It is Time for Imprecatory Prayers!

True Saints long for Divine Justice

There are many examples of the saints of the LORD longing for, asking for, and expecting Divine Judgment against the wicked.

 


The righteous ask for divine vindication against evil generally.

While later chapters show that imprecatory prayers are usually intensely personal, there are several examples that are general in nature:

Psa 5.10
Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You

Psa 10.2
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.

Psa 10.15
Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, seek out his wickedness until You find none.

Psa 25.23
Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right and to my cause, my God and my Lord.

Psa 26.1
Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

Psa 28.4
Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; requite them according to the deeds of their hands; repay them their recompense.

Psa 31.17-18
Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.

Psa 35.19
Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me;
nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.

Psa 44.22-24
But for Your sake we are killed all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever.
Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression?

Psa 54.4-5
Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
He will recompense the evil to my foes; destroy them in Your faithfulness.

Psa 55.9
Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Psa 55.15
Let death come deceitfully upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

Psa 56.7
Because of wickedness, cast them forth, in anger put down the peoples, O God!

Psa 58.6-8
O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.
Let them flow away like water that runs off; when he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.
Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun.

Psa 59.5
You, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to punish all the nations; do not be gracious to any who are treacherous in iniquity.

Psa 59.11-13
Do not slay them, or my people will forget; scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, let them even be caught in their pride, and on account of curses and lies which they utter.
Destroy them in wrath, destroy them that they may be no more; that men may know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth.

Psa 68.1-2
Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish before God.

Psa 69.22-28
May their table before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, may it become a trap.
May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, and make their loins shake continually.
Pour out Your indignation on them, and may Your burning anger overtake them.
May their camp be desolate; may none dwell in their tents.
For they have persecuted him whom You Yourself have smitten, and they tell of the pain of those whom You have wounded.
Add iniquity to their iniquity, and may they not come into Your righteousness.
May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous.

Psa 72.4
May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.

Psa 74.10
How long, O God, will the adversary revile, and the enemy spurn Your name forever?

Psa 74.18
Remember this, O LORD, that the enemy has reviled, and a foolish people has spurned Your name.

Psa 74.22-23
Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.
Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, the uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.

Psa 79.6
Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.

Psa 79.10-12
Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Let there be known among the nations in our sight, vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die.
And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom the reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.

Psa 83.9-18
Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon,
Who were destroyed at En-dor , who became as dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb and all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
Who said, "Let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God."
O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
Like fire that burns the forest and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
So pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek Your name, O LORD.
Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, -
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

Psa 94.1-2
LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth, render recompense to the proud.

Psa 104.35
Let sinners be consumed from the earth and let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

Psa 109.6-20
Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few; let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Let the creditor seize all that he has, and let strangers plunder the product of his labor.
Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.
Let them be before the LORD continually, that He may cut off their memory from the earth;
because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy man, and the despondent in heart, to put them to death.
He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, and it entered into his body like water and like oil into his bones.
Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, and for a belt with which he constantly girds himself.
Let this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, and of those who speak evil against my soul.

Psa 120.2-4
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips,
From a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you,
You deceitful tongue?
Sharp arrows of the warrior,
With the burning coals of the broom tree.

Psa 129.5-8
May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward;
Let them be like grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up;
with which the reaper does not fill his hand, or the binder of sheaves his bosom;
nor do those who pass by say, "The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the name of the LORD."

Psa 137.7-9
Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, "Raze it, raze it to its very foundation."
O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one, how blessed will be the one who repays you with the recompense with which you have repaid us.
How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.

Psa 139.19-20
O that You would slay the wicked, O God; depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
For they speak against You wickedly, and Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Psa 140.11
“May a slanderer not be established in the earth;
May evil hunt the violent man speedily.”

Psa 144.5-6
Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, that they may smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter them; send out Your arrows and confuse them.

Lam 1.21
They have heard that I groan;
There is no one to comfort me;
All my enemies have heard of my calamity;
They are glad that You have done it.
Oh, that You would bring the day which You have proclaimed,
That they may become like me.

Rom 11.7
What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”
And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”
[Here we have the Apostle Paul’s quotation and use of Psa 69.22-23]

 


The righteous man asks for God's wrath to be executed upon the wicked for actual or potential harm or danger to him personally.

Previous sections and chapters have detailed the general request for the evil man to face the LORD’s wrath and judgment. The following verses show that the true saint of the LORD also is at liberty to ask for the LORD’s vengeance to be executed against his personal enemies because of evil, danger, threat of danger, etc., directed to him personally.

Neh 4.4-5
Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized the builders.

Psa 7.6
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger; lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries, and arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.

Psa 7.8-9
The LORD judges the peoples; vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

Psa 35.4-8
Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them on.
Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
Let destruction come upon him unawares, and let the net which he hid catch himself; into that very destruction let him fall.

Psa 35.26
Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.

Psa 40.14-15
Let those be ashamed and humiliated together who seek my life to destroy it; let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, aha!"

Psa 54.5
He will recompense the evil to my foes;
Destroy them in Your faithfulness.

Psa 70.2-3
Let those be ashamed and humiliated who seek my life; let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt.
Let those be turned back because of their shame who say, "Aha, aha!"

Psa 71.13
Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.

Psa 109.29
Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.

Psa 139.21-22
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

Psa 140.9-11
"As for the head of those who surround me, may the mischief of their lips cover them.
"May burning coals fall upon them; may they be cast into the fire, into deep pits from which they cannot rise.
"May a slanderer not be established in the earth; may evil hunt the violent man speedily."

Psa 141.5
Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me;
It is oil upon the head;
Do not let my head refuse it,
For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.

Psa 141.10
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.

Psa 143.11-12
For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my soul, for I am Your servant.

Psa 144.5-8
Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, that they may smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter them; send out Your arrows and confuse them.
Stretch forth Your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hand of aliens
Whose mouths speak deceit, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

2 Tim 4.14
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

 


The righteous rejoice when the evil man encounters judgment.

While not a common theme throughout the Scriptures, the true saints of the LORD rejoiced to see the evil encounter judgment for their sin. The notion that the Christian should “feel sorry” or “feel empathy” for the evil man when the LORD punishes him is foreign to the Scripture.

Deu 32.43
Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
And will atone for His land and His people.”

Psa 52.6-7
The righteous will see and fear, and will laugh at him, saying,
"Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and was strong in his evil desire."

Psa 58.10-11
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
And men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!"

Psa 118.5-7
From my distress I called upon the Lord;
The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.
The Lord is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

Psa 149.5-9
Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand,
to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written; this is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!

Again, for those ignorant of the Word (and who therefore think it “Christian” to present some appearance of empathy for those divinely punished rather than rejoicing), the same theme appears in the final chapters of the Revelation:

Rev 19.1-4
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

As the Lord Christ quoted from the OT text, "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed." (Mat 18.16) Here, we have the three-fold "Hallelujah" of the redeemed saints validating their prayer and praise!

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