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Josh Bramer Sermon Bonus Notes “Imprecations in the Psalms: Old Testament Perspective “

Here are some additional notes provided for Josh Bramer’s sermon on Psalm 140 on Sunday, June 22, 2014.

Imprecations in the Psalms: Old Testament Perspective

• Should be seen in light of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1–3).

• Should be seen in light of the blessings and curses of the Mosaic Covenant (Deut. 27 and 28).

• In light of the covenants, the psalmist desires God’s judgments to be carried out in this life.

• Should be interpreted in light of the Old Testament’s command to love one’s enemies (Ex. 23:4–5; Prov.25:21–22).

• They are not the cries of personal vengeance, which was forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 32:35). It was an appeal to God to deal with evil.

•These enemies are ultimately the enemies of God (2:2). This is especially the case with David.

•The chief concern in God’s name (58:11).

• The assumption is that they will not repent. Repentance would avert the wrath of God (Jonah 3:10).


Imprecations in the Psalms: New Testament Perspective

• The command to love one’s enemies is rooted in the Old Testament. This is not a change from one Testament to the other.

• There are imprecations in the New Testament (Gal. 1:8–9; 1 Cor. 16:22).

• There is a desire for God to execute justice, and the saints long for this (Rev. 6:10).

• God is no less wrathful in the New Testament than He is in the Old, and no less loving in the Old as He is in the new.

• However, we are not under the Abrahamic or Mosaic Covenants. Therefore, the execution of God’s justice often awaits the end of the age.


Imprecations in the Psalms: Theological Perspective

• For God to be loving, he must be wrathful against sin.

• God is just, and this is true for both the Old Testament believer and the New Testament believer.

• The imprecations teach us about God’s attitude toward sin and the fate of the unrepentant sinner.

• The chief concern is God’s name.


Imprecations in the Psalms: Their Relationship to the New Testament Believer

• They are inspired, and profitable for us. They should be used by New Testament believers.

• They teach us about God’s justice, and His attitude toward sin.

• While we love our personal enemies, and desire the salvation of individuals (Matt 5:43–44), the reality of God’s judgment on sin is also a comfort to us.

• Like the psalmists, we do not take personal vengeance, but leave the judgment to God (Rom. 12:19).

•We should not be embarrassed that God cares for those who are mistreated, and therefore executes justice. God’s justice is to be celebrated by the believer, not hated.

• We should have a desire for God’s name to be vindicated.

• We must recognize that this judgment may await a time after our life.

• We should recognize that ultimately we deserve God’s judgment, but by His grace we have been saved.