To imprecate means “to invoke evil upon or curse” one’s enemies.
We can find examples of this in the psalms.
Whether the nature of such songs were in jest and fun or sincerely vindictive can be debated but nonetheless the bible in it’s canonized entirety is not lacking on verses that if put in the wrong hands can easily be attempted and used to do such.
It’s unfortunate and sad but I have seen people try and use The Good Book like it was some sort of Spell Book. Speaking in faith the good stuff over themselves and loved ones while decreeing awful curses and punishments they have found over their enemies.
I once watched a women crying and rocking back and fourth going in an out of a (very suspect tongue that did nor bare witness with my own spirit) damning her personal banker and lawyer because she felt they had done her wrong. She would periodically spew dooming (out of context) verses she had memorized from “The Word of God.” In some vain attempt to move God on her behalf.
Move him out of his position of Love.
God is Love!
The following verses are just a few examples of verses that some have tried to use as imprecatory prayers.
“May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit! May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil! Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!” ~ Psalms 109:9-12
Here’s a real encouraging passage you can speak or invoke over someone you do not like!
After all it is “The Word of God.”
“Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer” ~ Psalms 10:15
This is a great one for anyone who disagree’s with our theology!
One more before I begin furthering my point here.
“O God, break the teeth in their mouths;” ~ Psalms 58:6-8
Oh Yes, and don’t forget that Jesus Loves You!
I hope anyone reading this blog has picked up on my sarcasm here and doesn’t believe that I would ever endorse or pray such scriptures over their’s or anyone else’s life.
In light of The New Covenant in which I am a Minister of… I could never.
The Psalms as well as many other Old Testament Prophets were written in the age of The Old Covenant and although they were inspired by God in context of that Covenant. I do not believe verses like this (and many more) should ever be spoken over or personally applied to anyone as modern day followers of Christ.
You see, The Prophets of Old (Under Moses) do not prophesy like The New Covenant Prophets of Christ!
Under Moses (The Law) isn’t anything like being in Christ (Under Grace.)
The Prophets of Old many times were prophesying the Jewish peoples punishment for their infractions of The Law.
New Covenant Prophets speak for the strengthening, comfort, building up and edification of Christ’s Church!
Oh how I wish more could separate more clearly the wheat from the chaff in these things.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. ~ Matthew 5:38-39
In this passage from The New Testament.
Jesus is quoting from The Law that his hearer’s would have all still been under.
It reads as follows…
“you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for a hand, foot for a foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” ~ Exodus 21:24-25
Then he very clearly establishes his own words over the law.
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. ~ Matthew 5:38-39
Exodus 21 = Moses, Law, Old Covenant
Matthew 5 = Jesus, Grace, New Covenant
Now please understand here. I am not saying that Matthew chapter 5 is “The New Covenant” that God has made with man as if this is the new list of rules that must be adhered to or else.
I see the New Covenant command as this;
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” ~John 15:12
What I do see in the beatitudes is Jesus teaching us in more depth on how to love!
Here’s another good example from Jesus himself!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:44
So that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven!
Wow, how I love this!
Jesus not only spoke contrary and against their law but he insinuated that those who were still trying to endorse the law were in fact “Children of the Devil.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” ~ John 8:41
Take note that Jesus is establishing a New Way (The Way) here with his words and stating that to be Children of Our Father in Heaven we must be like Our Father in Heaven and Love.
He then clearly say’s that it’s their inability to be merciful and to love that reveals them as The Devils Children.
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning……” ~ John 8:42-44
Jesus then say’s that they who wanted to continue on in The Old Way of Judgement refusing and opposing The New Way of Mercy that he had come to show and demonstrate were obviously operating under the influence of Satan and not God His Father.
He then say’s that it’s their inability to be merciful and to love that reveals them as The Devils Children. He expounds….
“He was a murderer from the beginning not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” ~ John 8:44-47
At this the endorsers of The Law responded by questioning Christ’s ethnicity and slandered him by saying he was demon possessed.
Church, let this be clear.
When Jesus concluded his earthen ministry
All the wrath he had declared on the heads of the teachers and endorsers of The Law was fulfilled with the destruction of The Temple and Priesthood in 70 A.D.
James which was written between the ministry of Christ (30 A.D.) and the destruction of the temple (70 A.D ) makes a clear reinforcement of this assertion in chapter 2:13 when he say’s…
“For Judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement.” ~ James 2:13
Let me tell you that what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 23 over the heads of the teachers of the law. Those who were opposing His Message of reconciliation, forgiveness and Love. It was not pretty to say the least.
The smack down that came on the temple, the law and all those who had nailed the Lord of Glory to The Cross.
Well, let’s just say that Christ’s Enemies did get served!
Yet the prophecy of Jesus which came to pass within 40 years (within that generation) of his prophesying it was so on point that the truth (once obtained) will not only set you free but this prophecy of Christ was delivered with such accuracy that the only way to deny it would be to horribly twist and add to the scriptures.
As a Minister of The New Covenant, I have to go with the mercy and love of Jesus!
He came to show and demonstrate to us The Love and The Way of The Father!
He Loves us, Forgives us, Heals us and Restores us into a right relationship with himself!
“Our Father Who Art In Heaven.”
and this has been a brief explanation as to why I do not endorse imprecatory prayers taken from writers who were still under the law in a binding agreement with God that said he must curse those who curse them.
I believe Jesus revealed a higher law of love.
God’s Heart for us all on The Cross when Jesus uttered those Spirit commencing words…
“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
I go with those who receive and are able to grasp Christ’s Enduring Message of God’s Unending, Mercy, Love, Forgiveness and Grace.
I believe The Apostle Paul (an amazing recipient of Christ’s Love and Grace) got it when he scripted this in his epistle to the heavily oppressed believers in Rome.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:14-21
In His Love, Pastor Scott Adrian Boggs