“For that righteous man dwelling among them in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (II Peter 2:8).
Vexed: to torture, pained, tormented, tossed, toil
We live in a crazy world where up is down, in is out, round is square, bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter (cf. Isaiah 5:20). Sometimes it is maddening. One is hard-pressed not to be very vexed.
Solomon said, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
We can look around at others, but are we vexed at our own peccadilloes? Those small, annoying sins like white lies, bad thoughts, envies, jealousies, lusts, anger and just plain disgust with the way things are.
The Apostle said of himself, “O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). Who hasn’t quoted that verse a time or two?
Being vexed could be cause for depression, even despair. But being vexed can also be a good thing. It can be motivating, inspiring even. What if you are so vexed, you just can’t stand it anymore and it just drove you to your knees, to prayer, to crying out to God for change, for healing, for deliverance?
In answer to Paul’s own desperate “wretched man” cry, he said, “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our LORD!” (Romans 7:25a). Yes, Jesus is still the answer.
Lot was a righteous man living in Sodom, (yes, that wretched place). where his soul was vexed daily with the unlawful deeds of the wicked. God sent angels to rescue him and his family, “For the LORD knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished” (II Peter 2:9).
The Psalmist cried to the LORD, “Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am weak; O, LORD, heal me for my bones are vexed” (Psalms 6:2). Vexed to the bone. That is deep vexation of soul, bones and marrow. Aren’t you glad we have a merciful Savior, Who hears and answers prayer and the cries of our heart?
The Gospels and Acts are filled with stories of those who were vexed. Jesus and the Apostles met every need (Matthew 15:22; 17:15; Luke 6:18; Acts 5:16). Jesus is the answer to every vexing thing.
When Israel was vexed by their enemies, God raised up a deliverer: Prophets like Moses and Joshua; Judges like Samson and Gideon. Are you vexed? This time is your time. God is calling you. There is a mantel for you (I Kings 19:19); an anointing for you (I Kings 19:15-16), an impartation for you for such a time as this.
“Arise, shine; for Thy Light is come and the Glory of the LORD is risen upon Thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon Thee, and His Glory shall be seen upon Thee. And the Gentiles shall come to Thy Light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).