Psalms – The Imprecatory Psalms

The Imprecatory Psalms concern calling down judgment upon the enemies of God.  Examples of such Psalms include Psalms 7, 35, 40, 52, 55, 58, 59, 69, 79, 109, 137 and 140. They are prayers calling for the overthrow and defeat of those who oppose God.  At first glance, it may seem like a contrast to the spirit of forgiveness we find in the New Testament. But even in the Old Testament, God’s grace and mercy always precede judgment.  His love is seen in His repeated warnings to Israel and all other nations.  These Psalms may need some explanation, but they need no apology.  Such Psalms do not express a desire for personal revenge, but are more of a defense of God’s honor. The writers of such Psalms even call down curses upon themselves if they violate God’s laws (Psalm 7:3-6). The Psalmist pleads that God’s character may be misunderstood if He does not execute swift justice upon sinners.  It is not unusual for nations to pray for victory over a foe. In Deuteronomy 30, for example, God promises to curse those who curse His people.  Jesus does teach us to bless those who curse us (Matthew 5:44), but the Imprecatory Psalms need no embarrass the Christian, for they plea for justice, not vindictiveness. Our God will always vindicate His children (Luke 18:1-8).
           
1. In Genesis 4:10-11, who is cursed and why?

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2. In Genesis 3:14,who is cursed by God and why?

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3.  A person will be cursed by God for doing what in Deuteronomy27:15?

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4. A person will be cursed for doing what in Deuteronomy 27:21?

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5. According to Psalm 7:11, who is God angry with every day?

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6. What does the Psalmist want to see happen concerning a “net” in Psalm 35:8?

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7. The Psalmist wants to see “confounded and put to shame” those who seek to do what?  (40:13-14)
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8. In Psalm 52:1-7, what will happen (v. 5) to the deceitful person?

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9. Read Psalm 35:23-26. Now read verse 27. What, as an end-result of all this, does the Psalmist want to hear God’s enemies say?

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10. In Psalm 55:12-14, who did what to the Psalmist?

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11. According to Psalm 55:15, what does the Psalmist ask God for?

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12. Read Luke 18:1-8. Who will avenge God’s children?

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13. Read Psalm 109:20-21, whose reputation is the Psalmist most concerned about?              (Also read Psalm 79:12)

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14. According to Revelation 19:2, who is judged?

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15. According to Revelation 19:3-4, how do God’s servants respond to this?

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16.  In Psalm 55:16, what does the Psalmist ask God to do?

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17.  Read Psalm 58:3-5.  What does the Psalmist ask God to do in verse 6?

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18. In Psalm 79:10, what does the Psalmist ask God to do that will manifest the power of God?

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19. In Psalm 5:10, who does the Psalmist wish to see destroyed and why?

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20.According to Psalm 140:8, why does the Psalmist not want God to grant the desires of the wicked?

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21.  According to Psalm58:10, what will the Righteous ones wash their feet in?

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22.  As a result of this (Psalm 58:11) what does the Psalmist want mankind to say?

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23. Read 59:1-4.  Is the Psalmist guilty?  ________. Does the Psalmist ask for mercy for his accusers? (59:5)
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24. According to Psalm 69: 7 and 20, why has the Psalmist endured personal injustices?

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25. When God judges sinners (Psalm 59:13) what message does it send to the world?

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Maxim of the Moment

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers