that…
For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life.
It seems that the suffering David is lamenting is undue and unjust. If we look at the narrative of David and Saul, we know this to be true, and yet contrary to true human nature, David’s response seems as if it is dramatically irrational. We see here in verse 12 David says…
Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft. But I, when they were sick—I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning.
David’s response is not one that is self-avenging, in fact, it may seem in some ways self-demeaning as he weeps and laments at the pain of those who have treated him so unjustly. What is going on? Why is David doing something so irrational compared to the more natural response we might have? We see heart of David’s response towards the end of the chapter.
You have seen, O LORD; be not silent! Lord, be not far from me! Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, my cause, my God and my Lord! Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me!
David needs not seek his own interests, because he trusts the righteousness of God to seek the best for him. In the eyes of David, God is the vindicator and righteous judge, and he earnestly believes that God will give justice. David understands God in a very important way. When we seek revenge, reparations, or justice at our own hands, by nature of our actions we are saying that we do not trust the righteous judge to judge justly or righteously. Who do you trust more for justice, God or yourself? The answer seems obvious at first glance, but the reality is often much different. To see God how He wants us to see Him, is to trust in Him completely. Then we too can be men and women after God’s own heart.