2015-05-10 18:00:15

/ May 10, 2015 - 6:00 pm / 35 min / Viewed 647 times

Psalm 58

Vengeance on the wicked
Gracious Imprecation
Prayers for justice against evil oppressors can get pretty gnarly and
disturbingly graphic at times – such is the case with Psalm 58. But it is
important when we enter into the mindset of the psalmist by engaging in
such prayers that we also remember grace. It is right and good to pray for
the demise of those who hate God and His people, actually calling upon God
to exert His wrath according to His own justice. When we see the evil of
mankind against the backdrop of the cosmic battle between the Kingdom of
God and the kingdom of darkness and its earthly minions, imprecations
against malicious rulers make a whole lot of sense and should be quite
strong. The balance comes with this: God also shows mercy to sinners who
repent. So it seems that we can frontload our prayers for enemies with a
plea that they would not only stop their violent cruelty, but that they would
actually be brought to their knees and surrender to God’s mercy before they
are thoroughly consumed by His wrath. Verse 3 tells us that they were
estranged from the womb – and so were we – we can all say with David
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive
me.” Psalm 51:5. God has shown us grace and we can pray that for others as
well. Yet, at the very same time, because the Lord is always wise and just,
we can petition Him for and even rejoice when the wicked face calamity
meted out by the hand of the God of vengeance (Psalm 94:1).