The Lost Art of Cursing
I. The Just Plea of the Blameless Worshipper
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hold not your peace, O God of my praise;
2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself to prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
7:4 if I have repaid my ally with harm or plundered my foe without cause, 5 then let the enemy pursue and overtake me, trample my life to the ground,
II. The Just Plan for the Persecutor’s Pain
Break arms -10:15; Slip in the dark - 35:6; Smash teeth -58:6; Wounded with arrows -64:7; Go blind, get wrath -69:23-24
6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he has; and let the strangers spoil his labour. 12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
16 Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. 17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covers him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
III. The Unjust Pain of the Persecuted
21 But do for me, O GOD the Lord, for your name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it declines: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh fails of fatness. 25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shook their heads.
IV. The Pleasure of the Persecuted Servant
26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: 27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that you, LORD, have done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let your servant rejoice. 29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
V. The Praise of the Vindicated Servant
30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.
31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
64:9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. 10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How do you reconcile the “Imprecatory Psalms” with the turn the other cheek of the “Sermon on the Mount”?
(Mt 5:39, 44 Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Ro 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Job 31:29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: 30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
2. What’s our normal reaction to injustice directed toward us? Why?
3. Is our “undeserved suffering” random wickedness, unjust consequence of righteousness, just consequence of our actions or ????
4. Is our concern for justice motivated by God’s glory, vindication, or revenge? Are the latter two motives incorrect?
5. What can we do to have a Biblical response toward those that harm us? How do we move from despair to delight?