Fill their faces with shame, And let them seek Your Name, O יהוה
This Psalm has been described as a “desperate, impassioned plea for God’s assistance during a time of war.” These days of rage and evil acts feel like a time of war. My initial response to acts of evil is to desire the perpetrator’s fall, even death. And certainly this Psalm speaks of this, requests it of G-D. “Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,” the Psalmist cries out (v17). The Psalm also calls for another fate for those who would dare commit evil against G-D’s people. Once their faces are filled with shame, one shame has come upon them, worked in their being, the prayer is that they would seek the Name of G-D.
The Psalmist calls for those who partake in evil, who come against G-D’s people to come to a place of shame for their wickedness. The prayer is one of benevolent mercy, that the workers of evil seek the Name of G-D. This person must acknowledge the evil, turn from it, turn to G-D. I would add “while there is still time left to do so.” For there comes a time when there will no longer be a turning to G-D, a seeking of His Name.
It seems to me not all who do evil will actually seek G-D. Most will remain in their shame, barely even aware that they have done anything wrong. Most have no empathy, thus are not reformable. They will die and face G-D’s judgement, where they then will be forced to confront themselves, and the evil they’ve committed. They will know shame forever; they will feel shame forever and ever.
The question might arise: Does that mean the person responsible for wickedness, for evil actions, says, “Hey, Sorry, I’ll be good.” And simply goes free? Nope. That’s not how it works. There is forgiveness by a merciful G-D. And there are consequences in this life we live upon Earth. Through a true acceptance of Yeshua as our Lord and Savior, Son of G-D, our deeds on Earth are forgiven, and we are made whole and righteous spiritually, and prepared for eternal life in Heaven, with G-D. But while on Earth, we reap what we sow. “Chickens come home to roost.”
An illustration is Mr. Charles Denton Watson Jr. AKA Tex Watson. Ring a bell? If not, heard of Charles Manson, or perhaps The Manson Family? Tex Watson, a senior member of The Family, in 1971, was tried, found guilty of murder, and sent to prison in San Luis Obispo, CA. Through prison ministry efforts, in 1975 Tex Watson acknowledged his actions, turned from them and faced Yeshua, becoming part of the Family of Messiah, the Family of G-D.
But that’s not the end of the story. Tex Watson is still in prison. Tex Watson may be forgiven. Tex Watson lives with the consequences of his evil actions. While Tex Watson has been in prison, he’s published books, received a college education, started a Christian Ministry, and as far as I know, been instrumental in rehabilitation of many people. He’s been up for parole, and it has not been granted. Despite his new life and such accomplishments that have been made, Tex Watson is still behind bars. It doesn’t appear as though he will see freedom this side of death, either. Tex Watson has had his face filled with shame. His soul may be righteous, but his Earthly shame must burn daily within him. For Tex Watson, chickens came home to roost.