Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on. Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. Psalm 35:1,5-6
Imprecatory psalms are those that cry out for judgment and for God to bring calamity upon enemies. The thought of that can be off-putting if I believe that God is loving but not necessarily just. If I believe that He is only loving, I focus completely on forgiving and forgetting. But if believe that He is also just, I know that I’m invited to cry out for God’s judgment upon those who persecute the saints.
If I’ve wronged others and suffer their retribution, this is not righteous persecution. Therefore, prayers for judgment are not mine to pray. I am the one who is under judgment until I repent. But, if I am afflicted unjustly because of my faith, imprecatory Psalms are allowed. Prayer is in my arsenal, not revenge.
Lest I salivate at the thought of God letting my enemies have it, there is a catch. For whom am I offended? If I believe I deserve better than this, that I have rights, and I am indignant that any one should rise up against me, then I am enraged solely for my sake. God is not in my thoughts as I dream of revenge. I rise up to be the judge and to judge. But, if I am offended for God (and this takes some soul searching), imprecatory psalms are there for me and David teaches me how to pray them.
The next time I am spoken against, rejected, or mocked because of a kingdom clash, I need to ask myself why I’m angry. Naturally, personal pain will be my instinctive reaction but spiritual maturity is to be able to move past that to view God’s perspective. God sees the offense but understands that it was committed because we’re His children and Satan’s enemies. If I set out to really hurt someone, I will be most effective if I hurt one of their children. Satan knows this principle. He can’t lash out personally at God for he is a defeated foe because of Christ. So how can he wage war? By going on a rampage against God’s precious children. He thrives on carnage. As the saints in heaven see earth’s martyrs and cry out, “How long, O Lord?”, Satan hears and this lament is his opiate.
Don’t let me pray for Your intervention and judgement until it is a holy prayer. In Jesus name, Amen