None The Wiser?


The Singles class is doing a summer series on the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. There will be several different formats throughout the series (teaching, group discussions, panel discussions), but we also want to provide the opportunity for you to pose questions as you are reading through the books during the week. Send your questions in to Josh, Philip, or Neal so we can get them answered during the week or during the class time. We may even hold them for the panel discussions to get more interaction. Feel free to start discussions in the comments below on your questions as well.

It is all about walking together as we grow in wisdom of God’s Word.

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2 replies
  1. Roger P Seekell
    Roger P Seekell says:

    Why does David, and maybe other psalmists, ask God to harm or otherwise punish his enemies? Seems that kind of talk from a Christian today would not be condoned. What changed? Are these Psalms applicable to us Christians today? I hope to hear about it at church.

    • Chris MItchell
      Chris MItchell says:

      When we read through the Book of Psalms we come across seven psalms which are called the imprecatory psalms. These are the ones you mention Roger. We also find about 14 others which contain imprecatory prayers within them. These are called imprecatory because this word means to curse and that is what is being prayed for. The Psalmist is asking God to curse his enemies. What we must keep in mind is the covenant of which David was a member and which was the basis for his requests. God had promised that he would fight Israel’s battles for them and protect them from their enemies, if they would remain faithful to him (Deut. 28). David is crying out to God in these psalms for God to fulfill his part of the covenant in very real, very concrete ways. He is calling out for God to stand in judgment of and to measure out justice on his enemies. There are a few ways that this is relevant to us today post-resurrection of Jesus. (1) Like David we are to call upon God to be the judge and dispenser of justice. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament God declares that vengeance on behalf of his people belongs to himself alone (Deut.32.35, Rom.12.19, Heb. 10.30) and is something he takes very seriously. (2) We let him execute said justice in his way and in his timing. (3) It is okay to express to God our anger and fear that we experience as we travel through a fallen and broken world. He wants us to go to him with the deep things of our hearts and to trust him that he will respond and fight his people’s battles for them as their warrior-king. (4) We must always remember that at the cross Jesus fulfilled David’s request in a very powerful way. At the cross Jesus took on himself the very covenantal curses for which David cried out. He did this so that every enemy (every human being who lives, whether Jew or Gentile) could be reconciled and transformed from enemy to family. Since Jesus has done this we can truly love our enemies, because we all deserve the covenantal curses which David cried out for in these psalms and which Jesus took upon himself at the cross. Hope this helps!

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