When?

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Sovereign Grace

Puritan Board Freshman
I read in Psalms how David at times called for the destruction of the enemies of God. So, my question is this: when are we to pray like this? I know we are to pray for all ppl, especially those who have rule. But at what point to do we like David did in the Psalms?


I am not looking to actively pray for someone's demise now, but I was wondering if this is something we are to do. David Chilton in "The Days of Vengeance" mentioned it biblically for us to do this today, but I am not sure if we are to. Any thoughts, opinions, and ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

jw

j
Posts from the past RE: Imprecations
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The answer is we hate the LORD’s enemies. But the truth is we lack the prophetic vision infallibly to know such. So we sing imprecation Psalms in general, hating the LORD’s enemies, but without particularizing such. The Psalmist, perhaps, could do that perfectly in some instances. Pretty sure we lack the equipment necessary perfectly to do so.

….

Let us be general when we consider praying imprecations against, not prophetically possessing the knowledge of who merits God's imprecations and who doesn't. While we may pray that the LORD would subvert/conquer all His and our enemies, we're not privy, say, as the Psalmist was via inspiration to name the final enemies of God. We are to acknowledge God's destruction and hatred of the wicked, Who is singularly qualified to determine and point out. We are to pray that the kingdom of sin and Satan be destroyed. We are, however, not to be quick to designate specific folks as targets of imprecation, in my estimation. Psalm 110 is always an encouragement where the LORD is styled as ruling in the midst of His enemies -that is- ruling in their inmost parts, making friends of His enemies, having made them willing in the day of His power. If we should pray imprecations against specific people when they manifest ire against God and His commandments, I think we would also be obligated to turn those guns on ourselves. This is not an argument against imprecations, but against directing those to be against folks whom we have no revelation about as being God's enemies in any final sense.
 

CovenantWord

Puritan Board Freshman
@jw: I haven't found this line of reasoning comprehensively persuasive in the past, for two reasons: 1) Because the Psalms are scriptural, we are commanded to imitate their model for prayer. Psalm 109, for instance, models both the kind of prayer you cite, namely the general destruction of enemies, but, also, the central section, 6-20, also pleads God's justice against a specific person, the pronoun being singular. 2) The command not to pray for a particular person implies that we, under the Church Age, are able reliably to distinguish when a person has committed the unpardonable sin (1 John 5:16).
I suggest, therefore, that it is permissible, even commanded, to call down God's wrath upon those who are wreaking severe damage upon God's Church, either internally or externally.
Whenever I make this point, my interlocutor invariably raises Saul of Tarsus as a proposition-voiding counterexample, so if that objection is voiced on this thread, I will deal with that subject then.
In the meantime, I consider it my Christian duty to stand with the oppressed churches in Ukraine and Russia, by praying for the destruction of the individual who is systematically oppressing them with malicious intent of self-aggrandizement, with massive fatal success. His personal conversion theoretically possible, of course, and I would rejoice in that unexpected answer to my prayer. However, I deem this eventuality extremely likely, because the conscience needs to be seared in order to become such a tyrant, and the record of genuine conversion of such persons is historically perfect, namely, zero. What the Church needs -- what the world needs -- is his removal from power, and, as a practical matter, the only way that will be accomplished is his forcible removal by God's wrath exercised directly upon his person.
I do not object to another Christian praying specifically for his personal conversion, unless such a prayer becomes an excuse to ignore the horrors he is inflicting.
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
We are now at that time. God is at war with the United States. And I think it's just begun.

Edit: You might want to take a look at something I just posted.

Thread 'It is Time for Thee, LORD, to Work: For They Have Made Void Thy Law.'
I find this an odd way of looking at US history (and God). God is not at war with the US, and even if He was, it would not just be beginning.

When the representatives of the British colonists of the united States of America declared themselves to be "Free and Independent States," they appealed to God as Creator and "Supreme Judge of the world," expressing their "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." After this declaration of independence, which most generally agree to be a noble and righteous action, the new nation, despite the seeming favor of God in delivering the freedom they sought, quickly rejected Him in favor of secular humanism. Within a decade they had adopted a system of government which, rather than appealing to God, placed the power and glory in "We the people," with no mention of God save for the date at the end, and even then they sought to replace the work of Christ with the work of man: "the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth."

It is telling that only 6 of the men who signed the Declaration signed the Constitution.

It is telling that when the self-proclaimed “thorough deist” Benjamin Franklin, of all people, implored the members of the Constitutional Convention to begin each day of deliberations with prayer, the motion died on the floor after enduring a litany of faithless arguments against it:

"[Dr. Franklin.]

Mr. President

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other — our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service —

Mr. Sharman seconded the motion.

Mr. Hamilton & several others expressed their apprehensions that however proper such a resolution might have been at the beginning of the convention, it might at this late day, 1. bring on it some disagreeable animadversions. & 2. lead the public to believe that the embarrassments and dissentions within the convention, had suggested this measure. It was answered by Docr. F. Mr. Sherman & others, that the past omission of a duty could not justify a further omission — that the rejection of such a proposition would expose the Convention to more unpleasant animadversions than the adoption of it: and that the alarm out of doors that might be excited for the state of things within. would at least be as likely to do good as ill.

Mr. Williamson, observed that the true cause of the omission could not be mistaken. The Convention had no funds.

Mr. Randolph proposed in order to give a favorable aspect to ye. measure, that a sermon be preached at the request of the convention on 4th of July, the anniversary of Independence, — & thenceforward prayers be used in ye Convention every morning. Dr. Frankn. 2ded. this motion After several unsuccessful attempts for silently postponing the matter by adjourng. the adjournment was at length carried, without any vote on the motion."

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/images/BenFranklin1.JPG
https://www.americanrhetoric.com/images/BenFranklin2.JPG

God is not at war with the US - the US constituted itself as a Godless nation and, in doing so, declared war with God. Despite developing a powerful empire, it - like the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Turks, Mongols, British, etc. - is likewise doomed if it does not repent and recognize Christ as King of Kings.

Romans 1 is playing out before our eyes today, but sins like sodomy are not the cause of our punishment, they are the punishment: (1.21) "Because that when they knew God [Declaration of Independence?], they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was full of darkness [US Constitution?]" - "Therefore also God gave them up to their hearts lusts, unto uncleanness, to defile their own bodies between themselves," (v.24) and "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." (v.26)

Please forgive my outburst - I have struggled with this issue for years. I consider myself a patriot. I support the ideals of the US Declaration of Independence. I would join with my neighbors in defending our land in a just war. But I cannot defend a constitution that implicitly rejects Christ. How can a believer take an oath to support a nation at war with God?
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
All the time. Even if we, our families, or local congregation does not currently have enemies seeking our harm, still many of our Christian brethren throughout the world are being harmed by the wicked and it is our duty to ask God to destroy them, either in the death of Christ by their conversion, or by making them physically unable to harm His people any longer.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I think Eph 6:12 is helpful here.

I know that when David was praying for the destruction of his enemies, we can be a bit embarrassed to think that an OT Saint would want to see those who wag their heads at him to be destroyed.

Yet, if we take a pan-Scriptural approach and ask: "If David was God's "son" then why are these people his enemies?"

Is it, primarily, because David doesn't like them or David is offended by the fact that they are his enemies?

They are David's enemies precisely because they are God's enemies.

But why are they God's enemies?

Because they are under the thrall (dominion) of principalities and powers that wage against God. Nobody is really an independent moral agent simply making decisions to hate God on their own steam with no slavery or subjection. They are under the Curse of God and dead in sins and trespasses. They are under the thrall of sin.

Even when we see Saul as an enemy of David (and ultimately of God), we can see that he is an agent of sin itself even as he still held the role of King. Certainly he is morally culpable (as our his sycophantic fellow slaves of sin) of mocking David and thinking him small and disposable and not worthy of life. Yet, lurking behind that is darkness, sin, flesh.

Thus I see in any imprecatory Psalm or a calling for the judgment of God's enemies as a prayer for the destruction of the Kingdom of Darkness itself, first and foremost.

One might have prayed for such a destruction of this Kingdom or a mocking of it as in Psalm 2. That's precisely what the Apostles did when persectued by the Sanhedrin. Yet, what was the outcome for one of their agents? The young Saul was knocked to the ground by the risen Christ.

Only Christ can free from this bondage for only He has broken the power of sin and Saul's sins were, indeed, judged in Christ. Those who sent him, how never repented, felt the full wrath and fury of God for that is what the imprecatory prayers/Psalms of the Saints rightly pray for.

Thus I would say that we pray agasinst principalities and powers while remembering 2 Tim 2:24-25 at the same time. We pray that the Kingdom of Darkness will be destroyed while remembering that even the vilest of sinners is worthy of our pity and concern and that we too were once under the same thrall and that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to free men from this bondage and terrible judgment.
 
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