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Imprecatory Issues

Psalms > Info on Psalms

Imprecatory Issues:

Because of the issues with punishment in imprecatory psalms, where the psalmist is asking God to take action and cause harm to an enemy there has been much criticism.  Some of the criticisms/accusations have been:

1. These psalms are not inspired because of the imprecatory nature.
2. These psalms are inspired, but these psalms are sub-Christian.
3. Some say it's a contradiction and it just cannot be explained.

[Unit 5, BE 109, Transcript, 21-24]


Imprecatory Solutions:

1. The judgment in the imprecatory psalms is left to God. These are expressions of real feelings by the authors. The psalmist doesn't act, he asks God to do it.
2. Wickedness needs to be faced, not ignored. Millions of Jews or other persons murdered in WW II Germany, Rwanda, Sudan, Cambodia, etc. should have been faced not ignored. We need to stop evil not ignore it.
3. Sometimes the enemy is cancer cells or disease or non-people.
4.  There is a final judgment talked about in both the Old and New Testament.  Eventually, all the wicked will be judged by God.
5.  God promised Abraham in Gensis 12:3, that "I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse." The psalmist is reminding God of the promises He gave to Abraham and his descendants.

[Unit 5, BE 109, Transcript, 22-24]

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