@Lizibeth Great response Personally, I’m still in process on my view of how Christians should use the imprecatory Psalms. I agree we should vent our anger to God rather than act on it and that, as the saints sang in Revelation, it is not wrong to anticipate the judgment of those who commit injustice on the earth.
Waltke, however, drew a distinction between the saints’ song in Revelation, which called for God’s final judgment to come upon the earth, and the imprecatory Psalms, which are situated in the context of Israel as God’s Kingdom on earth. King David wielded the sword, but Jesus told his followers that His Kingdom is not of this world. I think there is something in that difference that should alter how we practically use imprecatory Psalms.
For instance, when I read about my brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer terribly and yet pray for and love their enemies, I sense the calling of Christ who prayed for those who abandoned and misused Him. How does this overwhelming love for all people that results from being forgiven through the cross come together with the imprecatory Psalms? I find it very difficult to hold those two attitudes together simultaneously.
I recognize that in our humanity we will get angry and that not all anger is unrighteous. God is also angry at injustice. And the Psalms can help us express that anger. But I also wonder if Christ is calling us to a deeper kind of love that takes no delight in the punishment of the wicked, but rather in their repentance. A love that upholds justice and also desires that the wicked would reach out their hands to receive mercy.
I have seen Christians in Communist prisons with fifty pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold - and praying with fervor for the Communists. This is humanly inexplicable! It is the love of Christ, which was poured out in our hearts. Richard Wurmbrand
Corrie Ten Boom
“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, [my sister] Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
“He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. ‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.’ He said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’ His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”