Imprecatory Psalms

Imprecatory Psalms have always bothered me. Reading some of David’s, it struck me for the first time that he was a violent man, used to killing his enemies. In this light, his imprecatory prayers are a profound statement of unwillingness to do violence himself, willingness to leave vengeance and wrath to a just God. Imprecation is, paradoxically, non-retaliatory. Perhaps we wish that he had intended no violence at all, that he had been incapable of ascribing such acts to God. But he did, and it impresses me that a man with violence in his heart and renown as a warrior (read: killer) would pray away his need for a reckoning.

Imprecatory Psalms