A prayer of David:
Lord, hear a just cause; (Listen to me, Lord.)
pay attention to my cry; (It’s my piercing cry for justice!)
listen to my prayer— (My cause is just and my need is real.)
from lips free of deceit. (I’ve done what is right and my lips speak truth.)
Let my vindication come from You, (Lord, I always live my life before your face,)
for You see what is right. (so examine and exonerate me. Vindicate me and show the world I’m innocent.)
-Psalm 17:1-2 (HCSB, (TPT))
Vindication is a sweet thing — when you get vindication, you’ve been proven right or justified in doing something. Everyone accused of a crime craves vindication.
Vindication is good, but it can only come after something bad, like being accused of something you didn’t do. If a teacher thought you cheated, but then announced to the whole class that you didn’t, you’re getting vindication. An accused criminal who is exonerated — cleared of the crime — gets vindication. If you believe something crazy — like that your underdog sports team could win a championship — and it comes true, that’s a vindication of your beliefs.
vindication (n.) late 15c., “act of avenging, revenge,” from Old French vindicacion “vengeance, revenge” and directly from Latin vindicationem (nominative vindicatio) “act of claiming or avenging,” noun of action from past participle stem of vindicare “lay claim to, assert; claim for freedom, set free; protect, defend; avenge” (related to vindicta “revenge”), probably from vim dicare “to show authority,” from vim, accusative of vis “force” (see vim) + dicare “to proclaim” (see diction). Meaning “justification by proof, defense against censure” is attested from 1640s.
Synonyms of Vindication: (Primary) exonerate, revenge. (Secondarily) justification, exoneration, exculpation, acquittal/acquittance, mitigation, apology, compurgation, amnesty, dismissal.
Here is a vindication prayer:
From David’s prayer:
“Lord, hear a just cause; pay attention to my cry;
listen to my prayer— from lips free of deceit.
Let my vindication come from You, for You see what is right.”
(Ps. 17:1-2, HCSB)
seeing how he vindicated the victims of those crimes.
The lovers of God will be glad, rejoicing in the Lord.
singing songs of praise to God!”
(Ps. 64:9-10, TPT)
About Psalm 17, my first thought was that this is a declarative prayer that asks God to vindicate us: Asking God to prove we are right.
But then I thought, maybe it means something about being vindicated in relationship with God?
This prayer is asking for God to examine me and exonerate me, showing others that I am innocent of any false charges that have been leveled against me.
In other words, the prayer might be asking for those who would believe something untrue to see the goodness of God in me and in my life, even though I am just a human being who makes mistakes and gets it wrong sometimes.
Is that it, or part of it?
There is also a prayer that says, “Deliver me from the lust of vindicating myself”.
The word, “From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!”, means; “let me continue to abide in you and somehow in however you, God, choose; let me be in the vindication that is in Christ.”
When I see Jesus Christ as the definition of God. And when I see Jesus’ death on the cross as the definitional lens from which I see God; it gives me perspective of my life in Christ.
In time, and eternity; Jesus Christ has been vindicated. And I am vindicated as I am in Christ.
When it says, “From your presence, let my vindication come”, it means that, “In abiding in you, I am vindicated: so let that be, let that come, and let that happen in my life.”
The work or intention of my life is to abide in Christ. And everything in my life is about my relationship to God. God is intensely relational.
Every challenge I face, every trial, every argument, every disagreement and every disappointment are occasions or opportunities to trust God, know God, have faith in God, be loved by God and come to know again that God is good. That is the presence of God from which my vindication comes.
The presence of God is the face of God. “Lord, I will always live before your face.” (Ps. 17:2)
The presence of God is in the face of God. Where God faces, God’s presence is. I want to be before God’s face.
Getting in someone’s face is something we say when we really tell someone off. But the Bible concept of this is that we want to be in God’s presence. Seeking God’s face is the intention to be in God’s presence.
To seek God’s face is to ask for an audience with the King and to ask for an increase in God’s presence in our place where we are.
To say, “Vindicate me in your presence”, is to ask God for a transformed life. We do not know how our vindication will work out or play out with others, but our vindication is what we desire and ask for.
When we say, “Vindicate me!”, we are not telling God to do it or how to do it. We are giving up our right to do it and agreeing that God is the vindicator.
I am putting all my trust into God to be my judge and make all the right judgments about me and for me.
I don’t think we have to convince God that we are right. Instead, we are going to live in asking for God to put His gaze on what we are doing and what we are saying and to make it righteous. Maybe that is what living before God’s face is all about.
“Vindicate me”, is asking God to turn around the false accusations and mis-judgments in my life. And the “From You”, part means that I want God’s presence in my life. I want to kisses of God on my face.
To live before God’s face is to live in transparency and honesty. We are asking God to give us a clear and blessed relationship with God manifested out into the world we live in.
I want to live in God’s embrace so much that when I am accused or mis-judged or slighted in any way, real or imagined; that I just have to look into the face of God and then it is not my problem. My prayer is that I will live in God’s presence, and all the settling of what is unsettling will come upon me from God.
I want to see God do vindications, vengeance and revenge on the enemy. The ministry of Jesus, setting captives free and turning lives around is known in the non-believing world. The fear of God will be known to all and all of us will be in awe at the turn arounds that God does in the lives of people who have been falsely blamed, charged, guilted, disapproved and indicted by God’s enemies.
The wrap-around presence of God and the glory of God is where vindication comes from, overturning the works of the enemy.
We will not just praise God for what we believe, but what he is doing now. Our praises to God will be for actual works of God in our day to day lives, where in God is vindicating his Children.