Destroy thou them

Psalms 5:10

5:10 Destroy thou them. This is the first of many “imprecations” in the Psalms, wherein God-fearing men actually pray for God to torture and destroy their enemies. This seems alien to the spirit of Matthew 5:44 (“I say unto you, Love your enemies”), especially in view of the fact that these “imprecatory psalms” are divinely inspired. The distinction, however, is to be made between our personal enemies and the enemies of God. David says in a later psalm: “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?...I hate them with perfect hatred” (Psalm 139:21-22). There is no personal vindictiveness involved in desiring and praying that God will be vindicated when His enemies are defeated and judged. David here is praying for judgment against such men, not because they have injured him personally but because “they have rebelled against thee.”

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