3/7/08 Devotional – Psalm 11 “Should we Curse or Bless our Enemies?”

Posted: March 7, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Biblical Studies, Devotional, Psalms
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Psa 11:1-7

(1)  To the choirmaster. Of David. In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain,(2)  for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;(3)  if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”(4)  The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.(5)  The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.(6)  Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.(7)  For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

David is told to go hide in the caves like a little bird seeking shelter, Many think that David write this about his time while hiding from those seeking to capture him. Anyhow, David is getting sick and tired of wicked people shooting arrows at him so he declares that God hates the wicked and will rain down coals, fire, and sulfur on the wicked.

Is it okay to desire the punishment of the wicked? Well, in a way, YES, and in a way, NO. The fact is that God will avenge all wickedness. It is part of God’s restoration of all things and God doesn’t want people raping and murdering in His coming eternal city. In this sense, I am grateful that God will remove the wicked from His children.

However, even Jesus, while on the cross, didn’t curse his tormentors. Jesus actually prayed for their forgiveness. This is the same model that Jesus taught us as well. We are told to love our enemies, to pray for them. In the Old Testament, God worked through a particular nation, Israel, and warfare was a demonstration of God’s commitment to His peculiar people. It was right to desire and expect the destruction of the enemy. At the same time, God did desire to use Israel to be a light and blessing for all other nations. Israel failed in this task. I can think of Jonah and how reluctant he was to go to Nineveh. He didn’t want God to show mercy to anyone else, so it took a whale to get Jonah to Nineveh.

In this New Covenant, God no longer favors a particular nation or ethnic group of people. We are not to extend God’s kingdom through the sword of metal, but rather through the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Our warfare is against demons and evil spirits that seek to wreak havoc. God’s kingdom is advanced through winning souls, not by killing souls. There does remain a final judgment, but we are told that God is postponing His judgment because He is not willing that any perish. He is giving people time. We should treat our enemies with love and pray for their souls. If even we are tortured for our faith and sent to a painful death, the last words from our mouths should be, “Father, forgive them”.


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