10 Things You Should Know about the Imprecatory Psalms,Sam Storms – Study from the Bible and be encouraged to grow your faith!. The imprecatory (or cursing or vengeance) psalms are probably the most difficult obstacle Christians face when taking up the Psalms as their. An imprecation is a curse that invokes misfortune upon someone. Imprecatory psalms are those in which the author imprecates; that is, he calls down calamity, .

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Does this text bother you? Troubled souls often raise such questions: If all parts of the Bible are equally inspired, how impreecatory you explain passages like Psalms Before responding to these explanations, we need to consider some principles that must guide any endeavor to understand the meaning of Scripture.

The book imprexatory Psalms belongs in the Bible; it is inspired of God. Christ quoted from the Psalms, and considered them to be on the same plane as the Law and the Prophets cf.

Likewise, the writer of Hebrews, when quoting from the Psalms, often identified a passage as having been spoken by the Holy Spirit cf. Any view that would diminish the integrity of Psalms is an attack on inspiration, hence upon God himself. In consideration of Psalm A number of these psalms appear throughout the inspired collection, wherein the authors pray for the destruction imprecation of their enemies, often employing the most vivid language see Psalms 55, 59, 69, 79, In light of these principles, let us examine the previously noted explanations of these difficult passages.

It reflects a misunderstanding of progressive revelation, promoting the idea that the Christian ideal was a development of religious thought over several centuries.

This view fails to recognize that the ultimate author of these inspired prayers was the same one who revealed the New Testament.


As Gleason Archer noted: By way of contrast, we actually find a wonderfully high ethic reflected in many of the psalms—an ethic that is consistent with New Testament revelation. Psalmd submit that the sub-Christian theory is woefully misguided and is based on an erroneous presupposition.

Some imprecatory statements may fit with this theory, but this explanation certainly does not satisfy the entire spectrum of these prayers of condemnation—some of which make actual request of God to destroy the enemy.

It is true that some passages in the Bible are inspired only to the degree that they merely are a correct record of what was said, i. This view, however—as it pertains to these passages—fails to take into account imprscatory the Bible actually says. Nowhere are the words of Pilate, Judas, etc. David is not praying to God out of malice and vindictiveness against someone he dislikes personally. They [these hard sayings] are not statements of personal vendetta, but they are utterances of zeal for the kingdom of God and his glory.

To be sure, the attacks which provoked these prayers were not from personal enemies; rather, they were rightfully seen as attacks against God and especially his representatives in the promised line of the Messiah The Bible is not in conflict with itself over truths written in plain prose in both Testaments—namely, the righteous will be rewarded, and the wicked shall be punished cf.

Psalm 1; Matthew Lewis was correct psalns he wrote: As William Holladay put it: The Greek word used in connection with the love of enemies is agape.

10 Things You Should Know about the Imprecatory Psalms

This is a love of the will whereby one chooses to treat others, even enemies, within the context of their eternal welfare. God has proved his agape to us, in that while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us Romans 5: This is not a desire for personal revenge; rather it imprceatory a comfort that the will of God shall prevail. May God help us to deepen our concern for the souls of people. Too, may we desire to see every wicked way abolished, so that people will be rescued from the destiny impreecatory the wicked.


A love for truth will inevitably lead to a hatred of error Amos 5: A love for righteousness will direct us to have a hatred for wickedness. All the while, we must love the enemy, while we hate the imprecqtory.

We ikprecatory be concerned for their souls, and treat them accordingly. The difficulty for many, presented in these passages, may not be in understanding them, nor in reconciling the teaching of Scripture.

Do the Imprecatory Psalms and Christian Ethics Clash? : Christian Courier

Psalm 69; John 3: Read the following text from Psalm Several explanations have been offered: Some writers believe these passages reflect a lower standard of ethics than that espoused by Christ.

That is, they merely were stating what would happen to the wicked; they im;recatory not actually asking God to destroy the wicked. Still, another group of scholars advocate that the psalms are an accurate record of what the psalmists were feelingbut there is no divine approval for the sentiments. Rather, God would have us to love our enemies. Walter Kaiser has observed: Works Cited Archer, Gleason.

A Survey of Old Testament Introduction.

What about the Imprecatory Psalms?

Hard Sayings of the Old Testament. The Book of Psalms. Reflections on the Psalms. Harcourt, Brace, and Co. Scripture References Psalm 69; John 3: Cite this article Jackson, Jason.