Psalm 10: Do You Pray for Judgment?

Psalm 10:1-2 reads:

Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.

The psalmist spends the next twelve verses outlining the offenses of the wicked against God and His people, then prays in verse 15:

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.

But, as I read this I wondered, do we pray like this? Do we honestly beg God to bring judgment on the wicked? Or does that seem too “angry” or “hurtful” to us? Have we become too afraid, baptized in the lies of “tolerance,” to have such a zeal for the glory of the Holy One of Israel?

Some teammates of mine in Uganda thought it funny that I spoke of praying the imprecatory (fancy word for “cursing”) psalms. But what else do we do with them? Ignore them, like so many cowardly, feminized churches of the past? Or do we take them, understanding that our enemies, in order, are our personal sin against the holy God, the dark powers scheming against God’s people, and human persons refusing repentance, and pray them with a full heart, begging for their extermination by either repentance (our own or other people’s, not demons’) or active wrath?

Lest we think this is “an Old Testament thing,” remember that the Greek Testament speaks many imprecations upon the enemies of God, notably in Matthew 23 (vs. Pharisees), Galatians (vs. false teachers), 2 Timothy (vs. false teachers), and Revelation (vs. Christian-killers and all manner of evildoers). Or do we think those are exceptions?

In other words, do you pray for judgment, through repentance or wrath? If not, read the Psalms, and may God make it clear that what we are saved from and what we are saved for:

O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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