Enemies to be Blotted Out of The Book of Life

Revenge

This seems to be the prayer of a man in extreme suffering in every possible way: physically, mentally, socially sand spiritually. The descriptions he gives are not, however, explicit enough to enable us to build up a detailed picture of his troubles. In his pronouncements against his enemies, David prays for the following to happen:

  1. That his enemies homes will be cursed (v. 22) - “Let their table become a snare...”
  2. That his enemies health will be cursed (v. 23) - Let their eyes be darkened...”
  3. That his enemies happiness will be cursed (v. 24) - “Let Thy wrathful anger take hold”
  4. That his enemies houses will be cursed (v. 25) - “Let their habitations be desolate.”

He also prayed that God would find them guilty and blot them from the book of life (Rev. 20:15) This may bring the following question to mind.  Is it right to pray for revenge? Several Psalms call upon God to take revenge. However, Jesus said “love our enemies” (Matt. 5:44) and Paul wrote, “..avenge not yourselves...vengeance is mine, I will repay, said the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). In order to put this into its proper perspective, I believe we need to consider the following:

  1. In the Old Testament cursing the wicked was more a plea for God’s justice than a cry for personal revenge. The writers of the Psalms could not tolerate the idea of God standing by, permitting these wrong things to go unpunished.
  2. Even though David asked God to come down hard on the wicked, he himself showed mercy several times when he could have taken revenge (I Sam. 24:8-13; 26:8-11).
  3. It is not fair to expect Old Testament people to act “Christian” before Christ came.

Application

The answer to the above statements is no, I should not pray for revenge but I must trust God to right the wrongs of this world. With Christ’s help I can love and pray for those who mistreat me.

Psalms 69:22-36 (English Standard Version)


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