2

I am trying to go about reasoning how ( Romans 12:14 "14 Bless those who persecute [d]you; bless and do Not curse.") can stand side-by-side withOut contradicting the imprecatory scripture ( i.e., Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140, etc. )

Romans 12:9-18 (NASB)
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; [a]give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the [b]saints, [c]practicing hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute [d]you; bless and do Not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but [e]associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. [f]Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Would it be correct to reason that ( Romans 12:14 "14 Bless those who persecute [d]you; bless and do Not curse.") is Only stating that we ourselves should Not directly curse others, but the imprecatory verses in the bible have to do with us asking God to curse others, and moreover, the imprecatory verse do Not involve us directly cursing others?

2
  • @Bach Sorry, but I would very much appreciate it if you could also give your opinion on the role of the imprecatory Psalms, and how they are seen in light of Romans 12:14. Please post your opinions.
    – crazyTech
    Jul 7 '20 at 1:07
  • just also want to 2-way link with: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/49456/…
    – crazyTech
    Aug 12 '20 at 19:07
2

For answering this question one needs to first establish axiom on God.

The axiom is that God is Creator of all humans and loves all humans, the bearers of His image and likeness and thus, He also wants "all to be saved and come to the knowledge of Truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). He loves also sinners and awaits in His long-suffering for their repentance (I do not need to give even quotations for this is stated frequently and is self-evident).

In this light, when the Bible says about God having "cursed" somebody, it must not be understood in a human way, for human cursing implies hatred and ill-will, while God hates nobody and has ill-will towards nobody. God's "cursing" is in fact a chastisement in the context of His loving care in order to bring a sinner back, through repentance, to Himself.

Therefore, also we should try to aspire towards divine perfection and thus, curse nobody, neither evil people, thus imitating God who is merciful towards both good and evil (Luke 6:35). Which does not mean that we should tolerate or not hate sins! On the contrary, sin should be hated and repelled until it is totally vanquished in our hearts and lives through Christ.

1

Credit Reference Link: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/should-we-pray-the-imprecatory-psalms/

Credit Author: William Ross

Date of Publication: March 17, 2015

Article Title: Should We Pray the Imprecatory Psalms? March 17, 2015 By William Ross

In light of the recent execution of 21 Christians and capture of hundreds more in Syria, perhaps it’s time to ask, “Should we be praying the imprecatory psalms against ISIS?” Written in the theocratic context of Israel, when God himself had a throne on earth, these psalms (e.g., Ps. 58; 69; 109) invoke God’s judgment upon Israel’s enemies in terrifying terms (see Ps. 58:8). While we profess that all Scripture is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16), we must carefully consider the ways in which that is true of these psalms.

After all, we were once enemies of God (Col. 1:21-22), but are now redeemed and called to love our neighbors (Luke 10:27) and pray for our persecutors (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14). May we identify an enemy for divine destruction as the imprecatory psalms do? Can we do so in specific terms or only general ones? Are we not to expect persecution in this age and turn the other cheek (Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17; Matt. 5:39) as we wait for Christ’s return (2 Cor. 1:5; Col. 1:24)? These are complex questions.

I want to explore how Scripture supports praying the imprecatory psalms in a personalized way, provided we exhibit a specific attitude. To pray for God to execute his righteous judgment upon evildoers is permissible and in certain ways even useful for believers. My aim here is also, in part, to provide Christians with a biblical account of the impulse we may feel to wish God’s destruction upon persecutors of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Psalter and Hermeneutics

Three brief points on the use of the imprecatory psalms in prayer are in order. First, we should guard against overemphasizing the place of these psalms in the Christian life. The church is not undertaking the conquest of Canaan. Our mission rather is to care for souls as we take the gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). We aim to expand and feed the flock, not to eradicate anything that isn’t a sheep. That is the difference between the gospel and Sharia. Praying the imprecatory psalms can be useful when done with this caution in mind.

Secondly, we must recognize that the majority of the Psalter is non-violent. The instances where a psalmist speaks positively of violence are rare indeed. Wherever we do find imprecation in Scripture, it is not triumphalistic or gloating. Instead, it issues from a position of weakness and victimization (Ps. 35:7; 69:1-3; 109:22-25). Imprecation recognizes God as the sole source of deliverance and righteous judgment (Ps. 59:5; 40:13; 109:27). The only one laughing at the wicked is God himself (Ps. 2:4; 37:13; 59:8). Praying the imprecatory psalms, then, can be useful when it acknowledges our impotence and participation in the persecuted body of Christ.

Thirdly, when we pray the imprecatory psalms, we do not expect that God will send “the hornet” to exterminate ISIS as he did the Canaanites (Josh. 24:12; Exod. 23:28). On the other hand, we are not necessarily asking God to execute the final judgment that will only come at Christ’s return, either. While that judgment is foreshadowed in these psalms—and in the conquest more generally—God can and does intervene in creation as he upholds it. In that sense, he may arrange for the downfall of specific evildoers according to his will even before Christ’s return. God hears and answers the prayers of his people in a variety of ways. On those grounds, the imprecatory psalms may be directed at specific evildoers as an expression of our desire for God’s Kingdom on earth today (Luke 18:6-8). God’s Sovereignty and Our Finitude

Now, two points on applying the imprecatory psalms.

First, we must recognize God’s sovereignty in acting out his own justice on evil. To be sure, until that judgment, Jesus commands us to love our enemies, to pray for them, even to bless them (Luke 6:27-28; Rom. 12:20; 1 Pet. 3:9). Jesus spoke more about love than bearing the sword (Matt. 10:34-35; Luke 12:51-53). In similar fashion, Paul instructed Christians to “bless and do not curse” our persecutors (Rom. 12:14).

But this instruction does not prohibit calling evil what it is, and desiring that God deal with it promptly and specifically. We see this most clearly in Revelation 6:9-10 where the heavenly martyrs call out for justice and vengeance. Theirs is an intensely personal concern: they ask God to avenge “our blood upon those who dwell on earth.” It is important to note that while the heavenly martyrs are issuing a personalized imprecation, it is nevertheless divinely mediated. Their imprecation is qualified by the sovereignty and agency of God himself to answer their prayer.

Second, we must distinguish between cursing our personal enemies ourselves (Col. 3:8) and calling upon God to curse his enemies. This distinction is evident in Romans 12:14. While Paul instructs us not to curse others, he does not prohibit asking God to pour out his justice. The distinction is subtle but important. In the former we condemn men on our own terms and make ourselves gods; in the latter we beseech the King and recognize his holiness and our finitude.

In that sense, when making specific imprecation, we must always balance “Father, save the lost!” with “Father, pour out your wrath upon evil!” The contingency that holds together these two ideas properly submits to God’s sovereignty—his justice and mercy—without assuming that only one of the two options will bring him glory. Paul does not shy away from personal imprecation as he puts this principle to use in 1 Corinthians 16:22: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, then let him be accursed!” (cf. Gal. 1:8-9). As Christians redeemed by Christ, we can simultaneously recognize the forgiveness of our own sin and the fact that sin itself grounds our appeal for God’s judgment. No Light Matter

None of this counsel implies that praying imprecatory psalms is a light matter. Far from it. As others have pointed out, some consider it a spiritual “nuclear option.”

Nevertheless, “there is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Eccl. 3:8). Lord willing, his justice will be meted out, and ISIS and similar perversions of the truth will be snuffed out swiftly and completely. But we may have only seen the beginning of this evil. While it is a terrible thing to desire God’s judgment to fall upon unrepentant creatures, it is worse still for evil to go unpunished. For that reason, I pray that Christians will exercise wisdom in their intercession for the persecuted church. As we do so, let us always recognize our own pardon from sin as creatures loved by God, and magnify the sovereignty and justice of the King of heaven and earth.

William Ross is a doctoral candidate in Old Testament at the University of Cambridge, where his research focuses on the book of Judges. He recently co-authored the Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek (Zondervan, 2014), and blogs regularly at williamaross.wordpress.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

2
  • If someone down votes then they should at least give an explanation as to why they are down voting!!!!!!!! Jul 11 '20 at 0:24
  • 1
    (Interesting argument) Second, we must distinguish between cursing our personal enemies ourselves (Col. 3:8) and calling upon God to curse his enemies. This distinction is evident in Romans 12:14. While Paul instructs us not to curse others, he does not prohibit asking God to pour out his justice. The distinction is subtle but important. In the former we condemn men on our own terms and make ourselves gods; in the latter we beseech the King and recognize his holiness and our finitude.
    – crazyTech
    Sep 20 at 12:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.