Break Their Teeth!

“Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!” (Psalm 58:6, NKJV)

Be honest. Have you ever wanted to pray this prayer? Have you ever asked God to punch your enemies in the mouth and destroy them? Sure. We all have. But I think there is a general misunderstanding of this verse. What the psalmist is actually saying is that he wants God to de-fang the lions. He wants them to be unable to rip him to shreds anymore. He wants God to take away their hurtful power and turn them into kittens.

This is Bakari, the Little Rock Zoo lion and one of the most beautiful lions I have photographed in a zoo. But here, he is playing the part of an enemy with sharp fangs.

It is important for us to understand this. One way God does this is by taking the fangs out of the lion and making peace. In Proverbs it says:

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7, NKJV)

Another way to defang an enemy was when Daniel was in the lion’s den overnight with hungry lions. The Lord closed the mouths of the lions. God took away their power to be hurtful. And still another way, still from the book of Daniel, is when the king got so angry at Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, he threw them into the fiery furnace, expecting them to die a horrible death. But when he looked in, he saw them unbound and walking around with another person that looked like a son of one of the gods. I believe this was Jesus, “defanging” the fire and Nebuchadnezzar. When they came out, the three Hebrew leaders didn’t even smell like fire. They were untouched by it.

There are many ways God can do this in our lives. We want vengeance, but Paul wrote:

This is a somewhat sleepy Bakari playing the part of the “defanged” lion. This may have been what the lions looked like when Daniel met them.

“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, NKJV)

We need to give God a chance. He can repay people however He wants. If you are struggling with this, remember that God is just. Ask Him to defang your enemy so they can no longer hurt you. Then, allow God to do whatever He wants after that. You may be surprised because He just might bring them to repentance and make them a brother or sister in Christ because of your example!

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