The Prayer of Psalm 10 Part IV
This is the fourth and final post I am making on Psalm 10 (link to Part I, Part II, and Part III). In this post I am going to provide two quotes from Gary Kukis’ work on Psalm 10 (link here) because he did as thorough of a job as I have seen.
Before I go on I would like to mention that I will be taking a few weeks off from posting. It has been a personal goal of mine to post once per week since I started this blog but I have been very busy lately and it is getting difficult for me to meet that goal. The truth is that I am tired. I am still going to post but I don’t want to continue to pressure myself to post every week.
The first quote from Gary Kukis dovetails with what I have written earlier in this series on imprecatory prayer (prayer calling for the destruction of an enemy). In it Gary doesn’t explicitly state that imprecatory prayer is forbidden but the implication is certainly there. I can’t find anything wrong with the reasoning in and of itself but I am still unsure that this is the complete and final reasoning on the subject. There are certainly imprecatory prayers that are part of scripture that were legitimate in the time and place when they were made. What changed between when the imprecatory prayers were made by King David, and others, and when Christ gave the Sermon on the Mount that Gary quotes from? At both times the Mosaic Law was in effect so the same “rules” applied. I just don’t know and maybe I never will but there has to be more in play than the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”).
From Gary’s application following verse Psalm10:13:
Application: Okay, I know what you are thinking—what if this is someone who has wronged you? For instance, we had a young lady on death row in Texas who had believed in Christ Jesus and was executed. Given the horror of the murders that she helped commit, there was little that could have happened to her which would have caused her the equivalent pain that she caused. Even her execution would not equal the vicious impact of her crimes. And now, she is face to face with the Lord, in a place of no more sorrow, no more tears; the former things have passed away. So, you may ask, where is the justice in the reprobate who is saved near the end of their lives? Will God call them into account for this evil and wrongdoing? I personally have had people in my life do some very evil and truly awful things to me. If they are later saved, then will they receive what they truly deserve for what they did to me? As Job observed in Job 21, there are wicked men who thrive their entire lives and then die a death of relative calm. What if they believe in our Lord at the end? Where is our justice? Our justice is this—the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sins, just as He died for ours. Every bit of wrongdoing and evil that they have done was poured our on our Lord. He paid the penalty in full for each and every vicious evil that they perpetrated. There was a penalty paid and it was paid for in full. The suffering was beyond our imagination. Their sins and iniquity were paid for in full just as our sins and iniquities were paid for in full. You may have led a life of relative morality, but I did not. I have a myriad of wrongdoings in my background that I will never pay the full penalty for; I have to therefore be willing to accept that there are those who have wronged me in my life who might believe in Christ and then not receive the beating that I believe they so richly deserve. The other side of that coin is that I have not received the beating which I so richly deserve. Now, do I want to watch the downfall and torture of those who have wronged me? Damned right I do. I’d buy tickets to a front row seat and bring pizza because I’d like to stay awhile. Alas, that may not come to pass. But I guarantee you that out of the other side of my mouth, I will beg for God’s mercy concerning those whom I have hurt. You don’t get to have it both ways. You don’t get to be merciless and still expect mercy. Therefore, realize that there will be those who have wronged you—and have done so with maliciousness and glee. Nevertheless, you still pray for their salvation and, if there is a proper time, then you give them the gospel as well. Don’t be hypocritical and clamor for their death, when there is a chance they can enjoy life everlasting. Taking that approach is a double-edged sword. God has shown us great mercy and graciousness; we ought to show the same to our own personal enemies. The debt for their wrongdoing has been paid in full, just as the debt for our wrongdoing has been paid in full as well. Two things I know in this life: (1) you don’t deserve the grace that God has shown you; and, (2) I don’t deserve the grace that God has shown me. Christ paid the full penalty for your sins, my sins and the sins of our respective enemies. When God chooses [to] grace someone out—including our enemies—then that is a time for rejoicing, as He has also graced us out. I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than anyone else? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? You are, therefore, to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:44, 46–48).
This all having been said, let yourself rest assured that there will be people who will wrong you that God will personally stomp. There will be those who do you harm, and God will not only avenge you, but even allow you to be cognizant of His dealings with them. Now, this is not discipline if they are unbelievers, but it is vengeance—however, and listen to me carefully now, it is God, not you, who takes vengeance out on your enemies. He chooses the time and the place to deal with your personal enemies. You never get to help; and, often, you don’t get to watch.
The second quote pertains to why I started this series of posts: Can we always rely on God to provide for us when we are persecuted for doing His will? I will say again that I believe the answer is “yes.” I particularly noticed Gary’s quote of Psalm 34:15:” the eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous, and His ears are inclined to hear their cry.” What are these cries of the righteous that the Lord is hearing? I believe that they are prayers. Do you want God to protect you? If you do, then ask Him for protection using prayer. It’s not like God is ever on vacation, He is always there and He has told us He will listen. If we don’t ask why should we expect Him to do anything? I believe that God does do a lot for us that we don’t ask for but we don’t have that as a guarantee.
In Gary’s discussion of Psalm10:18:
On the basis of God’s very own character, He causes Himself to incline His ear toward the cries of the helpless and grace-oriented. We know that God will hear the cries of the grace-oriented, as Psalm 9:18 reads: For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor will the hope of the afflicted perish forever. And Psalm 9:12b: He does not forget the cry of the afflicted. There will come a time when God will balance all accounts. For, the eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous, and His ears are inclined to hear their cry (Psalm 34:15). Allow me to append these thoughts by saying that this does not only apply to Israel. God is the God of all mankind. Even though it will appear as though He will be God over Israel, His power and kingdom certainly stretch beyond that. “If you afflict the immigrant at all, and if he cries out to Me, I will certainly hear his cry and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you [Israel] with the sword.” (Ex. 22:22–23a). Israel’s special relationship to God did not mean that Israel could afflict the helpless.